by Marcus Thompson | The Christian Chronicle
OAKLAND, Calif. — Life as a noted Oakland rapper and street hustler left Anthony Nelson with a wealth of harrowing tales. He rehashes them with an excitement that seems unbecoming.
He bursts into laughter recalling how slow his friend drove off though someone was shooting at the car. One bullet crashed through the back window between Nelson and another passenger.
His voice rises as he shares his intentions that time he grabbed his gun out of the trunk to finish off a guy he and his friends just stomped.
“I was about to …” Nelson says, filling the unspeakable with widened eyes and a slow shake of his head. “But he was already out cold, so I was like, ‘Whatever.’”
Nelson’s retelling of his experiences isn’t about reveling in ignorance. It isn’t glory of the good ol’ days that livens these ‘hood stories.
It’s relief. Thankfulness. Zeal.
The hip-hop artist, once known as Ant Diddley Dog, now calls himself A. Doulos, which comes from the Greek word for servant. In his lyrics, he’s honest about his sin — and about the healing power of Jesus.
He brings me out distress, looks at my affliction and pain, forgives all of my mess, considers my insignificant name. I was addicted to a terrible arrogance. Then I was gifted with an imperishable inheritance, and been digging into his parables ever since.
“There is a place for that type of sharing,” Nelson says. “You already know what I used to do. So you know it ain’t me. It has to be some dramatic intervention for this to happen.
“And I’m telling you who intervened. It was the Lord.”