Could it be that Christian Hip-hop/Rap artists (or ministers) have surpassed the creative drive of mainstream rappers? Let’s open the discussion for review. In the last decade the Christian rap genre has stretched its reach, moving from strict releases on the Christian and gospel circuit to being released on the mainstream Hip-Hop/Rap genre.
One thing that is clear is that artists in the Christian rap sub-genre have had to prove their right to be in the category as a true competitor. From what I can see, they have done a good job of doing so.
In a recent Facebook post I expressed my disgust with the Hip-Hop/Rap genre, noting that new artists were not new in their approach. They were simply actors writing rhymes with no content to the same beat. The genre has lost most of its art. With the exception of artists like B.O.B., Drake, Farrell, and Macklemore who produce work that is creative in style and content, the remaining pool of artists falls short on the bar of creativity.
My position on this is simple; it is too easy to produce junk music in today’s music industry. It seems that the opportunity to produce music is based on how much money you have and who you know; not the hard work and sweat that was invested by early Hip-Hop/Rap artists. There used to be a hunger for the art and in that, artist had something to prove. Early Hip-Hop/Rap was used as a platform to tell a new story-one which was never heard. Now that the genre is established, there is no sense of responsibility with the success. New artists are in love with the ideas and lifestyle and fail to respect the journey, and ultimately the potential to reach others.
Christian rap has that yearning and desire to have an effect on the industry in a positive way. They have the new story and hunger to impact the world. They have something to prove and are surpassing those in secular music for this reason. Christian rap artists have a mission, to not only spread what they believe to be true as an investment into our world, but also show the world that God can produce good music. They have a hunger to be heard.
Christian Rap artists like Artist like Lacrae, Saylah, and Patience create a sound that challenges the best of those in the secular rap market.
Music gives artists an opportunity to share their story. Whether secular or Christian Hip-Hop/Rap, there is a level of respect that should be given to the opportunity. With that respect should be a yearning to share the artist’s story and take responsibility for the message that is being shared. For the sake of listeners, I would hope that the quality of music isn’t lost in the fantasy. In my opinion, Christian artists are making great moves in the Hip-Hop/Rap genre – maybe mainstream should go back to the basics and try to recover the hunger that was present.