Gospel Gangsterism: Tim Bush Jr And Tye Tribbet’s “Original New” Song Played As TBN Exclusive Is Actually A Caribbean Classic Arrangement
The topic of North Americans claiming Caribbean and Afrobeats as their own original content in major outlets has resurfaced again and this time, within the church community.
Needless to say, hell hath no fury like church folk seeing a wrong and demanding a right, in the name of Jesus. Rising gospel star and Tye Tribett protege, Tim Bush, Jr. learned that lesson the hard way over the weekend. He learned that hell hath no fury like Christian Caribbean people who have spent time on the frontline of music ministry see when your wibe sour. He learnt what happens when you stir up their vexation by bringing out their inner Jesus junglist, complete with rebuke and receipts from Genesis to Revelations. In other words, you will find out just how deep in the world some people used to be, even if that means taking on Instagram, YouTube and the holy grail of on earth as it is in heaven, the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
On February 15, 2020, Bush went to Instagram uploading clips from the TBN performance of a medley that he said will be on his upcoming album. Fans went wild in the comments, celebrating the mix and loving the energetic Holy Ghost fire which filled the televised sanctuary. The celebration took a left turn when someone tagged Marvia Providence, the beloved legendary Caribbean Canadian artiste (big ups Jamaica). I’m spelling artiste the island way so do not come for me unless thou seeketh to be draggeth in accordance with Pettylations 6:15.
I’m now in my 30’s yet I can vividly recall being forced to be a part of the children’s ministry or dance ministry and learning the thin line between secular and salvation style dance moves as we went from “We Got The Victory, Alleluia” to “Satan Defeated” to “Every Knee Shall Bow Every Tongue Confess That Jesus Is Lord, Jesus Is Lord!” Shonda in a Honda, I know y’all felt that! Teenage me, in my mediocre soprano was forced to sing the lead vocals to the song when our lead choir soloist got sick during Youth Sunday. My great late aunt and second mother Jessie Mingo Goodman told me to do it or face her wrath afterward. Why? Because it was the only medley our choir knew that we didn’t have to practice and it was the song that the entire church knew to sing along with us because it was literally EVERYWHERE.
So when Marvia Providence was alerted to the post and said it hmm it sounded a lot like HER medley, Tim Bush Jr. promptly told her that he never heard of her or her medley. For someone who claims to be tied to Florida, (which has the largest Caribbean diaspora in North America outside of New York) and later stated in said post that he has family in The Bahamas, to have never heard the Marvia Providence arrangement is like saying one saying they didn’t realize water is wet. Who is this man’s 242 kinfolk?
Veteran Bahamian journalist and powerhouse award-winning singer Vanessa Clarke came on the post and recalled her interviews with Marva Providence including the time she won the prestigious Marlin Awards, the Caribbean equivalent to the Doves or Stellar Awards for the same song. Clarke is a current media personality who has interviewed countless visiting celebrities and recently released her own solo projects including ‘Plead My Cause’ after being a part of the top choirs in the region.
“We’ve been singing these songs in the Caribbean for decades,” Clarke said on Bush’s post. “I interviewed Marva Providence about 20 years ago when she won the first Caribbean Music Marlin Awards for this supposed new medley. I hope y’all have her cheque… Ain’t nothing wrong with using the song, if you get permission and royalties are paid to the actual owners of the song. We artists from the Caribbean can’t do that to you…”
The Caribbean followers further pointed out that “Give Me Some Of That Holy Ghost” was also done by Bahamians Bishop Simeon Outten and the late Apostle J. Rodney Roberts with the same vocal harmony.
Cara Newton Thurston, the reigning queen of Bahamian contemporary gospel music who has several award-winning number one tracks also asked Bush to please consider crediting the artists.
Since the oil was being poured, I added my own fire because he can use a donkey, he can use a whale, a billy goat ram in the bush so I know he can use a mere sinner like me as I am a work in progress. I asked Mr. Bush if his Google was broke to have not realized the “new” medley was known throughout the Caribbean. Call it prophecy, call it a premonition, but I hinted that I have receipts as trained by the good deacons in the screenshot ministry, because I saw that it might be coming after the backsliding and the backtalking that the comments might be deleted.
