By Dan Wooding
LOS ANGELES, CA (ANS) – Some six years ago, Venus L. Burton, aka rapper, Booski Love, had slithered amid the dark caverns of danger, lust and power-play in Los Angeles. She had soared among the stars of the underground rap scene and survived the night — but only barely.
Then, in 2010, at the pinnacle of her career, Booski Love (Venus) experienced a certain moment of clarity. She awoke from her underground daze and stared straight into eternity, where she saw her one, true love standing…waiting…with open arms. It was Jesus Christ — the Lover of her soul – and she came to realize that, despite being raised in a Christian lifestyle by her single mother, and having strayed so far away from that upbringing into a lesbian life-style, Jesus had never left her side.
In an extraordinary interview with myself and my ANS colleague, Mark Ellis, Venus said, “Booski Love died that day and I became a true follower of Jesus, and I now work alongside my mother [Dr. VickiLee] in sharing the Good News with all who will listen.”
Today, the star of Venus L. Burton shines brightly, advertising Christ’s holy name in all the earth, as she gives all of the glory to God. She first all wrote a book about her often dark experiences called S.T.U.D. (A Shared Testimony of Unashamed Deliverance), and now that book has been turned into a powerful full-length Hollywood Movie which is about to be released. It has the same name as the book.
Venus is being positioned for a new power-stage. It’s a new day for her, as she rides the wings of her destiny.
In the recent interview for my Front Page Radio show recorded at the studios of the Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network (http://hsbn.tv) in Orange, California, Venus and her mother, Dr. Vicki Lee, talked openly about the extraordinary turn-around in their lives and initially how Venus felt isolated and confused by not having a father around. She said, in trying to find fulfillment, she stepped into an alternative life-style, and had a series of lesbian girlfriends, and even began to dress like a man.
Dr. Vicki began by saying that she had prayed for her daughter for 20 long years, during which they were estranged for part of that time, and how told of the pain when Venus strayed into an “alternative lifestyle,” but she said she never gave up “believing God for a miracle.”
Venus then said, “I grew up in a single-parent home — my brother Ken and I, and my mother raised us. I dealt with a lot of abandonment issues. Not having a father figure, I always wanted to be a daddy’s girl.
“During my high school years in Norwalk [part of Los Angeles], I was very rebellious and looking for love in all the wrong places. I was dealing with the whole peer pressure thing, and with not having a dad, I became angry and had abandonment issues. As a teen, I got into drugs and alcohol and then, right out of high school, I got into the alternative [lesbian] lifestyle. We make these choices and we choose to do things and so that was one of my choices because there I was accepted by that community and I got attention from them.”
Venus was still living at home, so she said she did originally did these things secretly, but soon it became harder and harder to hide her behavior from her mother and brother.
“It came out when the first girl that I kissed was my brother’s girlfriend,” she said. “That brought a lot of dysfunction to the family. I never knew that it would destroy the family as much as it did. But God reconciles and God put our family back together, but in the midst of that we all went through a lot.”
Venus said that she began taking crystal meth, pain pills, sniffed cocaine, and began drinking lots of Corona beer and also enjoyed the hard liquor of Hennessy cognac.
“I was trying to find my identity and discover who I was,” she explained. “It was a time of intense pain for my mother.”
Vicki cut in and said, “Things started coming out about what her lifestyle was and then I began looking at her and I realized that she was dressing and looking like a boy. Then, one day, the scales came off and I looked at her and said, ‘You know who you are. You are not a man; you are a woman!”
Venus then said, “I was very rebellious. I wanted to do what I wanted to do. I got to the point that I was working in the music business, and I wanted to go out on my own and live with my girlfriend. So I did.”
Mark Ellis then asked Venus how old she was when she first recognized that she had a same sex attraction, to which she replied, “I always say it doesn’t happen overnight. It was a seed that was planted a long time ago. My aunt was in ‘the life’ and that was one thing that I hated. In fact, I hated it so much that I became it! As a little girl, I knew that my aunt was in that lifestyle. I’d always seen a difference in her, but still she played basketball and did those things, so I thought it was because she was a tomboy.
“But then, as I got older, in my early 20s, I actually went to a party and my brother Ken’s girlfriend and I we went to this party of a friend that I knew and that’s when I saw a woman on a woman, and it just blew my mind. So we began drinking and in the midst of that, as I said earlier, I made the choice to kiss my first girl, which was my brother’s girlfriend.”
Soon, life was also becoming dangerous for Venus, and several times, women she was associating with, pulled guns on her.
