R&B artist Mayne Champagne, stage name of Toronto-raised Jermaine Lawrence. Photo courtesy Mayne Champagne

Singer strikes back at those mocking faith

By  Anastasia Corkery, Youth Speak News
  • September 7, 2022

“It’s time to fight back for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

Toronto-born singer-songwriter Jermaine Lawrence, 40, is known by the stage name Mayne Champagne. The R&B artist uttered these words as he sat down with Youth Speak News to discuss the inspiration behind his recent song “Vanity” and the impact he hopes to make with the tune socially and culturally. 

Growing up with a very religious mother, Champagne sang in the local choir of his Christian church. His lifelong passion for music stemmed from this bonding experience with his mother when he was young. 

Experiencing a difficult childhood largely without his father, Champagne told the CBC in an interview back in January 2020 that he began “hanging out with bad company,” drinking, drug-dealing and eventually taking part in robberies. Ultimately, he completed three different prison sentences for robbery and weapon possession, adding up to eight years between 1999 to 2013.

He developed his musical craft while incarcerated and devoted himself to it fully upon exiting imprisonment.

Observing the routine mockery of Christianity in secular entertainment — particularly the media targeted towards younger demographics — sparked his passion for speaking up in defence of the faith through his compositions.  

After witnessing Grammy-winning rapper Kendrick Lamar at the Glastonbury Festival in England wear a crown of thorns and chant, “They judge you, they judge Christ! Godspeed for women’s rights!” Champagne said he felt the need to respond in song. 

“Vanity” is a pro-life song that questions and ultimately rejects Lamar’s assumption that Jesus would be an advocate for abortion. 

After reading a HipHopDX pop-up article that provided a positive spin about how Lamar “stands up for women’s rights,” Champagne was compelled to respond. 

“I never thought of the issue of abortion until he mentioned it.” Lawrence added that while he “agrees with pro-lifers,” he wrote the song “more out of a spiritual conviction.” 

 “I sympathize with women’s rights, but this is a bigger issue — it is an issue of life and death.”

Champagne notes that Lamar’s insinuation of Jesus being pro-abortion “speaks to a bigger problem for the Christian faith and community being mocked and bullied at the expense of the mainstream society’s agenda.” In “Vanity,” Champagne speaks out against this mockery.

“I don’t expect everyone in the world to see eye to eye in what I or billions of Christians around the world believe in, but at the same time we should speak up if our faith is being mocked or pressured to follow ideologies that are contrary to the ways of Jesus and His teachings,” he said.

Champagne wants to articulate that this does not mean spreading hate.

“I don’t want people to misconstrue what I’m saying. Not condoning someone’s behaviour and hating someone are two different things.” 

He admits that “it’s easy to turn a blind eye to this. It’s the most convenient and easiest thing to do.” However, he urges people “to hold organizations and people accountable via social media for the mockery and the bullying of the Christian faith.” He hopes his song inspires Christian youth, in particular, to say, “enough is enough. You will not make a mockery of our religion for the sake of entertainment.”

The artist adds that speaking up for the truth in popular culture is not limited to musicians and encourages his audience to use the unique talents given to each of them by God.

“Whatever gift you have, (if) you believe in something, don’t let somebody else tarnish (that).” 

“Vanity” can be found on YouTube.

(Corkery, 20, will study English at Redeemer University in Hamilton, Ont.)

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