The Listener 2.0


HEEEEEEEEEERE WE GOOOOOOOO! This is a very sensitive topic to myself and many others but I see on the topics needed post that the discussion has already begun.

Are Pastors too rich? Is there such a thing? Let me begin this post by stating that my father is a Pastor so I’ve had this discussion with many people. Needless to say I belong to a wealthy family. We work hard for our income and I know the ins and outs of congregational operations very well. So with that said…let’s get to it.

For many years there has been speculation about where preachers (which is the term I’m going to use for the remainder of this post. I mean let’s be real…there’s way too many titles lol) get their money. I’m sure most of us have heard and in some cases experiencesd horror stories about a preacher who embezzled church donations to fund their expensive lifestyles. But what are we missing? What are the questions we are not asking ourselves? Are we the ones who are quick to judge? What makes a pastor too rich or too wealthy?

In the Bible many of God’s leaders lived like Kings and Queens. God’s true leaders never had to beg for bread or want for anything of this earth. Back then it was usually jealousy or sex that led to the downfall of many leaders not money. Today we see preachers driving fancy cars, living in mansions, and eating only the finest foods (none of that potted meat stuff). Many of us ask “where does all that money come from?” let’s get into the financial aspect of a ministry.

Ministry Finances:

For those of you who don’t know, the church is an organization. The primary purpose is to spread God’s word to as many people as possible while maintaining a healthy membership. The members are asked to donate money (i.e. offering) in order for the church to be economically sustainable. Donations often go to keeping the lights and heat on, paying the rental fee or mortgage on a building, and supplies for church events. Membership plays a vital and sometimes sole part in funding. Simply put, the more members a church has the more money there is to be donated. Many churches pay their leader for his or her services. The average pastor is on a bi-weekly salary (usually not exceeding $100,000 per year) just like a regular 9-5 and is expected to put in the same amount, if not more, work. The pastor’s job is very hard. He or she is expected to stay on top of messages, church events, finances, and of course dealing with “church folk” (like the 1 a.m. “pastor please pray for me I just backslid at the club” phone calls). It is not uncommon for the pastor’s full duties to go unnoticed and therefore unappreciated. This results in the speculation of finances and how the church leader uses his or her hard earned money.


Take my father, Apostle Rick Daniels, for example. We relocated to Milwaukee, WI from Charleston, SC back in 1995 to join a ministry based out of Illinois. My father was to take over the Milwaukee division which was a fairly big church but faced membership declination due to the previous pastor’s departure. To make a long story short, my father moved his entire ministerial staff to Wisconsin; set up shop, changed venues (which included a full renovated building) hired a full band and before you knew it membership went through the roof. By the end of 1996 we had over 600 members in our church. That year we moved into a new home, my father bought a brand new Lexus (man I miss that car) and made some family investments for our college education. But what the members didn’t know is that my father was also a marketing executive at the time for Xerox Corporation and my mother was a nurse at Columbia Family Care clinic which served as a secondary income.



It wasn’t long before the complaints began. Some of the members were upset about how big our home was and the car that my father drove. Some people left and some people stayed. As a pastor my father has always been candid about certain aspects of the church finances which include annual financial reports which are distributed at the beginning of each fiscal year.





How much is too much?

There are some pastors who keep it simple and there are some who go over the edge. For as long as I can remember there has been heavy controversy surrounding Bishop Darryl Hines of Christian Faith Fellowship Church in Milwaukee, WI. If you’re a member or have ever visited, you may agree that the church facility is nothing short of amazing. The sanctuary seats thousands; there is a church credit union, school, and even a homeless shelter all inside one complex. Some have argued that the church is too lavish. Like the plush carpeted seating, or the lights, stage, instruments, or jumbo screen. And then there is Bishop Hines. He lives in his own gated community, he owns a fleet of luxury cars, and usually is accompanied by a bodyguard (or in church terms “armor bearer”). There have been many rumors about where the church funds come from (see some of the comments under the “New Post Needed” post). One may ask, how can I concentrate on God when there are so many bells and whistles distracting me? God question right?


Many of us may have heard of celebrity pastors like Bishop T.D. Jakes, Paul S. Morton, or Joel Osteen. These are all Millionaire preachers with books, CDs, and even publishing deals that get the word of God to millions of people worldwide…and make them a fortune at the same time.




