Move over, Jay Z — there's a new hip-hop artist in town. His name is Ben Seewald and … well, and actually he's terrible so Jay Z can stay exactly where he is. On the Tuesday, April 12, episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, Jessa Duggar, husband Ben and their baby, Spurgeon, headed to St. Louis to meet up with a Christian rapper artist known as Flame.
Things were busy as usual back home too, as John-David led the charge to complete the tree house (though he didn't quite succeed just yet), and the rest of the family started preparations for their upcoming trip to do missionary work in Central America, where they would have a chance to also see Jill and Derick Dillard, along with their son, Israel. Incidentally, in honor of Israel's first birthday, a short montage of his life to date was inserted in the middle of the episode.
One scene showed Jill Skyping with her sisters and Anna, who reflected on the past few months. "It's been about four months since Jill left for Central America, and I know a lot has happened, and little Izzy has changed so much," Anna told the camera.
The Duggars Explain What Hip-Hop Is
Though Jessa readily admitted she prefers bluegrass, classical and Christian country music, she said that she was learning about Christian hip-hop because Ben had become so interested in it. It sounded like Ben was the only one who had any real interest in it, however, judging from the way the other Duggars described it.
"I wouldn't know how to describe hip-hop music," Jana said flat-out, while Joy guessed it was "kind of like rock music." (N.W.A. was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but still, Joy's description seems like a stretch.)
"It's one of a kind," Jinger said proudly. And John-David offered, "You don't even have to be necessarily an excellent singer, I don't think, to do it."
"It's more like talking-singing," Anna added. "Hip-hop is a beat, and rappers rap on hip-hop beats," she said before glancing off to the side of the camera. "Is that right, Bill?" She turned back to the camera with a huge grin. "The sound guy is telling me what hip-hop is," she confessed. (Is that allowed?!)
Jessa and Ben Meet Flame
Jessa and Ben were slightly nervous taking Spurgeon on the plane to St. Louis, since it would be a much longer travel day than he'd had in his short life so far, and they weren't sure how he would handle it. Thankfully, the infant did really well, and the trip went off without a hitch.
Upon arriving, they headed out to meet Flame, along with his vocalist, producer and wife. "I met Ben through an email," Flame explained. "He was like, 'Man, I really love your take. I love your perspective. I love the way you're articulating these things. We should link up and do a couple of interviews and talk about some of these topics.' And then we did the interviews, and it felt natural and organic, and it was just like meeting people that you've known for years."
Ben and Jessa hung out with Spurgeon on a sofa and watched as Flame and his team "split some bars." With a smile, Jessa explained, "That's what they call it. Splittin' the bars."
Ben and Spurgeon Are Rap Stars (JK, They're Really Not)
When Spurgeon began cooing during the session, Flame decided it would be great to sample some of the tot's vocals. Spurgeon seemed to be a natural and didn’t appear the least bit nervous in the studio. Once he was done, the producer urged Ben to try.
"Spec put me on the spot and asked me to go in the booth," Ben recalled. The producer tried to ease the new father's nerves by adding, "I bet I can make you sound amazing in the booth." Though Ben wasn't sure he should really be doing this, he decided to go for it.
"It didn't work out too well," Ben confessed afterwards with a laugh.
Still, the producer was able to make diamonds from coal and put together a track he called "Believe by Spurge, featuring Ben." It actually sounded pretty decent (especially considering what it sounded like before the producer auto-tuned it within an inch of its life).
The first reviews came in from Jessa, who thought it was "funny." (That was a kind review.)
After the recording session wrapped, Ben and Flame went for a drive through Flame's old neighborhood while Jessa went to lunch with Flame's wife, Crystal, and Crystal's sister. The ladies — and Spurgeon, of course — hit up a local Indian restaurant, and Jessa revealed that this was her first time at an Indian restaurant. Crystal and her sister then wisely opted to get the mild versions of everything.
Meanwhile, Ben asked Flame for some solid advice on how he could get involved and integrate himself into urban communities such as this one for his missionary work. Flame told him to connect with local churches and just "be genuine." He didn't tell him to play his first hip-hop track, however. Hopefully, Ben took note of that omission.
Tell Us: What did you think of Ben's foray into the Christian hip-hop scene?
Jill & Jessa: Counting On airs on TLC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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