Gospel Light Minute – No Malice (#266)
He is a platinum-selling hip hop recording artist from Virginia Beach, Virginia widely known by his stage name No Malice (formerly Malicious and later Malice). He is best known for being one half of Southern hip hop duo Clipse, which he formed in 1992 alongside his brother and fellow rapper Pusha T. No Malice has also released two studio albums as a solo artist: Hear Ye Him, in August 2013, and Let the Dead Bury the Dead, in August 2017.
In a recent feature from God Reports, the hip-hop artist documented his dramatic testimony of transformation:
Deep down, No Malice, then known as Malice, always knew that staying in his platinum-selling worldly music group would lead to his demise.
But Malice found a new reason to live in 2010—Jesus Christ. He changed his stage name to No Malice and gave up millions of dollars by going solo.
“I was just letting the wind carry me left, right, swing either which way in my life,” No Malice said in a HipHopDX video.
“I wasn’t fulfilled. To have achieved the American Dream and still not be fulfilled only frustrated me more,” he told CBN. “I wasn’t having a good time. And when I did have a good time, it was only to find out afterwards, I was in more misery.”
Born in 1972 in the Bronx and raised in Virginia Beach, No Malice was drawn to hip hop and R&B as a child. Unlike many kids in his neighborhood, his mother and father took him to church. Still, he managed to get into all kinds of trouble.
“Even with a foundation and having a good head on your shoulders, you can still make some pretty decent mistakes,” he said.
He and his brother, who went under the stage name Pusha T, formed the group Clipse, which brass-knuckled its way into the rap game. At the time hip hop was just beginning to compete against pop with choruses and anthems, but Clipse broached untouchable topics, introducing a sub genre dubbed coke rap, filled with chilling hood depictions of trafficking and addiction.
It caused a sensation and opened new terrain for hip hop. Running and gunning, killing and cursing became the new trend. Lord Willin’ in 2002 debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop album chart. XXL magazine gave its coveted and rare 5-star rating to Clipse’s 2006 album Hell Hath No Fury. They toured and collaborated with several top artists, some of their tracks being produced by Pharrell Williams.
“Clipse blew my brain open in 2006,” wrote Nathan Slavik on DJBooth Net.
In 2009, when he hit the cusp of notoriety, riches and ever growing celebrity, No Malice suddenly pulled the plug and quit secular rap. How could he? How could he leave his brother, leave the fame, leave the riches, leave his fans?
“You can have it,” No Malice told DJ Vlad, declaring in no uncertain terms that he had no regrets and no remorse about leaving his former path. “I knew that I had to get out of the group before I ended up dead or in jai.”
Behind the veneer and trappings of renown, there was a sinner gripped with fear over his own mortality. The wild life of women, alcohol and drugs left him paranoid that he would contract AIDS.
At the same time, federal agents were circling like sharks because the raps about trafficking were based on reality. His manager got locked up for 34 years. One friend was coming out of the hospital after his wife had just given birth and was arrested. When his brother came late to a flight, No Malice thought he had been arrested. He wanted out.
While the world viewed him with envy, he saw the condition of his soul as “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked,” to the extent that he titled his autobiography with those very words.
He was drinking and getting high in a cul-de-sac with a couple friends, one of whom was under house arrest, when a lady named Miss Alberta drove up. She got out of the car and started to witness very earnestly to them about Jesus.
“We were definitely not trying to hear none of that,” he remembers. “This woman came out in the dark and saw three guys drinking, she could have been intimidated. But she was very bold and adamant. She relied very heavily on her faith. She didn’t see three dudes and be like, ‘Oh they’re never going to be nothing.’ No, she came and she took the time and gave us a life-changing message: ‘You don’t have some other time! You might die tonight! The Almighty is calling you now. Shall you not answer when God calls?’”
That night, three drunk guys clasped hands and prayed to receive Jesus into their hearts. No Malice followed up his prayer with more decisions to really live the born-again life.
On March 6, 2012, he announced that he changed his name from Malice to No Malice. In a video posted to Twitter announcing the change, No Malice linked to a video that shows him entering a funeral parlor in a dress shirt and bow tie, staring down at himself in a casket before shaking his head and walking away. The video, which he directed, opens with multiple quotes from the Bible: first, from Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice;” then, from 1 Peter 2:1, “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings;” Romans 1:29, “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers;” and Colossians 3:8, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.”
“I changed my name from ‘Malice’ to ‘No Malice’ simply because everything that I read in the Bible was to do away with all malice,” he says. “I don’t have malice in my heart. It was time for that change. I was absolutely born-again. I gave my life to Jesus Christ. There’s no other way I can say it.”
He dropped out of Clipse and produced a Christian album in 2013 called Hear Ye Him. He collaborated with Lecrae on the Grammy-winning rapper’s Church Clothes in 2012 and then dropped Let the Dead Bury the Dead in 2017. Then Kanye West featured him and his brother, Pusha T, on his song “Use the Gospel for Protection” from his album Jesus is King following his own monumental return to the Christian faith.
No Malice doesn’t make nearly as much money now that he’s not pushing thug life, but he has a clear conscience. “How many people went to jail because of things I said? How many times people got pulled over and went to jail while my record was playing in the car. Think about how many times somebody’s head was blown out, and my music was playing. You create that vibe. It’s that old question: Does art imitate life or does life imitate art?”
His name is Gene Elliott Thornton Jr., formerly known as Malicious and Malice, now known as No Malice.
This is the “Chief of Sinners,” Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International, reminding you of what the Bible says, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” like you and me. Just as Gene Thornton Jr. a.k.a. No Malice trusts Jesus Christ as his Saviour, may I encourage you to do the same. Here is how:
1. Accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “For there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Romans 3:23 reads: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, I am the chief of sinners, so don’t think that you’re alone.
2. Accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
3. Accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” The Bible says in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
4. Accept the fact that you cannot do anything to save yourself! The Bible states in Ephesians 2: 8, 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves: it is a gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Accept the fact that God loves you more than you love yourself, and that He wants to save you from hell. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
6. With these facts in mind, please repent of your sins, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray and ask Him to come into your heart and save you this very moment. The Bible states in the book of Romans 10:9, 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Dear friend, if you are willing to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, please pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
Remember, friend, Believe by faith. Share the faith. and Keep the faith!