 Now that’s a big church!!!

What it means to me?

Personally I don’t think there is such a thing as “too much” for a person who preaches God’s word. As stated before, there is so much work that goes into the organization of a church there should be some type of compensation. Who are we to set limits? Who are we to judge? What I think creates the difference (PAY ATTENTION HERE…IF YOU DON’T READ ANYTHING ELSE I’VE WRITTEN) is people are sensitive about giving their money to God. If you think about all of the ungodly things we spend our money on like parties, liquor, and in some cases drugs, we don’t tell rappers how to live their lives, we don’t tell drug dealers how to stunt, and we wouldn’t dare petition to shut down the liquor store. So what makes it such a big deal when preachers buy fancy things? I’ll tell you, people don’t want their hard earned money, which they feel they are giving to the Lord, going to personal expenses. And when that is the case then the church members (who are the owners of the church) do in fact have the power to tell their leader how to live. That’s just how it is.


So what do you think? Have you had a bad money experience with a preacher? Or are you just one of the bandwagon people who think all preachers steal money? Let me hear it.




July 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 37 Comments


I hate this song didn’t make it onto the album. Check it out.


July 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Check out the discussion on the N word from the Ladies of The View. It would’ve been nice to have Nas on this one especially since this came on the day his album came out.


July 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Good morning people (or by the time some of you get on facebook it may be the afternoon lol) but I haven’t had a post in like a week and my hits have gone below zero lol. The thing is, I’m not sure what to write about right now. There’s a million things going on in the world but some are just not even worth wasting a post on.

See, this blog was initially about music but I enjoy writing about social issues and obviously people enjoy reading them more than the music stuff. I just heard afro-fest got cancelled this year. Maybe that’s a good topic. Somebody give me some help here lol.


Rick Daniels

July 16, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment



I’ve been working on this post for some time now and I think I have it down to a science. Many of you may know me for my intense aversion of Tyler Perry and his Madea character. Well I’ve been doing some thinking and watching some of his work a little more closely and I am happy to admit that my opinions have changed.

My historical preference

It all started for me back in 2002 (I think it was 02…maybe 01) when I watched the Tyler Perry production “Diary of a Mad Black Woman” for the first time. I can remember watching it at my cousins house and thinking to myself ‘this is trash”, how could people like this?”. At the time I was coming into my own and learning more about black history in Africa and America. I couldn’t help but to connect the play to minstrelsy and the history behind it. Ya’see what made minstrelsy so bad is that blacks began to think it was comedy too. Its one thing for whites to make fun of us with blackface, I mean they’ve found ridicule in our race and other races for years. But what made me upset was that other black comedians of the day (like Steppin Fetchit) began to mimick black face and adopt the comedic tactics that whites once used in an effort to earn “white dollars”.

Steppin Fetchit

The first time I saw Madea walk on stage shuckin’ and jivin’ like the comedians of the past…I lost my moral cool and launched a verbal attack against Tyler Perry and anything he put his name on. For years I protested his plays, movies, and whatever else he did. I remember watching the switchboards light up at FamFM WSUW as people called in to tell me how stupid I was for my opinions and feelings. However, I was not alone in my convictions. I was joined by my brother Rodney, an actor and a playwright, who taught me about the chitlin’ circuit and the white actors and musicians who misused the name and culture for the public ridicule of blacks. I became more defensive with people and found myself unwilling to talk about it in order to avoid argument. What I noticed early on is that many people seemed to be emotionally connected to this man for reasons that I wouldn’t understand until some time later.  

What’s the big deal anyway?

Honestly I didn’t see what the hype was about.  Here you had a man dressed as an old woman who spoke with broken English and smacked people around all while contributing to her extremely high volume. He seemed to represent “down to earth” black grandmothers around the United Stateswho raised their families in a similar way. Well neither of my grandmothers, the late Recie M. Daniels (pop) and June Bradley (moms), were in any way close to Madea. They weren’t the classic “Big Mama” who (by history’s definition not mine) was slightly overweight, had at least three children, cooked everyday, went to church four days out of the week, and held the family together when the single mother of two was out of money, the grandson was selling drugs, and the little girl was being molested by some drunk uncle. Was this really the black family image? Why did his work seem to have a plot that was similar to that description or even worse? I didn’t grow up like that, I didn’t live that life, and I thought it was unfair and ridiculous to categorize the black family in that particular light. So for years I was a loner, never participating in the conversations of people who loved Tyler Perry’s work and always the one guy who dared not to laugh when a preview for his latest movie came on TV or someone did their best impression of a scene from his plays or movies. But one day that would all change.

