For almost 10 years I’ve been deeply involved, as an artist/producer/designer, in an amazing movement of Christians who have been making Hip-Hop and Rap music. Due to recent success many within the movement have feared that some are shrinking back from the original mission. But I see a bigger issue at hand. Those who have been instrumental in shaping the foundation of Christians who create/produce rap music, have not been helpful from the beginning of the movement in laying a proper whole life theology of art for those in it.
We have compiled a long list of up and coming Christian artists doing Hip Hop music and over the last few months, narrowed down that list to 13. These freshman are who we suggest you to look out for in 2013. The main qualifier that Rapzilla staff utilized was that the artists could not have more than one official release. If an artist has had two official albums released, that would be referred to as their sophomore album. So an artist that has released several mixtapes and been a feature on other albums, yet only released 1 official album, is a freshman by definition, not talent. Without further ado, read on to see our picks.
Not since the wild card New York Giants beat the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl have we seen an "upset" like we saw at the Grammy's. Lecrae won the Grammy for "Best Gospel Album" by beating out Israel Houghton, James Fortune, Anita WIlson and the man who EVERYONE thought was a shoe in for the award - gospel legend Marvin Sapp. It was an upset according to many industry insiders such as Bebe WInans and more.
For me, when they eliminated the "Rap/Rock Gospel album" category, I never thought a straight hip-hop act would EVER win a Grammy in that field.
Last night, leading up to and during the 55th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, most hip-hop fans were probably paying attention to categories like Rap Album of the Year (won by Drake for Take Care), Best Rap Song (taken by “N**gas in Paris”) or how Frank Ocean would fare (he performed towards the end of the show and won for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration). Those paying attention, though, might have caught another rap victory: Lecrae’s Gravity, which took home Best Gospel Album.
“Can you be Christian and rap at the same time? I think you can take rap and use it for redemptive purposes…I want to provide a landscape of hope for people.” Watch more of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly's interview with Lecrae.