5.”Make War” (Difﬁcult Doctrine lived out)
Tedashii is known for being the power-puncher of the label. His songs are typically bigger, louder and rowdier than his Reach compadres. And “Make War” was no different. In this track, T-dot brilliantly displays a difﬁcult doctrine to live out: killing sin. In no previous time had war on the inner man been so obvious or seemed so necessary. The desperate plea, punctuated by a powerful verse from Flame, is still a classic in Tedashii’s catalog.
4.”Go Hard” (Another level of crossover appeal)
Beyond the obvious appeal of hearing this song performed live in a concert, “Go Hard” contains some of the most aggressive lyrics ever put on a Christian Hip-Hop song. “Lord, kill me if I don’t preach the Gospel” has been repeated by Christians of all ethnicities, ages, backgrounds and denominations. It had the theological weight and accessible appeal to reach the masses. The song was also famously played by Dwight Howard during pre-game warmups in the Orlando Magic arena. Lecrae and Tedashii bottled up electric energy, and it exploded onto this classic.
3. “Represent” (The ﬁrst unashamed anthem)
I had forgotten the impact of this song until it was played last year on the Unashamed Tour to a raucous crowd reaction. This was literally the ﬁrst unashamed anthem. The success/surprise of this chant was its “in your face” delivery, which was foreign to many in the still-growing Christian Hip-Hop genre. It signaled a clear shift from the less accessible theological expository rap of the late 90’s/early 2000s to more aggressive chants for the concerts. Without the success of this song, many of the Reach anthems we have grown to know and love may never have been released.
2.”Cash or Christ” (Unapologetic doctrinal stance)
Trip Lee’s “Cash or Christ” was easily the most recognizable and controversial song of his debut album “If They Only Knew”. The Tony Stoneproduced banger took aim at the beef between God/money as idols in an indirect but piercing way. For young Trip Lee, this was a precursor to the theological weight we could expect from him in the future. Mixed with Lecrae’s trademark ﬂow, Christian Hip-Hop was put on notice that then youngster was going to unashamedly speak the truth regardless of popularity.
1.”Jesus Muzik” (Started it all)
Most recognizable song in Christian Hip-Hop history? Probably. Most inﬂuential song? Almost certainly. Few people seem to be unfamiliar with the chopped and screwed chorus on this classic and the impact had ripple effects for countless artists. The announcement on Lecrae’s After The Music Stops album was simply that music was no longer going to be a one-sided conversation. No longer would 106&Park have a monopoly on musical excellence. It was part theological treatise, part dirty south anthem, part rebellious response to culture all “rapped” together.
Seeing that Reach Records is celerating their 10th anniversary, the team here at Rapzilla finds it more than appropriate to wish the legendary label congratulations for their amazing contribution to the Christian Hip-Hop movement. Whether or not you agree with the list above, one thing is for sure: Reach Records has had a prolific decade-long run. We give honor to whom honor is due and sincere thanks for providing so many of us with the soundtrack to our lives as we aim to glorify God.
Okay, let the debate begin. What are the top 10 most influential Reach Records songs of all time? Fire away!