A new respect

In February of 2008 I boarded the bus to travel with other students of the Black Student Union at UW-Whitewater to UW-Platteville to attend their Ebony Weekend. While on the bus someone asked if the driver could play the film “Why Did I Get Married.” The passengers on the bus sat up in their seats, some eager to see the film for the first time and some eager to gain attention by quoting each and every line (you know how some people do when they watch movies with a group of people, acting like they know all of the lines lol). Being that I had nothing else to do and only a fool would talk on the phone with a bus full of black people, I decided to pay attention to the film. I mean after all, Janet Jackson was in it and I’d watch her read a book in real time lol. After the movie I couldn’t help but admit that I was in fact entertained by the film. The acting was good and the message was awesome. I went home and told my folks (who also disagreed with me on most of my views) that I had found a new respect for Tyler Perry and this film in particular. I then went on to watch “Meet the Browns” this past Independence Day. And I once again had to admit that I was entertained and inspired by the message. I sat and watched the special features which included the making of the film and the adaptation of the popular play. It was then that I came to an emotional epiphany.

I realized that Tyler Perry was nothing more that a decent human being with a talent of spreading inspiration and God’s message of faith to people of all ages all over the world. Ya’see where I failed was the comparison of Madea’s family to my family. My problem was that I only compared her to my grandmothers and other characters to members of my family. I grew up in the suburbs (for most of my life) and my family was never the “traditional” black family. So that only led me to compare it to one family…mine. I realized that Tyler Perry was just exposing a life that I had never known and the reason people are so emotionally attached is because there are grandmothers who are just like Madea and people who actually do compare to the other characters in the film. The characters in his work were not fictional but were real people just like me. I was ashamed of the many tirades I went on. I wanted to call everyone and apologize to them for being so mean and radical about the subject. I was so much younger back then. Now don’t get me wrong, Tyler still includes a little more shuckin and jivin than I can take sometimes lol but I recognize the message and the purpose that his art holds in so many lives.

So that’s my confession. I want to know what you think. Do you like Tyler Perry’s work or do you think it’s a modern day minstrel show? Let me know what you think.


Rick Daniels


July 8, 2008 Posted by | had to do it, Things that make you go hummmmmm! | 4 Comments


I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Sorry about that. When I saw this I had to put you onto it. Any real hip hop fans will find this fascinating (unless you’ve seen it already and I’m late lol).  This was back in  1996. Take a look at how skinny Nas was lol. But I thought this was a historical moment especially considering the East West thing that was going on back then. Ed lover is the man.


July 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Well not really. She said that she would like to work now so she can retire in a few years. SOHH reported it.

July 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


This was when hip hop artist starting cursing…I mean really cursing lol. Classic style and sound. Can’t hate on the hot ass sweaters and black hats. NWA brought in a new era for hip hop.


July 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Check out the new Day 26 video. Word around the industry (like I’m there) is that they’re struggling a little bit with sales and booking gigs. Please fast forward through Diddy’s tirade which last about 1:51 of my life that I won’t get back.


Ok the video is great but the problem with this is…it looks too much like 112. I think Bad Boy is too afraid to try  new things. They should go for something different rather than the traditional R&B image. What do you think about it bb?

July 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


Good afternoon everyone. Sorry to get to you so late today but it’s been a busy one. Slow news day here at Listener 2.0 so I posted some bullspankle like MTV’s hottest MC ‘s in the game 2008. Check out the link.

Honestly…I don’t have much to say. I mean it’s not the greatest of all time list but still, some of the MC’s on this list shouldn’t have the privilage of living in the same neighborhood as some of the MC’s who are not even mentioned (think about it). Anyway it could spark a good converstation (which it probably wont) but take a look anyway.

Hottest MC’s in the game 2008

July 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment