Oh, Jesus, Help Her

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I’ve never believed people when they’ve said that as long as you’re singing for God, God will appreciate it. I just feel like an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity would hate anyone that sounds as if a frog, cat, and sad puppy were all lodged into their throat as much as the next person. Is it a sin to say God’s probably the ultimate Sandman…wop, wop?

Enter Keyshia Cole’s Easter performance at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena, California. According to a story published on Eurweb.com, it seems like Keyshia made an impression with the congregation even before choking on her own off key note:

In addition to the Bishop mistakenly introducing her with the wrong first name, she had a “wardrobe malfunction” that she was not aware of. Wearing a short dress with thin straps, apparently Cole bore more skin than was deemed appropriate for the church. When a female member of the church attempted to cover her with a shawl, the back of her dress was accidently lifted. According to witnesses in the choir stand, Cole’s backside was exposed. The woman assisting Cole managed to cover her rear just before she stepped out to sing.

Supposedly “Tisha” had on a short white halter dress. Club-church outfit, perhaps? No worries, though, Tisha. I’m sure a room full of Bible-holding parishioners weren’t the least bit judgmental about your appearance.

Keyshia performed “His Eye Is On The Sparrow.” I think “Her Mind Was Someplace Else” given that she didn’t seem to be too familiar with the melody, the lyrics, or anything else related to the song. Maybe it was nerves, or maybe her voice has always been hit-or-miss. Does anyone remember her performance of “Love” at the BET Awards a few years ago. I felt the hate soon after.

You can listen to the performance here and decide for yourself. It’s not that terrible, but I’m sure she wishes she had kept her ass in the pew all the same.

Make sure you hear someone from the congregation yell, “Take your time!” which has always been code for, “You sound the fool.” Keyshia’s response: “Oooh Jesus, help me.” I concur.

WRITER’S NOTE: While I commend Ms. Cole for having the courage to take a chance and perform completely outside of her element, she should be aware of African American church culture: being placed on the spot in many African American Church or at minimum being acknowledged to stand is the norm. Since so many African American singers got their start in the church, there is an assumption that you would render a selection to “give back,” if you will. I encourage Ms. Cole to return to the house of worship of her choice and never let the imperfections of man stand between her and the loving embrace of God. In the words of Christ, she should pull from the tough as nails strength that has enabled her to overcome personal obstacles and as Christ said as he hung on the Cross, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

Cynic’s Note: Yeah, I always hear Keyshia Cole talking about getting her first start around the age of 12 with the Church of Hammertime with the Reverend MC Hammer. Maybe you’re counting the song “Pray.” Nice sentiments all the same, but do your research, homie. Keyshia’s not obligated to sing, and just by listening to that performance, I think she would have done us all a favor and rehearsed first. Welllllllllllll….

Better luck next time, Tisha! I’m still looking forward to your next cd, but you’ll probably have to send God and the congregation all promo copies.

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