How I Became Beacon Light

Beacon Light rapper

People always ask me why my stage name is Beacon Light. Well, I guess it’s time you know the story.

My real name is Brandon. Apparently every name has a meaning, even ones you make up. After all, words are just made up sounds that hold a definition. If enough people agree on the meaning of that phonetic sound, you have a word that holds a purpose.

When I was a youngin’, I remember my parents giving me this little glossy document, about the size of a credit card. It was not an actual credit card of course, my parents would have been insane to let me have one of those in the 4th grade 😉 It was a colorful card with a cross on it, at the top it said, “Brandon – Beacon Light.” Of course my memory is a little foggy on every other detail of that card, but I distinctly remember that it said the meaning of my name (Brandon) was Beacon Light.

I hung that card on a mirror in my room. Whenever I looked in the mirror I saw it. That card stayed there through years of identity confusion, high school parties, breakups, tears, laughs, video games, homework, and a whole lot more. Now that I think about it, I never really took it down. I guess when God has a purpose for something it sticks huh?

When I started living for Christ at age 19, Hip Hop flooded into my life into a new way. It was transformed from a tool of self-glorification to a worship form that I could honor God with. I began to use my my creative gift for God and used my ability to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. As my music career started, I decided I needed a name to go by. To be honest, I didn’t know where to start.

Lecrae was a big musical influence in my life at the time. I thought it was cool that his stage name was his personal name. To me it was a reflection of his humility. He didn’t need to come up with some amazingly cool or prideful stage name. He just went by the name he was given by his mother. However, one of the benefits of the name Lecrae was that it was unique. In fact, I’ve never met another Lecrae. Ever. So Lecrae didn’t have too much trouble with over-saturation of too many Lecrae’s on the internet. My name, Brandon, was a different story. I’ve met quite a few Brandons in my life. And it seemed like I needed something a little different than “Emcee Brandon”. LOL.

The day I decided to go by Beacon Light I was standing in my room. I could see the mirror on the wall holding the little glossy card my parents had given me when I was younger. “Brandon – Beacon Light” was written across the top. It just seemed perfect. So I went with it. I began to ask God about it and felt a strong call to what we would have me do. A beacon is primarily used to warn ships about incoming rocks. They put beacons in lighthouses to make sure that ships do not crash and sink, losing cargo and possibly even lives. I wanted to be a Beacon Light with my music and ministry, saving people from crashes and shining light into the darkness.

Jesus said that we are the light of the world and that we shouldn’t hide our light (Matthew 5:14-16). He also said that the reason people are condemned is because they don’t bring their sin into the light (John 3:19-21). As a Christian and as an artist I want to strive to be a light to the world. I want to be a Beacon of Light who is not afraid to speak the truth, even if it shocks the eyes of the vampires in the shadows. My music is for Jesus, to be used as a tool for His glory. He gave me my name and I’m not ashamed to say it.

My rapper name is my real name. I am Brandon. I am Beacon. I am Beacon Light.

4 replies
  1. Dave Clahassey
    Dave Clahassey says:

    As the person who named you, I didn’t really know the meaning of “Brandon” – I just liked it. It shows how God works everything out for good to those he calls.

  2. Kristen Cotton
    Kristen Cotton says:

    Thanks for sharing! Good point about selecting your name for your career. I am kinda fascinated by the idea of naming. I learned that in Ghana it is a tradition to host a “naming party,” where they post-pone naming their child till the event. I use to be in the service, where we had to address ea. other by last name; I hated it! But time and circumstances changed. Post military career, I would introduce myself to ppl with my last name. I rationed “its impersonal to whom it needs to be, and an incite to my personality to whom it needs to be! Now i’m back in my home time, where many ppl already know me. And they know me by my first name. I slightly miss the fun part of referring myself and being referred to as “Cotton;” nonetheless, I believe, that God is making me a new person. And “Cotton” just isn’t fitting me like it once did. Just as my friend, God is transforming me and is asking me to put that nickname aside to embrace the name I use to struggle with, Kristen!


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