Somewhere along the lines, Mr. Bush came on the post and saying of Marvia Providence, “I meant no disrespect to her. I heard this medley being sang by my Bahamian family when I was a child so if it is hers, I’ll definitely have a talk with her PRIVATELY. God bless y’all, please be peaceful on my post.”
Some folks went to YouTube and asked TBN and other posters to please credit the correct artists instead of acknowledging only Tye Tribett and Tim Bush, Jr. Signs and wonders began to occur as the comments suddenly began vanishing as if they were caught up in a social media rapture. When the flock flocked back to the post on Bush’s wall, behold, the comments were turned off for the post which was edited to say it was an old island medley and it MAY not WILL BE on an upcoming album. The original artists were still not credited.
When individuals private messaged Bush, he responded in full Peter I’m saved but I’m still gangsta mode with some full clapbacks.
Surely there has to be a moral behind this new age potential book of Messytations. Allow me to step into Olivia Pope mode for a moment. Instead of turning off the comments and clapping back at fans, the right thing to do would have been to simply tag the artists and credit them. Then he could have temporarily hide or take down the videos until the matters were resolved with the living artists and estate of the deceased artist. The reason the social media backlash was so strong was because instead of using the platform to do the right thing and sharing his followers with artists who do not have the platform he has in today’s Christian market, he did what many African and Caribbean artists despise when they see their labors exploited on major stages. TBN is the world’s largest Christian/Gospel station, translated into multiple languages, broadcasted in nearly every nation and is likely even being watched by the gatekeepers in heaven who are monitoring the Book of Life. The word “new medley” is hurtful. The insult of saying you never heard of them in but yet later admitting to hearing of the medley as a child in the Caribbean is hurtful. What would Jesus do? Surely there is room in your royalties and concert ticket sales to send a copyright blessing to those who deserve it.
The other issue here is that an entire band learned notes, singers learned harmonies, American praise dancers showcased very Junkanoo and Carnival style moves on TBN into Caribbean homes and not one acknowledgment that it was a cover of other people’s work was made. So we must question the authenticity of the entire body of work of these artists who went far beyond sampling to (and I clutch my debutante pearls with my hand on my mother’s good Bible) stealing. In today’s industry where everything is as simple as “Alexa who sang this song?” or a Google search away, why was this allowed to have happened without double-checking? The internet has hundreds of links going back to Marvia Providence.
Now before we open the floodgates of Facebook, let us remember the instruction to forgive. Let us remember that sharing the gospel is free but even Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are credited for what they wrote in the good book so surely the good psalmists can find in their hearts and upcoming album to make it right. We would love to see Marvia Providence do a US and Caribbean tour, appear at the Stellars and Doves and all the others as she is in fact a living legend for that medley and more.
Now Mr. Bush has said he will reach out to Marvia Providence and we pray that he researches before he does to see the tours and recordings and accredit her. His Excellency of Gospel Ballads Pastor Donnie McClurklin did say “we fall down but we get up for a saint is just a sinner who fell down… and got up”. So Bro. Bush and Bro. Tribett, please get on up and don’t allow this little distraction to derail you.
This is a valuable lesson for us all to remember to do what we must to ensure our music, books and works are protected and owned by us. This is a valuable reminder that we have to continue the publicist engine to continue to put our digital footprints out there (shameless plug). And yinna island set who does put foreign on a pedestal and cast down your own, this is a reminder to stop skylarkin’ and appreciate we tings because alla dem outside lovin’ up on our wibes while we een even on dey run?
At the time of this writing on February 18, 2020 edits had been made to the posts. However, no public apologies were posted, nor were there any announcements that the Caribbean music ministers had been contacted. Rest assured, until that time comes, we will continue to discuss “until we are wet wet wet, soaked, soaked, soaked.” So listen below to the original original and the ‘new upcoming exclusive’ original. Please also feel free to Google Marvia Providence and see how long these arrangements have been on YouTube. While her IG is still growing, you see evidence of these songs from her MySpace page.
Hear ends the reading.