Rapper Gene “Malice” Thornton Finds God & New Career as Author

From artist-to-author, the Virginia-based MC explains how God changed his life

Rapper-turned-author Gene "Malice" Thornton

For the past decade, hip-hop fans have known Gene Elliott Thornton, Jr. strictly by his stage name Malice and one-half of rap group the Clipse with his brother Terrence “Pusha T” Thornton. That all changed earlier this year when the Virginia-based rapper added author to his resume with the release of his debut novel, Wretched, Pitiful, Poor, Blind, and Naked. Inspired by real-life events and his newfound faith in God, the independently published book has sold an estimated 10,000 copies since coming out in February. A big part of Thornton’s success has been his social media promotion through Twitter and viral videos, as well as a unique partnership with Reverb Nation that gave four up-and-coming producers the opportunity to score the audio book version of Wretched… due out in October. BlackEnterprise.com caught up with Thornton to discuss his new career path as a writer, his spiritual journey and his business plans.

BlackEnterprise.com: Can you explain how the title of the book came about?

Gene “Malice” Thornton: The title is derived from Revelations 3:17 in the Bible and it speaks about for as much as you thought you were rich and as much as you thought you got everything going on you were actually wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, which is the direct contrary to how you look to the outside world. Or, you may even be able to fool yourself into thinking you have things under control or you’re successful or you’re doing well but it couldn’t have been anymore clear. When I read that I knew instantly this is the title of the book and this best describes my situations and the state that I was in and it was perfect to the tee.

Given your musical background, most people wouldn’t picture you reading the Bible. Is reading the Scripture something you do often?

Thornton during one of his book signings

I’ve always come from a Christian background. You know, the [Clipse’s] first album was of course called Lord Willin’. It was just that at that time I wasn’t paying attention to my Christian beliefs. I was definitely into doing what I felt like doing. If you were to ask me if I believe in the Lord I would definitely tell you yes at any given time; but was I practicing the principles, and the statutes, and the decrees, and the tenants of the Bible? I wasn’t doing any of that. I wasn’t paying it any mind and it just comes a time especially when you’re faced with life and death you definitely see what matters and what didn’t matter and how much time you had been wasting.

What was that wake up call for you to get back on the right path?

I realized I was in depression—just never being satisfied, always wanting and searching and looking for the next big pie, but never being able to reach it. It’s like you can see it and just like when you’re about to achieve it it’s snatched away from you so you go at it again and you just keep going and you keep going and I’ve come to learn that the flesh doesn’t mean anyone well. The flesh is definitely out to destroy you. It never says, “Hey, that’s enough.” It never says, “Cool it, you’ve done enough for right now. We’ll wait for tomorrow and do something different…” Nah, the flesh is a train that never stops and it just keeps going and keeps going and keeps saying, “More, more, and more.” It’s the spirit that tells you what’s right and what’s wrong. Your conscience talks to you all the time and that definitely means you well. It just depends on which one you want to obey and which one you choose to listen to. Without a shadow of a doubt I know who saved my life. It was Jesus Christ.

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7 Responses to Rapper Gene “Malice” Thornton Finds God & New Career as Author

  1. Redmow says:

    Awesome story and so true what he says. It’s great to see another fellow human being come to Christ!

  2. Carla says:

    Is there contact information for Gene Thornton. I would like to invite him to be my guest speaker for a young adult Conference.

  3. Charles Conaeay says:

    Thanks Gene you inspired me to publish my manuscript on my life of testimony’s of the things that God has performed in my life.

  4. Cheryl Brown says:

    Gene I had never heard of you before, being an older person. I enjoyed your Testimony and was truly blessed by it. I pray your comes out soon and I know it will touch hearts and minds everywhere. You reminded me a lot like my sister Pam. She was an author, poet, comedian, Christian woman on a mission like yourself. I lost her over 7 years ago but Glory be to God she gave her whole life over to God and strived to help children be cared for and stay off drugs. Her Organization is standing and going forth in her honor, “Rainbow Christian Children Foundation”. Continue to strive for the best you the God kind of you! Blessings to you always in your every endeavor❤

  5. Cheryl Brown says:

    Gene I had never heard of you before, being an older person. I enjoyed your Testimony and was truly blessed by it. I pray your movie comes out soon and I know it will touch hearts and minds everywhere. You reminded me a lot like my sister Pam. She was an author, poet, comedian, Christian woman on a mission like yourself. I lost her over 7 years ago but Glory be to God she gave her whole life over to God and strived to help children be cared for and stay off drugs. Her Organization is standing and going forth in her honor, “Rainbow Christian Children Foundation”. Continue to strive for the best you the God kind of you! Blessings to you always in your every endeavor❤

  6. Pat Jacobs says:

    Hi Gene,
    Being a senior citizen I never knew about you or your past. My son who is 3 years older than you encouraged me to watch your story on Netflix. I am glad he was as persistent as he was because I was truly blessed.
    I thank God and that lady for witnessing to you and your friends.
    After listening to you the verse that came to my mind wss 1 Samuel 16 verse 7. You see Gene, the Lord looked at your heart and He reached down for you. He knew when the time was right. He sent that lady to witness to you. Please continue to trust Him and to lead others to Him. Jesus will return soon to take His children home.
    I now have a renewed zeal to share your testimony with the young people who cannot see the dangers around them. I am also encouraged by that lady who reminded you of your mortality. Too many times we become discouraged by the way our youth respond to the call of Christ.
    Be blessed No Malice!

  7. Terence Brown says:

    This article is inspirational and inspired by God. I have recently answered God’s calling to the ministry. I am given a sermon on March 18, 2017 at an historically African American Christian High School Boarding Academy. The Holy Spirit has spoke to me seek out Gene Thornton Jr and have him be a part of the program. I have no idea how to contact him. Please anyone reading this and knows how to contact Mr. Thornton, please forward my information to him. Elder Terence Brown my email is tbrown3743@sbcglobal.net. Thank you in advance and God bless.

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