“It’s only through the grace of God that I’m still alive today,” she revealed. “On one occasion, one of these women pointed a gun at me and I knew I was going to die. I could see my life flash right before me, but I believe that God sent another person — one of our friends inside the room where I was — and I was able to leave the house. It distracted her and she put the gun down and I ran out.”
Mark Ellis then asked Venus what is was that caused her to continue in the lifestyle? Was it just rebellion or that underlying attraction?
“I was already in it, and the devil puts his hooks in you,” she said. I just had a lust, a thirst for it. I thought at the time, that’s who I was. I was comfortable in my own skin, so I believed I was living, and enjoying, that that alternative lifestyle.”
As mother Vicki, who is also a pastor, sat quietly listening to her daughter, I asked her how she was able to deal with her daughter’s behavior at that time, and also if they still in communication?
“We always had a communication, per se, but the main thing I did was that I prayed a lot,” she said. “I would hold all-night prayer meetings every Friday night, interceding for my daughter, and my son, not knowing the full thing of my son, and I so dearly wanted the children to be saved and come in the Kingdom. The scripture that I stood on was Acts 16: 31, 32, which talks about the jailer who received the Lord and, at that time, he said that he and his house would be saved. So I said, ‘Lord you said that if I were to be saved, you’re also going to also save my children as well. So I stood on those verses and just believed God.”
Venus then spoke about the time, just five years ago, when her life radically changed after she had once again moved back home.
“I was alone in my bedroom,” she recalled, “and I knew the Word of God as Mom always took us to church, and remembered, where it says in Revelation, that there is going to be rumors of wars and different signs, and then the Lord would be coming back. So when I saw these things on the news on the news on national TV, I was afraid that God was coming back and I was not ready.
“I then heard a voice just as plain as you and I are talking, and it asked if I was to die tonight, where would I go? And at that moment, I knew I was going to hell. And so I repented for my sins and God met me in my bedroom, not at a church or at a function.”
I then turned to her mother Vicki and asked her for her version of the story.
She replied, “I did notice that she was in her room and when she came out, I saw some kind of a change. But, I’ve seen that change several times. As a pastor, I’ve seen the kids get ‘saved’ a lot of times as they would go up to the front and ‘do’ the altar call, and yet still there was no fruit in Venus at that time. At first, I was wondering if she was really saved, but it did take some time for me to see the real change.
“I had prayed and fasted for her for 20 years, and just before she got saved this time, one of the things the Holy Spirit told me was to look in her eyes and say, ‘Venus, you know, if you want to continue to do this, you can do so because the Lord spoke to me and said that He was going to wipe away all my tears and when I got to heaven. I’d be in the face of Christ and I won’t even remember you because of the presence of His glory.’ I told Venus that she had a choice to make, because I knew that I couldn’t make her get saved. God has given us all a free will because we are not robots, so He’ll put before you, life and death, blessings and curses, and He’ll give you the choice answer choose life that you and your seed may live but you have a choice.
“It had got to the point when I said to her that this was it, because the rebellion and disrespect had got worse and worse, and I knew I couldn’t go on living like this much longer.”
Venus then said, “What she said was a reality check for me, especially when she told me that she wouldn’t even remember me. Sometimes, we do things to hurt others because we’re looking for attention, or to fill a void, but not knowing that only God can fill that void. He’s the only one that can do that. So when I realized that, I was going to be in hell alone, the Holy Spirit was really working on me. And, I always like to say to those out there that are in ministry, love them with the love of God whether they’re in that lifestyle or drug addicts or prostitutes or whatever the sin may be. Love them with the love of God and watch God change them.”
Venus said that once she had prayed for her forgiveness and salvation, despite her mother’s questions, she felt she was instantly delivered from wanting to sleep with a woman.
“There was no desire or any attraction for a woman, but it was a process on my outer appearance,” she explained. “All of the emotion on the inside, all the hurt, all the pain and the disappointments, the betrayal that I went through, and the things that I was feeling that affected my soul being hurt, God began that process and I was changed.”
Mark Ellis then asked Venus, “Do you feel like you could have attraction to a man at some point? Has that changed too?”
Venus laughed and immediately said, “Oh yes. Now I’m looking for my Boaz, (in the Bible’s book of “Ruth” married Boaz), and so yes, guys, yes!”
Now, Venus, and her prayer warrior mother, are ministering together, and among many other things, Venus is now a Gospel rapper, but her message is completely different.
They are especially excited that the movie about their life is about to come out and will have its premier at the Arclight Theater on Sunset Blvd on August 18th.
Photo captions: 1) A recent picture of Dr. Vicki Lee (left) with her daughter, Venus L. Burton. 2) Venus L. Burton, aka rapper Booski Love. 6) Movie poster