2 Legit 2 Quit
God gives a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. – Psalm 145 (MSG)
In 1991, Hammer released his hit song, 2 Legit 2 Quit. The only lyrics I know are in the title, which was sufficient apparently. During the unintelligible parts, the song’s music and energy always coaxed my body to dance (not quite like Hammer, though my efforts were noble). When the chorus arrived, I’d boisterously belt out, “Too legit to quit!” That title phrase became a steady part of my language diet. Indeed, my peers and I often expressed it with the accompanying hand motions. Years beyond popularity, the phrase became a mantra that carried me through rough times.
I recently rewatched the celebrity-filled, over-fourteen-minute music video. It begins with a mock news bulletin announcing that Hammer’s quitting. The newscaster speculates, “I know why he quit. He doesn’t know who he is.” Later, questioning his own readiness, Hammer approaches the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, who hurls flames of energy into Hammer’s body and says, “Now you’ve received the gift. Go out and give it all you’ve got!” For the remainder of the video, Hammer performs the song while energy flames emerge from him and spread around the world, gifting it to others.
As we await Jesus’ arrival, let’s glean wisdom from this catchy throwback. No matter what people say about you, remember who you are—a legitimate image of God—so you don’t quit. No matter how ill-equipped or insecure you feel, receive the Gift, infused into every part of your being, then “go out and give it all you’ve got!”
Praying with James Brown’s words, “Never give up. Never quit. Because you’re [Divinely] too legit to quit.” Amen.
The Rev. Phiwa Langeni is the Ambassador for Innovation & Engagement of the United Church of Christ. They are also the Founder of Salus Center, the only LGBTQ resource and community center in Lansing, MI.