It’s just fairly recent, probably within the last year, that I’ve really grown to appreciate the genre of Christian hiphop. I call it Christian hiphop because it’s hard to classify. Gospel rap sounds like a misnomer. Holy hiphop sounds clichéd. And, as XXL calls it, “new God flow” is kinda blasphemous, at least to me. So, I’m left with Christian hiphop.
Previously when touching on this subject, I really wasn’t versed in many artists. What I did know is that the majority of artists all maintained one overriding theme. That is that Christ was central to their lives. Yeah, they rapped about everyday situations, even street living. It wasn’t a message of despair and being mired in criminal acts that they glorified though. Most of the songs pointed to one central tenant: the hope that living for Christ brings.
GS was the first artist I really listened too. In particular, on his mixtape Warning Before Destruction Vol. 4 GS has a song entitled We All One Body. It’s a track that recognizes that there are other hiphop artists in the category, but they’re all doing their part to uplift God’s Kingdom. Between listening to this track, and doing some research, I found a few others who were worthy of the listen.
I appreciate Lecrae and Reach Records. These bruhs are doing great ministry. There’s some independent artists doing their thing as well. AJB4 is one I been catching up on when watching YouTube. Another crew I been listening to is the Iz Real Entertainment group.
All the artists have their own style, and it really shows the variety that exists in the body of Christ. That being said, as each artist has their own style, each person that listens to the music has their own preference. Mine just happens to fall inline with GS and Collision Records.
Collision Records has (it seems) quietly, but efficiently established a fellowship of artists who can stand toe to toe with anybody in the secular, or spiritual, rap game. These bruhs pull no punches with the Truth, or how it affects daily living. The transparency by which they reveal their lives speaks to the authenticity, yet frailty of our lives. Even in some of the songs where no explicit references to God and Jesus are made, it’s possible to still hear the Godly influence. God IS in this music.
One of the realest songs I’ve heard from the collective is Honest 2 God from the Alex Faith mixtape of the same name. It speaks to the competing nature of worldly trappings, and living for God. It’s a tough line that is layed out, but one many folks find themselves straddling. Blue Skies from Christion Gray, is another “crew cut” that tackles the same subject. Dre Murray and Mr. Swoope also are showcased, and they rise to meet the challenge laid down by Alex and Chris.
What I appreciate about Collision, and all the other Kindgom hiphop labels, is that they are being used by God to minister. It’s not a traditional form, but it is a form that will get the attention of people, young men in particular. Women are as important to the Kingdom as we are. However, it’s of vital importance to gain young men’s attention because we’re the standard bearers. We are ideally, the next generation of leaders. If we’re strengthened in Christ, that can only bode well for the future.
By no means am I taking shots at any artists, because they all are working to advance God’s Kingdom. But for my tastes, GS and the Collision Records artists get it done. I look forward to what they have instore for the future.