Are you a Christian that loves Hip-Hop Music?

 

Are you a Christian that loves Hip-Hop Music? Well, I do. From about the age of 5 years old till today I have always been fascinated by just how men and women were able to put rhythm and rhyme together.  It has far surpassed the expectations of many that has not only those that have created the art form. From expressing political and social views of modern society to know becoming multi-million and billionaires with endorsements, advertisements, TV and movie spots, who knew that a craft  such as this would bring so many people together. But since the early 90’s, when the art form known as “Gangsta Rap” came into play, certain groups of people despised and hated this form of music. You see, on its face, the music became more vulgar, sexually explicit, misogynistic, and promoted a lifestyle of having lots of money, drugs, big houses, and flashy car. But we forget is that there are powers beyond the artist known as executives who want a product in a certain way, form, and fashion.

Well, at the heart of it all hip-hop (or rap music, which is a form of hip-hop), is truly an amazing thing. Artist have evolved over the years to use it in different forms. From groups like The Sugarhill Gang, RUN-DMC, Lil Kim, and The Notorious B.I.G. on the east coast, to N.W.A., Westside Connection, Tupac, and Warren G on the west coast, to UGK, Eightball & MJG, Outkast, Da Brat, and Master P in the south. And even the artist of the midwest which includes Slum Village, Eminem, MC Breed, Do or Die, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, hip-hop has not only transcended but ascended into multiple countries and cultures. One thing that this music and the bible have in common is that it constantly gets misunderstood time and time again. I know that I won’t be able to bridge the gap, but I would love to bring more understanding to it. Whether or not you want to understand it is up to you, but I would like for you to keep an open mind and that music that is constantly played on the radio goes much deeper that the marketing and advertising that you see on TV and social media.

The genre has now evolved, or should I say been evolved, in taking on the word. Artist such as Bizzle, Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Tedashii, Derek Minor, and KB among others have taken on this form of music to push the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s a new way of sharing the gospel, but just like its predecessor, it too is getting controversy.

Don’t Judge Rap; Understand Rap

One thing people easily forget as time moves on is the origin and the history behind a movement.  The music that your sons and daughters; nieces and nephews play isn’t all bad and isn’t what I grew up with but it is a generational spin on a foundation that has been going on for over 4 decades. Yes, there are many songs that drop explicit content and language that is not suitable for all ages, but that is only a fraction of the genre. And, even those parts of still find a way to quote the bible whether to uplift his name or for a profit, which I hope that it goes in that order and not the other way around. So, lets get to how the two interact with each other.

After the deaths of The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur, both the rap community and the music world in general were hurting. While I knew both artists love their mothers greatly, no song to me made it more enjoyable to honor one’s own mother on a hip-hop song than “Dear Mama” by Tupac. And if you haven’t heard it yet, listen…

There are two distinct verses you could pull from on this. The first is Exodus 20:12 which says…

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Then there is Ephesians 6:1-3, which states…

” Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  “Honor your father and mother” – which is the first commandment with a promise – “so that that it ma go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on earth.”

While Tupac was considered by many as an artist and a martyr, he was also a man that loved his mother no matter how misunderstood by the media he was. You have individuals in this world today that have both their parents and all the material things that they could ask for and yet are still not satisfied. Tupac and his mother had virtually nothing and yet still found the joys in life. Also, because they were going through the same struggle, they related to each other in both the good times and the bad. I believe many Christians could relate to their struggles, but the mask we see far too many times in the music videos and the negative news cycle prove how one can be viewed by the masses with a lack of knowledge.

Still giving God the Glory

I can’t tell you if they are saying “Christ” name to score points with Christians, because lyrically they sound good and they make a lot of money, or because they speak from their heart. Whatever the case may be, rap artist no matter how explicit the content may find a way to about about, if not, honor God. One artist that has wrestled and struggled with God on a Spiritual level is DMX. Also known as Earl Simmons, DMX has a rough neck, New York style lyricism that hit the streets hard. “X” as some have referred to him became a force of nature in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. But his rise to fame did not come without cost. Repeated offenses that lead him to jail, alcohol abuse, and issues within his marriage among other things, lead him to lose a lot of things. DMX appeared on Dr Drew’s Lifechangers show, which he preformed  “Keep Your Head Up” which you can see below.

Express Christ through Hip Hop

Regardless of what you have heard on the “mainstream” radio, let me help you to understand that there are many artists elevating the throne of Christ not just through song but through rap. Like many other things, God can use whatever is here on earth in order to glorify his name. So, the next time you hear a song thumping hard in a car, remember, it might not be what you think it is. It could be…

…Lecrae feat Mali Music “Tell The World”…

…or Bizzle feat Jin “Forgive Me”…

…or Uncle Reece’s “Until I Pass Out”

Appearances can be deceiving. Regardless, whether it’s uplifting God or not, the lyrical content could say one thing but could mean something totally different. Just like the bible, we must break down what is being said before we speak on it. All this will lead to is misunderstanding and confusion. I also would say that I am listening to more substantive music. I need something that will propel me to new heights. From what I have already heard from many artist, while it’s catchy, I was still hitting that plateau. Well, no longer am I on that plateau.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s