John Givez pens open letter to Christian hip hop

As the unannounced release date of his highly-anticipated album Soul Rebel approaches, John Givez needed to get some thoughts off his chest.

On Monday evening, he published an open letter and challenge to Christian hip hop. Below is the full, unedited letter.

Dear CHH…

I want to start by thanking the folks that found my music & supported me thru the mediums of Rapzilla, Guerilla Cross, Jam the Hype etc… I do realize that by me allowing myself to be associated with those particular mediums its allowed the following to grow. I thank God for the understanding & supportive hearts out there buying & sharing the music.

up until this point I haven’t made any huge public statements about what I think about the CHH sub-genre OR Christian culture as a whole because I haven’t been mature enough until this point to consider all the hearts emotionally invested into this community. this is not about to be a “break up letter” or an attempt to throw shade on the community. this is a letter about reexamination.

it’s been brought to my attention that some think my motives are off. or that I should check why I’m doing this. (*que Kirk Franklin* to those of you who think we’ve gone to far, that we’ve gotten to radical with our message LOL)

let me assure you I’m aware of myself. I know when my heart is bent on evil doing. I hate my sin.

which brings me to what I really want to say. why is CHH (artist & consumers) afraid to embrace people like me? … because, this is a letter that question is rhetorical. I pose that question as a sentiment for all the PEOPLE in this world that Christian CULTURE has turned away.

as a kid I grew up in baptist church. learned all the ways of the church. my mom was a choir director & my dad preached sometimes. at about 11 years old my Dad got mentally ill & my family started to crumble.

In that time I began to rebel to the point of denouncing God as an author/authority in my life. I hated my dad for the strange things he was doing to my family & I grieved my mom by the way I started to live.

It got to the point where other parents in the church wouldn’t want their kids around me because of “bad influence” which ultimately pushed me further away. no one understood what I was going through but always wanted to correct me.

It wasn’t until about 18 or 19 I began to see that I hated God even while he lovingly kept me in my rebellion. I repented & re-dedicated my life to making it known how God kept me.

I’m almost done. I’m 23 now. that’s 5 years on this true Journey with the Lord.

KEY WORD: with. in these five years I’ve had time to reflect. on my whole life. in my music I do a lot of sharing my life. the good & the bad.

I linked up with Beleaf & Ruslan at around 19 after Beleaf married my sister. they introduced me to the scene that is CHH.

I wasn’t welcomed easily because of what some would call my “edge”. I’ve never felt emotionally apart of CHH but always respected the rules CHH keeps in the 5 years I’ve been around it.

At this point I’ve thoroughly seen how well some of you mean. I’ve also seen how scared some of you are. to embrace me. my culture. because it is in some of your eyes “of the world”.

I want to say to those of you that think I’m “of the world” because of the things that I say. I think you’re scared. I challenge you to embrace people like me.

It wasn’t until God showed me he understood me that I could love Him & further more love people like yourselves. the “good” ones. I want you to listen to my music & think about all the kids out there that you would “shut up” because they aren’t up to your standard (that you so effortlessly call Gods).

God didn’t give me a platform to be perfect. He gave me a platform to be genuine. my motives are not off. my motives are focused on being genuine in all that I do.

so in closing. yes, Im plugged into my local church & under pastors. yes, I love Jesus. no, I’m not perfect.

I’m not doing this for God, I’m doing it with God & by His power. & don’t try to shut me up cuz I’m not going anywhere. & I’m gonna tell my story to the world(ly).


Source: John Givez Official Blog

What do you think?


Written by David Daniels

David Daniels is a columnist at and the managing editor of He has been published at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Christianity Today, CCM Magazine, Bleacher Report, The Washington Times and HipHopDX.

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