You are a Christian. You like to rap. You think you’re pretty good at rapping. You think rapping would be a cool way to share your faith. You should be a Christian rapper.
Right? Maybe not.
Sometimes I hear songs from “Christian rappers” that honestly aren’t very good. Just because I am a Christian and you are a Christian doesn’t mean that I have to like or support your music. You aren’t entitled for people to like you or your music because they share your faith. Here is a list of twenty-five questions that I believe are important for Christians who are current or aspiring rappers, or musical artists in general. For many of the questions, there are no right or wrong answers. Some of the questions test how familiar you are with things that you need to know in regards to making music.
- Is your music art/artistic?
- What do YOU want to communicate with your music?
- Do you think that God wants you to make music? If so, why do you think that?
- If so, what do you think God wants you to communicate with your music?
- Do you have a target audience for your music? If so, who do you want to listen to your music and why?
- Are you active in your community/town/city?
- Do you think that you have to use music as a tool for evangelization? Why or why not?
- Do you think that you cannot be effective in sharing your faith if you do not do it through music? What ways can/do you share your faith outside of music?
- When you rap, are you being honest about how you live your life? Why or why not?
- Are you trying to act like an urban person to be more like what you think a rapper should be like, even if you are not from an urban area?
- Do you know how to record and produce music? Do you have access to the proper equipment and software needed to do that?
- Do and will you practice your musical abilities?
- Do you want to pursue music as a hobby, a career, or something else? Why?
- Do you want to sell your music or release it for free? Why?
- If you sell your music, who will buy it and what will make them want to buy it?
- Are you familiar with copyright laws regarding music and the Internet?
- Do you know what ASCAP and BMI are, what they do, and how to register your music with them?
- Do you want to go on tour with your music? If so, where do you want to go, how will you fund your travels, and who will book you for an event?
- Do you know how to manage money?
- If you want to make music, do you understand the cost and effects that it will have on your finances and how that will affect yourself and your family, if you have others who depend on you to provide for them?
- What will you do if you spend a lot more money on music than you make from it?
- How will you fund your music? Will you use money from your savings account or your job(s) to fund your music?
- Are you a good musician?
- Why do you want to make music?
- Should you pursue music?
There are many more potential questions to be asked. I once heard a very popular Christian hip-hop artist say that he has seen many aspiring Christian hip-hop artists put their families through a lot of hardship by pursuing something that they are obviously not called to do. I would like people who make music or aspire to do so to answers these questions for themselves. Go ahead and write them down; think critically about your answers and your potential pursuit of music.
*Please do not answer these questions in the comments section.