Big Interview - July/Aug 08 Inspire - MC Tempo

Top rap artist MC Tempo loved music so much it made him go deaf. But a miracle healing not only gave him back his hearing, it also saved him from suicide, reports James Hastings

MC – real name Mark Edwards – is one of Europe's best known hip-hop stars. He is a regular on Radio 1 and has played alongside giants such as Judge Jules and Tim Westwood.

However, the Brighton-based artist became deaf in his left ear after an illegal rave. It was the low point of a downward spiral which began with MC’s parents splitting up when he was just 11.

He was thrown out of three separate schools for unruly behaviour then when he was 18, his sister, two years his junior, died.

Mark started taking heroin and going on massive binge drinking sessions. He reached the point where he decided to kill himself.

He says: “I remember thinking if this is what life was all about, I don’t want to be alive anymore. I thought of ways to kill myself. I was sure death was the end.”

The only thing that kept him going was his love of music – any kind. Mark was writing rap songs when he was 12 but was equally at home with hip-hop, reggae, rave, rock or classical.

One night he was in charge of an illegal rave where he and other hosts competed to see who could play the loudest music.

“I ended up blowing my left eardrum,” he explains. “I couldn’t hear a thing on that side, but I still kept going to raves.”

As he got more depressed and hooked on drugs, Mark looked desperately for a way out. One night lying on his bed, he thought of the old RE lessons he had at school and started wondering if there really was a God.

“I cried out 'Lord, if you are there give me a sign’,” he smiles. “I wanted something real, not anything that could be classed as an illusion. I thought nothing more of it and closed my eyes."

What happened next stunned Mark.

He turned on the TV and saw images of the valley of Galilee in Israel where Jesus walked.

“I heard an audible voice call my name,” he adds. “I just knew it was Jesus. He told me he loved me and had a plan for me.

“If I had taken drugs, I could have put it down to that or being drunk. But I was stone cold sober. I was also very freaked out.”

Mark spent the next few months reading the Bible. He didn’t understand half of it and forgot the rest.

However, one phrase stuck in his mind. It was where Jesus said: ‘If you seek me with all your heart surely you will find me.'

At the time, Mark was still going to raves and getting wrecked. He was also reading the Bible and praying regularly.

“I started going to a church in Brighton where I lived. People were waving their hands in the air and falling over. I thought they were all a bunch of crackheads. I grabbed this guy thinking he was having a heart attack, but he fell to his knees praying.”

Mark went on an Alpha course where he asked a lot of questions – and found answers. Still, the real amazing miracle was about to happen. Mark went to hear an Indian evangelist called Ram Babu speaking in a nearby church.

Mark was sitting in the gallery in a packed building with more than 1,000 other people. He felt happy staying in the background – but he was in for a shock.

“Ram came on the stage and pointed straight up at me," says Mark. "He said, 'You are deaf in your left ear. Stand up, God wants to heal you.' I thought how does he know that?! I didn't have the bottle to stand up straight away.

“I figured I would call his bluff and wait for him to pick on someone else. But he didn't back down, he said, 'Look, God's told me and God doesn't lie. I know it's you, stand up, God wants to heal you.' I stood up, went to the front, got prayed for and I could hear again."

That was seven years ago and Mark’s hearing has remained perfect since.
His career has soared, whether hosting Christian music events or at large stadium events with 10,000 fans.

Critics have dubbed him the Christian Eminem.

“If God hadn’t come into my life when I called out, I’d either be dead or in jail by now,” he says calmly.

“Inviting God into my life was the best thing I ever did. He spun me round and I haven’t stopped yet. I tell everyone, if they don’t know Jesus, just ask him to help you.

“Your life will never be the same again.”

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