NF and His Style are not the Future of Christian Hip-Hop, Please

“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.

Notes

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.

  • Art

    Yes some CHH music lacks Christ in it. But so does this article. You are attempting to define genre which is crazy. The best way to share Jesus is not with our mouth, it’s best done with our daily walk. Did you approach or attempt to engage in a conversation with NF about this topic? Because if not, based on the word you are out of order. Furthermore, I would love to know those scriptures that speak highly of religious people. Because I thought Christianity was about our relationship with Jesus. My biggest issue with this article is statement of God being left out of his songs. I hope that you realize that the word or name God is very generic, it could mean anything. Because most people worship money, so that’s their God. There’s only ONE name that saves lives, only one name with power. That’s the name of JESUS.

    • Michael Acevedo

      I agree with the majority of what you said, but you have to admit NF is majority Dark. I understand that it helps some kids cause they don’t feel alone Thier struggle, but I firmly believe he is in need a of a transformation. if he is still struggle with all the stuff that he writes about that’s a issue because he is showing that as a Christian he is not growing lol. also he needs to help show the light and how he got out of his issues or how people can get out themselves. if not he is portraying that yes we are all not perfect, but I don’t have the answer to hope

  • JESUSFREQ

    “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?”

    Exactly this. In Lecrae’s own words: “People say I talk about the same old thing, only reason I sound the same is cuz the truth don’t change.”

  • late10

    Emeniem has influenced so many wannabe rappers, that the therapy he put on tape comes across in their rhythm styles. I personally don’t need to hear about the darkness of life more than once or twice to understand where you’re coming from. On that note The Rep hits a home run, and lifts people out of various troubles they may live in now or experienced before. I tried to listen to NF a time or two, but he wasn’t speaking to me.
    Now I’ve been a hip hop fan for a long time. When I was introduced to it, I persuade it weekly. I averaged about five albums a week, or singles, or 45’s of DJ Red Alert mix show tapes, but I never lost my love for the rhyme styles of INDIVIDUALS who don’t copy others. When I first got introduced to CHH it was Da’ Truth “Moment of Truth on Cross Movement and it grew quickly from there. JESUS CHRIST was in the musis and so was life. The music was preachy to some, but it helped solidify what I new, in a form I appreciated. So misery that leaves you in the darkness, isn’t helpful, in my opinion, but someone may be going through a dark time in life, and we live in some dark times. I get it, but I’m thankful I have a collection of albums over the past twelve years to get energized from, when todays music lets me down.
    Christ Jesus first, second and third, then life and the change that cones from walking in His marvelous light.

  • Ski Chills

    I go to the Bible for my Gospel not the record store, I go to the record store for music. Use to be a time i could do both. That was then, this is now. Go to a church for a sermon. Everything changes, adapt and move on. If a person is feeding themselves on they job and they not harming themselves “Do You” these are Entertainers. I don’t see people condemning they pastors for the trash sermons they preach, If you gonna throw bricks be equally judgemental on Pastors, Sunday School, teachers, Santa clause and yourself…HOW HAVE YOU SPREAD THE GOSPEL TODAY…Judge that!

  • Zulekha

    Let’s switch up this topic. What happens when people or a person who is not openly Christian or that we the body would judge as not being a good Christian does the work of God.

    Is that not the call to the saints? To establish the Kingdom of God? Rev 11 says that Jesus is only coming back when the the Kingdoms of the earth are His. He isn’t coming back when we’ve preached the gospel to everyone. Yes we’ve been called to preach the gospel and turn people to Christ. But Jesus is not waiting for the whole world to be saved because scripture clearly states that it won’t but in the end all knees shall bow.

    What are these Kingdoms? These Kingdoms or part of it are the seven mountains. Do some research on the seven mountain mandate. It’s some pretty cool revelation of where we are going as the body.

    They are government, media, celebration and entertainment, education, business, family and religion. We are all called to a mountain and frankly the mountain of religion is the only mountain where you have unabated freedom to speak about Christ.

    I could point to the author of this article and say I don’t see any where where you mentioned that you prayed about this article. You didn’t say you were lead by Holy Spirit. You speak of Christ but this article sounds like your opinion.

    Yes it should be your opinion because it’s your job. You are on the mountain of Media and it’s your job to write articles based on your opinion.

    The word says if you have a problem with your brother speak to him one on one first. Did you speak to NF one on one or even Lecrae.

    You didn’t have to because you’re a journalist or blogger. This is your job.

  • Zulekha

    Same with NF and Lecrae. Artists need to find out if they are called to the mountains of Religion or Entertainment and celebration.

    You have those artists called to the mountain of religion and those are worship leaders like Jesus Culture and Kari Jobe, Rick Pino, Chris Tomlinson. You’d surprised to see that they listen to the very artists we think aren’t CHH anymore. They listen to your Lecrae. Chris Quilala had a Social Club tee on at the one concert.

    It’s not about the lyrics but it’s about the anointing. The anointing is what you need to listen to. Speaking about Christ doesn’t mean you love Him or have relationship with Him.

    Therefore an artist can portray the image and likeness of Christ without having to menation his name. At the end of the day Lecrae still professes his faith. Jesus says you must profess my name in public and Lecrae does so.

    We need to come together and be lead by Holy Spirit and not religious works and thinking. We’re the only faith that has so much in fighting and hating.