“If you don’t rap about Christ, you’re not a Christian rapper.”
Young Noah told me that a while ago when I interviewed him. It makes a lot of sense. I recently browsed through an editorial on Rapzilla and it said,
“When looking at the sales reports for both Lecrae’s new album and NF’s new album, Perception, it is clear that the Christian Hip-Hop culture is shifting toward music like NF’s.”
This is wrong. Words such as “God” and “Jesus” are left out of the music of NF, and that is saddening. His music is full of depression and anger, and despite the difficulties of life, Christians ultimately have a strong sense of hope. There is no hope in NF’s music. He makes music that a lot of people can relate to, but the love of Jesus to redeem our hardships is missing. I think that is really sad.
Concerning that comment again, I hope that Christians don’t start making his type of music, and that of Lecrae, because of the sales. If you are a Christian and are changing the message in your music in order to get big sales, you have been lead astray from following Jesus and your popularity is doing the same to others.
You’ve probably heard the word secular many times. There’s Secular Hip-Hop and there’s Christian Hip-Hop, right? According the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, Secularism is defined as Indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations. That sounds like a lot of Christian rappers, but then again, if you don’t rap about Christ, you’re not a Christian rapper.
A lot of so called Christian hip-hop artists are not including, and some seem to be excluding, religion and religious considerations. And yes, if you are a Christian, a follower of Jesus, that means you are religious. Look up the definition.
Some so-called Christian rappers talk about how God has blessed them to be in the position they are, which is where they have influence over people. When I started listening to Christian Hip-Hop in 2012, it seemed like every artist sought to minister to people as the purpose of their music. That was clearly expressed in the lyrics. Now a lot of artists say that they make music because they want to express themselves. If you are a Christian, your identity, who you are, should be founded on your faith. Isn’t that what expressing yourself is all about?
I’m not saying that artists should only talk about God, and I think it’s an amazing thing that artists talk about race and social justice in their music. But it seems that in a lot of new music I hear from so called Christian hip-hop artists, God is almost entirely or entirely left out. Certain of the songs and albums from artists promoted by the #chh community have no mention of anything related to faith, and certainly do not encourage people to strengthen their relationship with God. I want to promote hip-hop music that exalts and points people to Jesus Christ.
Despite these changes, I am glad that Christian hip-hop artists are fairly orthodox in their beliefs. They are not compromising believing the truth of God in order to be accepted or not be seen as a hateful hypocrite in 2017. Some artists are clear incalling out sin, or teaching what repentance is. They are not giving in to relativism which says that there is no black and white of right and wrong.
However, “If you don’t rap about Christ, you’re not a Christian rapper.” Some Christians who make hip-hop, well known and not, distance and reject the label that they are a Christian music artist. I keep up a playlist on Spotify called What’s New in Christian Hip-Hop. When I see a new song from a CHH artist, I have to be careful to listen to it first and make sure it is not irreligious, and hopefully not supporting things that are contrary to the way God wants us to live.
If you are a faithful Christian and you don’t want to rap about Christ, that makes me sad. I feel sorry for you, and also for those who listen to you. There are so many people whose souls could benefit from your music.
Christian Hip-Hop fans, please listen to and support Christian Hip-Hop artists that rap about Christ. Your lives will be improved by listening to awesome music that exalts Jesus Christ.
May the Lord bless you.
I am writing to clear the air concerning this editorial. Let me make a few statements and then I’ll go more into details.
- I did not say that NF is not a Christian. I do not have a beef with him and do not think he should be excluded from the Christian Hip-Hop community.
- My article was in response to a quote concerning the direction of Christian hip-hop in order to sell more music.
- I did not say that if you are a Christian and you rap, you have to only rap about your faith.
- My article is not about NF. Not including his name in the title would probably have been for the better.
- I love Christian hip-hop and it has benefited my life very much.
I believe that NF is a Christian, and that his music speaks to people who are broken. I listen to NF but from what I have heard, though he talks about the difficulties of life, he does not respond to it with an ultimate hope. A lot of people who are broken could benefit from the hope of Jesus Christ.
I believe that a Christian hip-hop artist should not remove relating to their faith from their lyrics. I especially believe that they should not do that in search of financial profit. I am concerned that certain hip-hop artists who have been known as Christian rappers are no longer speaking much about God in their music.