1. Multiple heavy hitters are releasing new projects
There is so much new music scheduled to come out in 2013 and a lot of it is by the leaders in our genre. Andy Mineo, Da' T.R.U.T.H (January), Lecrae, Canon (May), Sho Baraka (January), the 2nd King Kulture compilation, R-Swift (April), Beautiful Eulogy (Braille, Odd Thomas and Courtland Urbano), Rhema Soul, Bizzle and more have either announced a release date or revealed that they are in the lab creating new material. There will not be a lack of content in Christian Hip-Hop next year.
2. We get to see what many rappers in the mainstream market do with their proclamations of faith
Recently, many mainstream rappers have proclaimed Christ. Often times artists talk a good game but eventually Godly fruit needs to be displayed in order for them to be productive. Hopefully they are striving to make their call and election sure. Our prayer is that we will see growth in their walk with God in 2013 and that we may be used as Christians to assist in any way
3. Andy Mineo, Trip Lee and KB may release a group album
Andy Mineo, Trip Lee and KB are all a part of Christian Hip-Hop’s highest selling record label, Reach Records. Recently a rumor that the three will be forming as a collective has spread across the Christian Hip Hop community. Andy Mineo, Trip Lee and KB have all fueled the rumor by making comments that indicate the group project is something they are constructing.
4. Several pioneers are making a comeback
Artists like T-Bone, The Ambassador, I.D.O.L King, Pettidee and Lil Raskull have all announced that they are gearing up to release new records. All of these rappers have left a mark on our genre. It will be interesting to see what they bring to table in 2013.
5. Records will be broken and history will be made
Lecrae sold 72,473 units of 'Gravity' in week one and cracked the 100,000 mark by week 3 shattering sale records. Also he acquired his second Grammy nomination making the possibility of him becoming the Grammy’s most nominated Christian Hip-Hop artist imminent. He is currently tied with Hip-Hop duo GRITS and is trailing T-Bone by one. Recently Lecrae was the first Christian artist to be nominated for a major award with top tier mainstream rap artists when he was nominated for the XXL Breakout Artist of the Year Award alongside noteworthy artists like Kendrick Lamar, French Montana, Future and Macklemore. Could we see a Christian artist get nominated alongside mainstream Rap artist at the Grammy’s one day? Who knows what else will be accomplished for the first time in 2013. It isn't the praise by man being noted here, but the large platforms that Christian Hip Hop is getting onto to promote the gospel.
6. Christian artists will make appearances in motion pictures
Jin and T-Bone are both expected to act in some movies in 2013. Jin may appear in ‘Fast and Furious 6’ as Jimmy the Mechanic alongside movie stars like Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, and Luke Evans. T-Bone announced that he will be acting as Martin De LaFuente in ‘I’m In Love with a Church Girl’ with celebrities like Ja Rule, Adrienne Bailon, Vincent Pastore, Steven Baldwin and more. Sho Baraka, J’son and more have also played roles in motion pictures and look forward to seeing them do more in films.
7. We get to see where the newer artists take their music to next
Artist like Skrip, Social Club, KIDD, Alex Faith, Christon Gray, SPZRKT and more have all generated quite a buzz in a short amount of time. It’s going to be interesting to see these artists mature musically and spiritually.
8. Better tours
With Christian Hip-Hop getting more exposure and shipping more units it only logical that they will have a bigger budget to produce higher quality tours. A portion of the UNASHAMED TOUR visuals were created by Barton Damer, the creator and mastermind behind Already Been Chewed (Nike, Rob Dyrdek's Street League Skateboarding, Facebook, DGK, and Supra Footwear). If we see more collaborations like that increase, the presentation of tours in Christian Hip-Hop will become more enjoyable aesthetically.
9. More radio play
With Christian Hip-Hop artists collaborating with big names like Toby Mac, Israel Houghton, and Family Force Five it’s only a matter of time before CCM radio shows some love. Also Toby Mac’s "Forgiveness" featuring Lecrae charted number 1 on iTunes Christian & Gospel chart and Lecrae’s single “Fuego” charted #5 on iTunes Top Hip Hop/Rap songs (a first in CHH History) showing that CHH artist can deliver singles that chart. Usually when singles chart they are played on the radio as well, hopefully we will see singles chart and get radio play simultaneously. With HOT 95.9 IN Orlando, FL creating a FM station that plays Christian Hip-Hop 24-7 it’s possible others will follow that example and start urban stations.
10. Better music
Christian Hip-Hop just keeps getting better every year. We have high hopes for the genre. It’s safe to say we will see better lyricism, production, mixing, and mastering in 2013.
11. Recently launched record labels expanding
We will get to see what labels like Full Ride Music, Infiltrate Music, Clear Sight Music, Role Model Records, Collision Records, CTF Records and Good City Music do in 2013. None of these labels have been operating for a significant amount of time so we hope to see growth and some major moves being made by these collectives.
12. More cosigns from movers and shakers with influence
People like Matt Chandler, John Piper, Rick Warren, Chris Brossard, Jeremy Lin, Tim Tebow, Benson Henderson, Juan Pierre, Albert Pujols, Mark Driscoll and more have all cosigned Christian Hip-Hop as a vessel that can be used for God’s glory and have expressed appreciation for the art form. We might see other celebrities catch on to what is happening in Christ centered Hip-Hop and become fans of the music. If that happens our genre and most importantly the gospel, will be revealed to their followers and support for the movement will increase.
13. Increased mainstream media coverage
With all the records being broken and history being made in Christian Hip-Hop it’s only natural for the media to take notice. Media outlets like XXL, The Source, HipHopDX, AllHipHop, Vibe, ESPN, Time Magazine, Shade 45 Radio, MTV, BET and more have all recently featured Christian Hip-Hop on their platforms. If milestones continue to accumulate in our movement it’s safe to say the coverage of CHH will expand. More love for Christian Hip-Hop means more people hearing the Gospel and that’s what it’s all about.