Christian Rap Music Articles
These articles on the Christian Rap Music and Christian Hip Hop Music culture sheds some light on how God is using Christian Rap Artists to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Rap Music culture
America's Holy Hip Hop
At last it seems gospel hip-hop is getting noticed outside of its small band of devotees. Tony Cummings reports on the slow but steady rise of America's Christian hip-hop scene.
by Tony Cummings
The staggering American record industry statistic that in the crucial 16 to 24 age group, it's hip-hop /rap that accounts for 30 per cent of "music bought in the last 12 months" (compared with rock - 16 per cent, alternative - 11 per cent, pop and dance - 10 per cent, and R&B - 8 per cent) will hopefully be a wake up call to the sleepy insularity of America's CCM industry. As one record industry executive, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Cross Rhythms, "Today a lot of what passes for youth culture Christian radio here is totally irrelevant to the current generation of young people. They're listening to Eminem and Ja Rule and we're trying to feed them Point Of Grace and Audio Adrenaline."
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Hip-Hop Kingdom come
It's more than rap; it's language, art, and attitude—a subculture with no ethnic or geographic boundaries. And Christian ministries are in the mix.
by William J. Brown and Benson P. Fraser
Preacher, preacher, fifth-grade teacher
You can't reach me, my mom can't neither
You can't teach me a godd— thing cause
I watch TV, and Comcast cable
And you ain't able to stop these thoughts
FROM "CRIMINAL" BY EMINEM
Things on my mind, where do I begin?
It's easier to sin, but it hurts my heart
I'm really tryin' to win, so where do we start?
FROM "READY TO MEET HIM" BY DMX
On Thursday nights in Tampa, Florida, 200 teenagers descend upon Club X, a loud and lively hangout occupying the second floor of what used to be a four-story office building. The billiards and foosball tables, exposed overhead pipes, and spacious common area make it an attractive spot for kids to mingle, play, and dance. Live rap music blares through large speakers onstage, sending funky, pulsating rhythms through the room. On this night, the music sounds as raw and edgy as anything from Snoop Dogg or Puff Daddy. The teams of young rappers come with a variety of monikers: Prophetic Preachas, N-4-Red, The Elect, Rezarekted Elementz, B.J., Eternal Rhythm.
I called my family my people who
live with me,
Snuck out of the house, went to
parties, and got high with me
Thought anytime I was in trouble
they would lie for me
But I already had a Friend who had
died for me.
These kids aren't rhyming about money, misogyny, and mayhem but the perils of a life without Christ. And Club X is not a nightclub but a youth outreach sponsored by Without Walls International Church, a 10,000-member congregation that has made headlines in Tampa for its innovative ministries. The performers at the mike tonight are teenagers who came to Christ through the ministry of Without Walls and are now praising God in the language they speak best. "Most of the raps are based on the Word; there's no fluff," says Robert Mallan, the young pastor who oversees Club X and other programs from his church's Millennium Generation youth ministry. "They're basically talking about their life experiences, rapping their testimonies."
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Hip Hop Under Siege
In this editorial, GOSPELflava.com's Gerard Bonner delves into the continuing divide between Gospel hip hop artists and those who think that they've got it all wrong.
by Gerard Bonner
Regardless of your position on hip-hop, secular music, and urban gospel, there are several truths that can't be denied and deserve to be investigated.
We must remember that the validity and power of music is found in its lyrics. Though instrumental presentations can evoke emotions, it is the lyrical content of the offering that contains true power. "The Star Spangled Banner" will forever be America's national anthem, whether supported by a classical orchestral background, a syncopated jazz beat, or a booming bass line with synthesized horns.
The same is true for the Gospel, for it is the lyrical content of the music that makes a song a "Gospel song". As God is unlimited, so is the ability to musically present the Gospel.
Too often, some in the body of Christ are guilty of condemning the things that they do not understand. Many look to vilify the artists and supporters of the urban Gospel movement, and state that the art form has no spiritual validity because of its presentation.
But there must be a clear line drawn between spiritual validity and personal preference. Because one prefers apple pie instead of chocolate cake doesn't mean that all cake is bad and has no redeeming worth or value. The fact of the matter is that the Gospel can be presented in several avenues.
Whether it comes across the pulpit on a Sunday morning, a theatrical presentation on Broadway, or a cinematic presentation, if Jesus is being lifted up, and if He is being presented consistent with Who scripture says that He is and what He has done, then this is a presentation of the Gospel.
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"Holy" Hip Hop
by Efrem Smith
Does Christian rap, or on a larger scale Holy Hip-Hop, exert a similar influence on Christian young people, especially in the urban context? Let me end the suspense right off the bat; the answer, unfortunately, is no.
In my estimation, Christian rap doesn’t carry much, if any, influence among urban young people. I don’t blame the Christian rap artists. I blame the urban church itself, because with few exceptions, rap music and hip-hop culture, whether sacred or secular, is not embraced by the urban church.
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