The Black Experience Playlist: Curated & Explained by Rapzilla’s African & African American Staff
This last year was nothing short of turbulent. After the murder of George Floyd, the African American community found their plight and trauma on full display for all to see.
The Black Lives Matter movement had taken the country by storm and people who never considered viewing things from a black perspective watched the outcome of racial injustice that went unchecked. Now a year after the death of Sean Reed and Ahmaud Arbery, we at Rapzilla haven’t stopped listening and applying pressure.
The following are a few songs from our African and African American staff that emphasize their Black experience. This comes from the point of view of fathers, husbands, students, and overall believers. To commemorate Black History Month, all these songs will be featured on a playlist titled “Christian Rap | The Black Experience.”
Scroll to the bottom for the playlist.***
Botham – By Kham
A really impactful song and video which describes police brutality and its effects.
Black Boy Joy – CZAR Josh ft. Aklesso
A feel-good song with an uplifting message.
Black Market – Derek Minor
A raw depiction of some realities we face.
Preach – A.I. the Anomaly
An example of an accomplished black woman navigating life with integrity.
Darkie – Propaganda ft. Jackie Hill Perry
A powerful song about colorism.
Botham – Kham
This song speaks to me due to the raw nature of the track. Kham is openly expressing grief and anger from all the innocent Black bodies that have died at the hands of racial injustice. The signature quote, “What’s a good time for a black man in America” is just hard-hitting.
Mansa Musa – Czar Josh ft. Rockstar JT
I chose this song because the song screams Black and proud. The title of the song is actually the richest man in history who was so rich, he disrupted the economy wherever he went. Mansa Musa was in fact a black man from the Mali Empire.
Delusions of Grandeur – King Chav ft. Parris Chariz
“Delusions of Grandeur” is on my list because this song doesn’t shy away from a lot of the lies about the crime that is perpetrated in the black community. This song points us to doing better in protecting our youth for the future.
Rumble – J. Crum
Historically, African American’s style and suave have been stolen mocked, and profited off of. J. Crum highlights the tragic death of Elijah Al – Amin, who was murdered because someone found his music too threatening. Crum leaves listeners with the heavy-hitting, “They want my culture but they don’t want my fears.”
White Jesus – S. O.
One of the biggest tasks we have in the face of racism is dismantling the grip it has had on Religion and the American institution. This also includes understanding the depiction of White Jesus was used to oppress many. We have work to do, but we are making progress.
Sho Baraka – Fathers
Maaaaaaan this song was phenomenal. As a black man, fatherhood is something that I love seeing and hearing about. So many stereotypes are gorilla glued to our men as to where it’s become culturally normalized to be a baby daddy over being a father. In the 4:58 seconds of this song, he packed in every important word of wisdom a father would give his son or daughter in their lifetime. Much needed.
Swoope – Shining Down
I’m not gonna lie. The first time I heard this song I cried a little. The ending took me to CHUUUUUUUURCH and reminded me of those long Sundays where the church started at 10:30 AM and ended on Wednesday. This song mirrored the attitude that I’ve felt as a black Christian, in times where my funds have been insufficiently low or getting pulled over by cops not knowing if I’ll live, and all the other emotions that are created by these events. Yeah, these things happen but in spite of it all, I can count it all joy because the Son is shining down on me.
Derek Minor – The Trap
This whole album. That’s it. Most of the black experience can be found etched into the sonic fabric of this project. From the opening record “The Trap” to the last song “Revolution,” this album was Derek’s most ambitious and most polarizing project. Yet the picture that he painted walked the listeners through the life and times of a large number of African Americans.
A.I. The Anomaly – Gold
I’ve publicly stated my love for this record’s unapologetic celebration of the strength, beauty, and boldness of the black woman. Our women have become the cornerstone of many communities, and me being raised by a single mother like so many other black men and women in this country, I found this record to be beautifully necessary. The fact that it comes from another black woman giving flowers to her sisters in the struggle, reminding them that they are valuable, virtuous and they are royalty is phenomenal. After listening to this song I kissed my wife, then called my mother and sister to tell them how great they were.
Jackie Hill Perry – Ode To Lauryn
This song was an ode to one of the greatest female artists of our time, celebrating her impact while at the same time professing a desire to see Lauren come to the true knowledge of Christ. In our community, we have such a tendency to idolize and excuse our favorite artists from our prayers for redemption because we hold them in such high regard, henceforth why R. Kelly was given a pass for so long. This song impacted and encouraged me to examine the position I placed several artists in my heart and to pray for their redemption.
Eshon Burgundy – Nothing But The Blood
The assurance that the blood of the Messiah still covers us the same way it did for the Hebrews of the scriptures. “Flame on my torch running through the dark, Hebrew boy still pressing towards the mark.”
Sho Baraka – Jim Crow
A raw, unfiltered depiction of racism. “We fight for blackness, but we don’t know what black is.”
Gemstones – Circles
The struggles of surviving systematic oppression in our communities. “They dying right before us, detectives catching leads, they mother’s lying for em’, they justify they deeds, they out here dying for it, they so caught up in greed.”
Lecrae – Self Discovery
Discovering family history and true identity in Christ. “Are we Cherokee or Seminole? I got PTSD running through me from my kinfolk.”
Derek Minor – The Trap Intro
It speaks to the struggles of navigating black culture while facing many stereotypes. “Master used to call us monkeys, til we started clippin with bananas.”
Suffix – Ghetto Ndi Nyatwa
It talks about changing the ghetto narrative for generations to come, eradicate the ghetto and make it a safer place for our children to live in. They both add that the government has a role to play in order to make that ghetto livable for families.