Spiritual Side of Money

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," February 21, 2005, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: My next guest was considered the king of rap, but his great success didn't always mean happiness. When times became bleak, he sought the counsel of Bishop E. Jordan, who some call a modern day prophet.

Joining me now is Reverend Run, formerly Run of Run-DMC and now the president of Phat Farm Footwear, and Bishop E. Jordan, the founder of Zoe Ministries and author of "Cosmic Economics."

So, Reverend, this guy changed your life?

JOSEPH "REVEREND RUN" SIMMONS, RAPPER: Totally. I was on top of the world, you know, selling all these records, and all of a sudden, I felt this void inside of me. And I didn't know where to go.

And I turned on the television and there was a prophet on television who said he heard from God. And there was a bunch of other church shows on, but this particular church said, we hear from God and we'll speak directly to you.

So, I went there. I thought that I had it all. But I was starting to feel a little sad on the inside, and when I got there, he started prophesizing to me about things that would happen in my life, and I was blown away.

CAVUTO: He was prophesizing how you would do when you were on Bill O'Reilly's show?

SIMMONS: Well, I didn't seek...

CAVUTO: Why didn't you tell him? What did you tell him?

BISHOP E. JORDAN, ZOE MINISTRIES: I just told him to be himself.


JORDAN: And to share good. See, the key to all things in life is to know how to deflect all energy. Because at the end of the day, everybody wins. Even a sinner can be a winner.

CAVUTO: All right. But you're not saying he's a sinner?

JORDAN: No, I'm not. I am not calling him a sinner.

CAVUTO: But the reason why, gentlemen, I have you on, one of the things that's curious is for a lot of average white Americans who listen, they cannot understand the meanness in rap, the degrading language and what have you.

And I know you've gotten this question in a myriad of forms. I just want to ask as a moneymaking venue -- I'm the business guy here -- is that the way to make the money?

JORDAN: Well, rap is a language. You have to understand the pain of a community. People voice their pain, whether they do it through art, they do it through music or whatever.

So, therefore, we hear now, you know, money magnifies what you already are. You give a person that's on drugs more money, they'll do more drugs. A gambler, they're going to gamble more. Money magnifies what you already are.

CAVUTO: Doesn't it magnify the violence, too? Does it regulate the violence?

JORDAN: Most definitely. That's the point I want to make.

I believe that America had closed their eyes to what has been happening in urban America. And I see where there was a resurgence of economics that came in, so that we can begin to see the pain that was going on.

Why would a woman be called a "b"? Why would people -- because what was happening -- and when you begin to look at 50 percent of African- Americans who probably grow up without a functioning father in a home.

CAVUTO: But would you advise against it, that kind of language?

JORDAN: I don't think it's advising against the language. I think the thing we need to do is touch the pain. Once we heal the hurt, the language will disappear.

CAVUTO: But I know you have said, Reverend, when you've heard it before, that maybe there is a way to get your community over that, and to some of the kinder, gentler languages isn't the way I want to put it, but you know what I'm saying, that there is a nicer way to relay art?

SIMMONS: I concur with what Bishop said. When you think about the community being in pain, the poets always come forth to say there's something wrong here. We won't talk about gangsta rap. We'll take it to a bigger thing and talk about the gangsta government.

When you try to say that, oh, they carry guns, you have to say, who made the guns? Where do the guns come from? So when you try to pinpoint it on a small community...

CAVUTO: Are you for gun control?

SIMMONS: I'm for gun control, of course. And when you think about rap music, you have to say, OK, this is the pain. This is the mirror of America. When you look at the mirror, all you're seeing is yourself.

CAVUTO: Your brother, Russell Simmons, does he agree with you on this?

SIMMONS: Totally.

CAVUTO: So you guys are tight on this?

SIMMONS: We're tight on the fact that the poets are definitely just the voice of pain, and we always come to say, hey, look over here. It's not so much the cursed words, it's the cursed ideas of America that we should be more worried about, not the word, "B-I-T-C-H," but more about what's going on to improve that problem in the hood.

JORDAN: Right. Because see, one of the things is when Reverend Run came to us, he was ready to step away from rap, if we had given the word. God said that he would have a greater platform to go there, clean up the lyrics.

He cleaned up the lyrics and his message was even much stronger. Of course, the message can be stronger without you using the profanity.

CAVUTO: All right. Bishop, thank you very much. Reverend, good seeing you again.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Be well. Until next year on O'Reilly, I'll get popcorn and maybe a Barcalounger. I don't know.

SIMMONS: I'm on Cavuto today.

CAVUTO: Thank you guys. Appreciate it very much.

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