Christian Hip-Hop Responds to Mainstream Music’s New Gospel
These were the questions we asked:
1. The media is heralding Chance the Rapper and Kanye West as making great “gospel” music. Yet Christian artists that do the same, are often left out of the conversation. Why do you think it’s ok for non-Christians to dabble in the gospel, but Christians get flack?
2. What do you think of this quote? “[Chance the Rapper’s] Coloring Book, on the other hand, feels like the first great hip-hop album to successfully channel the centuries-old musical traditions of the black church without anything like pretension or irony. This in itself feels like something of a miracle. I say this with the utmost love but hip-hop is a profane music and always has been; its energies aren’t celestial, but fully flesh-and-blood.”
3. Why do you think Christian artists who dabble in “non-Christian” music get blasted for their “lack of faith” or “treason” against Christianity?
4. Do non-Christian artists make better Christian art than the Christians do? Explain.
1. I see it like this, without the restraint of The Holy Spirit, artists like Kanye, Chance, and Kendrick will express themselves however they please and there isn’t much we can do about that. We can’t hold them to the standards of a believer and expect more from them. They will continue to produce flesh driven filth unless, Lord willing, they truly submit themselves to God’s Will. But now, here’s the flip side to my own quote! When they decide that they want to dabble in Gospel music and make a “God conscious” record in the midst of filth on their albums, we can’t give them a pass and “hold them to the standards of a believer!” We should dismiss it. We can not co-sign the music nor can we support the music industry labeling it “gospel music.”
The problem is things like this happen because way too many “believers” DO give them the co-sign. I personally don’t think its ok for non-Christian artists to dabble in gospel music just like I don’t think it’s ok for a non-gangsta to make gangsta music. It’s fraudulent! Fake! But who am I? I am not judge and jury. I do understand that some of these artists have real encounters with God and wrestle with submitting to God when they’re already submitted to the world. They have the freedom and right to express that. We just can’t label that Gospel music.
As far as mainstream artists being accepted when they make “gospel music,” I’ll quote my brother No Malice, “It takes a lot of truth just to sell that lie!” I believe there’s a real Satanic agenda being carried out through music. And if he can deceive a few “believers” by getting them to drop their guards and accept this “gospel” type music that’s tied to the rest of the poison they push, it is a mission accomplished. We’re out here making real gospel music and the world rejects it! But that’s how you know it’s REAL GOSPEL music! It either convicts you to change or convicts you to the point of rejecting it. Real gospel music will never be accepted like let’s say, Chance The Rapper’s “Coloring Book” mixtape because you will not finish one of our albums and feel comfortable in your sin. That’s gospel!
2. First off, I would have to say I totally disagree! I can think of a few non-Christian artists that have made albums that have done exactly what he thinks “Coloring Book” has done or accomplished. But I wouldn’t expect the journalist or writer to know better. He may know what gospel music sounds like in terms of style and sound but he does not know what the true GOSPEL sounds like and this is why they make claims like this and name it “gospel” music. This is what they wish gospel music sounded like, a whole lot of party with a little bit of God on the side.
3. I think Christian artists that dabble in secular music get blasted because people’s perspectives and expectations are off. Show me a Bible scripture that says you must only make music that is what we would call “Gospel music.” You can’t because there isn’t one. The Word says “Do all things as on to the Lord” but just because the artist isn’t screaming Jesus on every song doesn’t mean it isn’t “as on to the Lord.” I think we need a perspective change when it comes to this issue. We should always hold the Christian to the standards of a believer so if we see that artist compromise the gospel or sin against the Lord, we should call them out on it. But just because the Christian doesn’t make gospel music doesn’t mean he is sinning and lacks faith.
4. When you have the luxury of recording at a state of the art studio with a team of the best producers and a group of the best award winning songwriters there with you to create music, there’s no limit to what you can do. The top mainstream artists in music have the budget to do these things. Unfortunately, most Gospel artists or at least Christian rappers do not. That is why there’s a big difference in quality when comparing our music to theirs. Can they make better music than us? I would say in terms of sound and quality, yes they can. Can they make better Christian art than a Christian can? NO WAY! NEVER! Because they do not have the true spirit of CHRIST in them that would drive them to write CHRIST centered music. They can not speak of whom they do not know. We can!