Houston Rapper Shows ‘Thug’ Love for Joel Osteen

Renowned televangelist, Joel Osteen, is prominently sampled in a hip hop song called, “CHUUCH,” from Houston-based rapper, Slim Thug; but (so far), no legal issues from Lakewood Church have been addressed.

Renowned televangelist and Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church, Joel Osteen, is prominently featured and sampled on a song called, “CHUUCH,” from Houston rapper, Slim Thug.

Since its summer release, reaction to the song has been met with both encouragement and concern.

A native of Houston’s Northside neighborhood of Homestead and a member of Lakewood Church himself, Stayve Jerome Thomas, better known as Slim Thug, has sampled large portions of a sermon given by Pastor Joel Osteen earlier this year at Lakewood.

The intro of the track starts out with Osteen: “I wanna talk to you today about the right people…who you spend your time with will have a great impact on what kind of life you live.”

The song about personal development is taken from Slim Thug’s, parental advisory-labeled, “Hogg Life, Vol. 2” – an album that’s packed with rough language and graphic content.

“Can’t let you slow me down, can’t let you slow me down…” raps Slim Thug under his pulsating beat.

Joel Osteen on stage.
Joel Osteen on stage.

This song, “CHUUCH,” features 4 lengthy excerpts from Osteen, with the first sample clocking in at over a minute long.

With the song itself lasting just over 5-and-a-half minutes, there’s actually more Joel Osteen sampled than there is Slim Thug, rapping.

“And that is why I think it has been allowed,” said Michael Olivas, a sports and entertainment law professor at the University of Houston.

He says the length of the sermon excerpts may be the reason why there’s been no intellectual property litigation.

“It’s not like some other rap songs where you’d snatch here and take a couple of riffs there,” says Olivas referencing Slim Thug. “He is clearly enthralled and has reconstituted it in a way that is both positive and laudatory, and if I were Pastor Osteen, I would be delighted: ‘not only is this man one of my parishioners, but he has taken my words literally and given them to a whole new audience.’”

And that audience seems to be responding very positively as “CHUUCH” is being widely praised on YouTube with nearly 350,000 views.

Author of the book, Hip-Hop in Houston, Maco Faniel adds that the song is very powerful and inspiring, but its message should not be taken out of context.

“Do we know if Slim Thug gives back to his community?” asks Faniel. “Do we know what he’s doing for kids in Acres Homes/Homestead? We don’t know that. Do we know what Lakewood and Joel Osteen are doing for the community to help people — in a marginalized society — do better in society, [while] helping them in their social inequalities? We don’t know those things.”

We’ve reached out to Lakewood Church to ask how this song has managed to steer clear of any litigation. And they’ve responded with no comment at this time.

Slim Thug’s manager says the artist wasn’t available as he’s in-studio recording a new album.



Eddie Robinson

Eddie Robinson

Morning News Anchor

A native of Mississippi, Eddie started his radio career as a 10th grader, working as a music jock for a 100,000-Watt (Pop) FM station and a Country AM station simultaneously. While the state's governor nominated him for the U.S. Naval Academy, Eddie had an extreme passion for broadcast media, particularly...

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