I started listening to rap music during the G-Funk era of the mid 90’s. The beats, rhymes, and production reverberated with me, capturing much of my attention. Outside of Jodeci (THE most thugnificent singers of all time), all my musical appetite could be satiated by was rap. This continued from my teens years through my early 20’s, when R&B began circulating in my stereo. A couple of situations that transpired during those years made me give up on rap for a while, and I decided that living for God was it!
Well, this lasted about two years and soon, rap and I were getting reacquainted. More specifically, I started walking the thin line between loving God (in my heart), yet hating God (in my actions). I prayed, ready my Word, attended church, witnessed to folks; you name it and I was trying to do it. Something was still off though. I was just as liable to pray for somebody as I was to curse them. Now, in full disclosure, I STILL have a problem with cussing, but God is working on me. Anyway, the relevance exists because as my listening to secular rap increased again, so did the foul language. When the frequency went down, so did the foul language and other not so holy activities.
It took a while for the correlation to show itself, but when it did, I got smart. So, yeah, I gave up rap one more time. Well who would have guessed, but I allowed it back in my life. Again. It was during this last time that I tried a couple of different things. First, I spoke to God about it and asked for His help in finding more spiritual music to listen to. Secondly, I started looking for that music. It’s said that Jesus meets you where you’re at. Well, it was proven to me yet again.
God knows I like hip-hop music. There are artists out here using hip-hop music to spread the Gospel. I found quite a few listening to mixtapes. These artists not only love God, but use their skills to enlighten the masses with the real truth. So, I’ve been directed to artists such as GS
Yes, there are other “christian rappers”, but these were the ones I was directed to. So, these are most of the artists I been listening to. It’s been a semi-smooth transition. Some of music I’m listening to now reminds me of familiar beats, and I may even find myself humming an old tune, but I’m really trying not to go back down that old road. At some point, there is no need to keep crucifying Christ for the same actions. To continuously listen to secular hip-hop would be repeatedly crucifying Chirst.
This musical journey has become a metaphor for much of my life. I’ve learned not to judge folks based on my preconceptions the same way I had to stop judging Christian hip-hop. I used to assume it was super churchy. Making the switch has reenforced the notion that what you feed your soul, that is what you will become. Something else that was revealed to me: ungodly things attempt to be a facsimile of Godly things. The messages that destroy in worldly music in general, and hip-hop specifically, are to be replaced by ones that bring fulfillment, upliftment, truth, hope and love. This lesson is the same and central to other forms of God-centered media, and that is this: the light and love of Christ will permeate and change lives, if you will only give Christ a chance.
The choice is yours.
Have you ever made the switch from secular to Christian hip-hop? Has your life changed because of it?