There are loads of rappers who got their start in Christian Rap or working with artists in the space. Some are fully invested in it but some rappers are Believers but don’t invest their career into it. For one reason or another, those rappers’ calling was not ministering through music. There is no problem with this.
So if you check out a Social Club Misfits or KB album and see names you haven’t heard of that could have some explicit tracks or reach the “God-per-minute” quota of mainstream Christian music – this is why. Check out part one of this series here.
At an early age, William Gazelle Field Jr. showed an interest in music, playing trombone in middle school. He started playing the drums by the age of 13 at his father’s church. Aha began experimenting with music production at 14 years old. By 15, he released his first self-produced mixtape under the name Trill Will.
At 18, Aha became fascinated with the piano and taught himself how to play by ear! He released #TeamGMG the following year. He transitioned from the drums to the keyboard and began playing at other churches all around his native town of New Orleans. Aha attended Grambling State University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2014. He gained further recognition upon releasing Free Barabbas in 2015, which featured the singles “Gettin’ Money” and “Vegeta.” The latter of which proved to be his most successful single up to that time. As of the current, all of the music mentioned so far has been taken off of major music platforms.
In 2016, Aha released the album Trilliam. The hit being “Supreme” with over three million plays.
One of the best Christian Hip Hop records out there, Reach Records signed Aha in 2017. That year he released three albums Trilliam 2, Boot Camp, and Trilliam 3, and was featured by the likes of Lecrae, KB, and Social Club Misfits.
In 2018, Aha announced that he was leaving Reach Records to pursue other ventures. After leaving Reach Records, Aha has released several singles and albums titled 180 (2020), Secession (2020), Pardon Me (2021), and Spin (2021). Since the album Spin, he has come out with several hit singles such as “My Bruddas,” “Heart Away,” and “Hard to Find.”
Follow Aha Gazelle on Instagram here.
Listen to “My Bruddas” by Dee-1, 1K Phew, and Aha Gazelle:
His reputation precedes him. Tyshane Thompson was born into a musical family. His dad is the gospel legend and gospel reggae pioneer Papa San. Like the first artist on this list, Beam got into music production at the age of 10. Several years passed by and he was already producing for Christian Rap artists Andy Mineo and Lecrae. By 2015 he was working for 2Chainz and Yo Gotti.
A little after that, he started making his own music. His first singles titled “Chat Bout” and “Problems” were released in mid-2017. Just to show you the level of his music, “Chat Bout” has over four and a half million plays on Spotify!
Throughout the following years, he was featured on Andy Mineo and Wordsplayed’s “BREAK BREAD,” Social Club Misfits’ “Dive” and Skrillex’s “Mumbai Power.”
In 2019 he came out with his first full-length album, 95, and the hit song being “UNDA ARMOR.” The song almost has ten million plays.
Then in 2021, he would get the appearance of his life, “Love You Different” by Justin Bieber. Justice (the album that the song was in), would go platinum and would be performed live on TV shows such as SNL, The Voice, The Late Late Show with James Corden, and Good Morning America.
His most recent release, ALIEN, is a nineteen-track album. It has features with Jorja Smith, Justin Bieber, and his father.
The song below is clean but I should put a language warning for most of Beam’s music. “His intention was to chart his journey through depression and anxiety, and encourage growth and perseverance.”
Listen to “Dive” by Social Club Misfits and BEAM:
Robert Levi Stalford, also known as RAW – B (Real Authentic Warrior) is a slept-on Rap artist that you need to watch in the upcoming years. His dysfunctional upbringing with multiple broken families hindered his growth early on in his career, but he’s now making leaps in his creativity and the content he consistently puts out. Even after receiving multiple 10/10 on Critique Fridays from OnBeatMusic with Rapzilla, he continues to hone his craft.
Raw moved to Atlanta with musical intentions and now he is reaping the benefits. Opportunities presented themselves that may have never happened if he would’ve stayed in Portland, Oregon.
In 2019 he started his career with an ep titled, Ink. Raw made his ep with Xay Hill. This duo would continue to make music throughout the next few years.
2020 would be the year where he would pick up his pace. He released nine singles and an ep. Highlights being the ep War, singles, “Favor Ain’t Fair,” “In The City,” and “IDK Yet” featuring Xay Hill.
In 2021 he would come out of the gates swinging. Raw had his most popular single yet, “Champagne Ford,” which has over 315,000 plays on Spotify. Later that year he would have the song “Soda and Vodka” with 350. The song would have over 375,000 plays.
So far this year he hasn’t quite had a song of that level but has come out with seven singles. We are still waiting for an album from him. Follow Raw-B on Instagram here.
Listen to “The Call” by Kamban, Swaizy, Raw-B and Rapzilla:
Xavier Omar fka SPZRKT
Xavier Adams started making beats as a kid and got together with friends to rap. As a teenager when his family moved to Georgia he started a Christian rap group called “The Movement of Truth.” After a couple years they signed a deal with Mali Music which was a great experience for the young artists. When Xavier turned 18 the band broke up but still remained close friends. He moved to Texas soon after.
He tried out for almost every music TV show on TV (American Idol, America’s Got Talent, The Voice, etc.) Xavier didn’t get past the first round in any of them. This crushed the young artist so much that he stopped making music for a while.
Then around 2012 his spark for writing music again reignited. He started making music under the name SPZRKT (Spazzy Rocket). During the next three years, he was featured by Canon, Faith Child, Black Knight, Social Club Misfits, Thi’sl, Derek Minor, and Tedashii.
His proper debut album Bonfire was released in 2014. The two major hits of the album are “Lit” and “Share the World.” “Share the World” has over three million plays on Spotify.
Up to this point, you might be wondering why is he in an “Adjacent” Christian Rap article. But in 2015 he made his “break up” letter to CHH. You can find that letter here.
After that, he changed his artist name to Xavier Omar, and doesn’t appear much in CHH. So far he has had 18 singles/eps and four full-length albums. The highlight is the single “Blind Man” which has almost 75 million plays on Spotify. You can follow Xavier Omar on Instagram here.
Listen to “Share the World” by SPZRKT
K.LA fka Kayla Starks
Kayla Starks has always been surrounded by music. Even as a young child, she was involved in church choirs and was learning about the history of music from her family. All of these experiences; along with the influence and support that she received from her family, have helped fuel her more than a hobby that turned into her greatest passion and career.
At just 16 years old she was named a Rapzilla Freshmen and was doing singles with some of the biggest artists in CHH.
She debuted officially in 2016 with an ep titled Outlasting Seasons. The next year she had an album titled The Crown Album. The hit was “But God” and had over 75 thousand plays. The next year she had a couple singles and the biggest one being “Let Me Dream.”
After a series of life-altering incidents (read here), she switched her artist name to K.LA and is no longer making Christian rap. So far she has had two full-length albums under that name. She is currently still coming out with music. Follow Kayla Starks on Instagram here.
Listen to “But God” by Kayla Starks
Which of these Christian Rap adjacent artists have you heard of or listen to? Who else should be on this list?