Dominic wouldn’t necessarily call himself a “God rapper” but he certainly knows how to reach those who need the Lord.
By Debbie Farmer
Recently I read a letter from a young man named Dominic Cook (also known as “Dooch”) who uses his pain to encourage others with his music. His testimony was such a blessing to me and I am going to share this interview with you now and hope that you too can also receive a blessing today.
Dominic Cook (AKA: “Dooch”) Please tell us about yourself and how you got into the music industry–became of God rapper.
Where to start, where to start. . . Well, I’m a 27-year-old, husband, married, and going on 8 years. I have been a Christian going on 7 years now and a father of 5. My youngest Joshua, passed away at 2 months old–a year ago.
I have been doing music since I was 8 years old. It was the first thing I wanted to do and has been the only thing since. I spent my teenage years in New York City where I worked in the music business and learned a lot before I moved back to Virginia. [You can read the complete bio here about this God rapper on his web site, he has quite an amazing testimony!]
How did you get your stage name?
My stage name, “Dooch,” is actually a life long nick name that was given to me as a baby. But my alias, “Hope Boy,” is a name that I picked up as I’ve been known to give people hope. In the streets the drug dealers are known as “d-boys” which means dope boys because of what they sell. I see myself as the opposite of them as a hope boy, one who gives out hope instead of dope.
What kind of music do you perform? God rap?
The kind of music I do is rap to say the least. I desire my music to inspire people and give them hope. To comfort the broken and hurting, to be a voice for the voice-less and to stand up for the oppressed.
Can you give us some personal background on yourself and your battle with clinical depression?
I have been a Christian for almost 7 years now and this is when I first noticed my battle with being melancholy. However, I believe that this has been a struggle for much longer. While a teenager, I was addicted to alcohol, weed, and cigarettes so I think that the struggles were masked.
When I became a Christian I immediately became sober and that’s when I realized what I was dealing with. Every day has been a literal fight and battle for me, as every day either started off gray or quickly turned gray. I was heavily into the Word of God and that is what keep me grounded, hoping for a brighter day, but the “melancholy” soon affected all areas of my life.
It has affected my work, relationships, self esteem, plus more, and for all these years I never went to the doctor. I just thought it was normal, I never thought it was depression. A year ago our 2-month-old son passed away suddenly and this brought my wife into a place of depression. This ultimately caused both of us to receive help. This is when I was finally diagnosed with chronic depression.
How has music helped you?
When I started recording music that was true and real to me and my life it became a avenue of release and healing to me. I was able to get stuff out and it brought healing to me to be able to do that. It encouraged me when I saw others who heard the music cry and talk of how they deal or dealt with the same things and how my music helped them.
It made me believe that even my pain and depression could and would be used for God’s glory and for good.
How do you think your music–this God rapper style–might be able to help someone else?
I think it’s hard for people who deal with depression because of all of the myths about it and the “cooties” that people who deal with depression have. So a lot of people who suffer from depression are too ashamed or scared to admit to it that they suffer from it. Especially for Christians having depression is seen as taboo and it’s frowned upon so most people who suffer from it feel as if they can’t tell anyone or they will be ostracized, frowned upon and judged.
So, I think my music will meet these people where they are–both believer and un-believer alike–and let them know that God loves them, He is here for them, and they are special.
They have a purpose, they are someone.
It will let them know that they are not alone, they are loved and it’s okay, that they can reach out for help.
Can you tell us about your song and video and where our readers here at Rest Ministries can check your music out?
My latest song and video is called Drowning, [you can see video at end of this article] and I wrote this song a few months after my son passed, as I was walking through a very dark season. I felt as if I was drowning, I hated my life, I disliked everything and everyone and just wanted life to be over, so I poured my heart out in this song–everything I was feeling and dealing with–and just cried out to God, asking Him to help me. It was a true expression of my heart, something I equate to a modern day psalm of sort.
Can you share some of your inspiration?
Yes. These are my two “life verses” so to say. I believe that my life is a letter written for all to see for the glory of God and whether I deal with depression or something else and He comforts me, He will use that to comfort others.
2 Corinthians 1:1-7 3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.
2 Corinthians 3:3 The Message:
Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.
Wow. . .
This interview and your video are such a heartfelt blessing. I cried through the video! Thank you so much for sharing this with us. You are a remarkable young man and your testimony will help so many. May the Lord hold you close and comfort you.
Thank you so very much for your time and for doing this interview. I would like to leave you with a quote that I love which is in Latin. “Spes Mea in Deo” that means “My hope is in God.”
May your hope be in God, who can and will take your pain, depression, sufferings and hurt and use it for His glory and to comfort and minister to others.
Debbi Farmer, a part-time writer in North Carolina, lives a song-filled life now with her family thanks to the Lord’s wonderful and sufficient grace after suffering from severe clinical depression herself. Today she suffers from several illnesses including Fibromyalgia, but the Lord is good and has helped her face the trials of life and even waddle through them. She wishes she could give you all a cheerful hug today and share with you a song of hope.