*(Via Black Christian News) -The violent edge of rap–”it’s just so angry”–is most often what I hear behind American Christians’ ambivalence about the new wave of Christian hip-hop. But not all of this ambivalence is reactionary, revealing white-bread taste. It’s a real question: Can one authentically rap the Sermon on the Mount, with its Beatitudes, warnings against anger, and meekness? No doubt one can set Matthew 5-7 to rhyme and meter, but would it still be hip-hop? If not, does that rule hip-hop out as legitimate Christian art?
That was the question Ken Myers posed as we talked recently about Christian hip-hop artists Lecrae, Shai Linne, Trip Lee, and others (especially popular among the “young, restless, Reformed” wing of the church). Myers, host of Mars Hill Audio and one of the most respected Christian thinkers on pop culture, has long warned about the church’s tendency to separate the message from the medium. He sees this as an almost gnostic attempt to disembody everything but truth propositions from art.
Music sounds “like feelings feel,” said Myers. That’s why no one could credibly suggest that Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” conjures “feelings of melancholy, humility, tentativeness, or ennui.” And no one could claim that Gregorian chants are “brimful of arrogance, assertiveness, anger, or brashness.”
By contrast, Myers said, “Hip-hop is quite successful in [expressing] raw energy barely contained; it is a form that dares its hearers to contradict its address with a threat of escalation or retaliation.” In other words, rap is anything but about “reticence, patience, self-giving, or submissiveness.”
Read the full story at Black Christian News.
*The self-proclaimed gangster rapper, The Game, who claims to be from the hood (when others say he grew up in the suburbs in the outskirts of Los Angeles), has supposedly turned to Jesus.
He’s decided to incorporate a little heaven in his new album, “Jesus Piece,” to show his dedication to God.
“Last year in August, I got Baptized,” he told Jenny Boom Boom, from Hartford’s Hot 93.7. “I been gone to church, but I’ve still been doing me. I still love the strip clubs; I still smoke and drink. And I’m faithful to my family. But everybody loves God, even the most gangster of gangsters loves Jesus.”
He was sure to keep it gangster and clean it up with, “I am still gang affiliated… I’m not trying to change or hide being a Blood or growing up the way I [grew] up … I do my thing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go to heaven or don’t believe in God and that I can’t pick up a Bible when I get home. It don’t got nothing to do with that.”
The album isn’t without it’s sinful collaborations.
Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne are also featured on the project, which was previously called “V” (the Roman numeral 5).
The Game is a new Christian and committed to his faith, but he said he’s not planning to leave the rap game anytime soon.
So don’t expect a Ma$e move from him.
*With a growing legion of fans on both the pop and urban music formats, Christian rapper B. Reith released a new mixtape that will solidify his position as one of music’s most promising artists.
His new project, “The Story Continues” offers a showcase of B. Reith’s musical dexterity at delivering everything from singing silky pop ballads to edgy, rap rhymes on full blast and it confirms what music aficionados already know – that he’s one of the most exciting artist on the music landscape today.
The new project features collaborations with artists like Wit, Th3ory Hazit, Dre Murray, Knine, Promise, and upcoming rapper Isaiah Tate.
The project also features an acoustic cello-beat box remix track from producer Kevin “K.O.” Olusola, from the mainstream accapella group, Pentatonix.
“For whatever reason I am in the season of hip hop, so I have got to get this stuff out,” he says. “My music has been embraced very well by urban music audiences, so I wanted to give them something to connect with these new fans.”
*In the Houston area, the ”Youth Can Lead” movement that began last month will continue to try and motivate teens to rebel against explicit rap music played on the radio at this Saturday’s ”Real Talk Teen Conference“ in Missouri City, Texas.
Pastor Craig D. Hayes organized the effort in partnership with his Crossing Point Christian Church and Hightower High School in Fort Bend ISD (where he also sits on the board of their campus-based leadership team). Part of the event will include performances from positive hip hop artists and a panel discussion about the variety of messages contained in rap lyrics.
“Not all elements of hip hop are bad,” Hayes said. “But with our conference we want give students and parents a deeper perspective on the music that’s such a large part of their lives.”
The “Youth Can Lead” movement’s current focus is to gather over 1,000 FCC complaint letters against the ”Let’s Make a Movie” song by Chicago rapper Twista and R&B artist Chris Brown.
The track, which is currently in rotation at both 97.9 KBXX and Hot 95.7, is about the narrators’ attempts to persuade a female to make a pornographic film.
Read the full story here.
*Holy hip-hop or gospel rap has emerged onto the scene as a genre of music that ignites some church goers and attracts the youth.
However, is the creation of this genre philosophically corrupting the doctrine of the black Christian?
I view this new era of music as the tail wagging the dog and not the dog wagging the tail. Why would I see it this way? The church should be the independent leader of the community who is convicted in what it believes instead of some accommodating a class of people for the sake of a large membership.
You see, I believe the dog should be in control of his tail and not the tail in control of the dog. Secular society and those working against the building of God’s Kingdom is not the dog. It’s the tail. Saying this, even though hip-hop was not created to be a devil worshipping model, it was also not created to build God’s Kingdom. So what does all of this mean?
Read the full story here