A musical style incorporating rhythmic and/or rhyming vocal delivery, Hip-Hop/Rap can also be used to express praise-worship to God like every other genre.
Most believers have struggled to embrace the Hip Hop culture due to the constant mention of drugs, violence, sex, and money that have been present in the music in years. This notion is fast changing thanks to the emergence of great Christian Hip Hop acts who over the years have used rap music as a tool to uplift and win souls, bringing the saving knowledge of Christ to listeners.
As the world continues to fight a global health crisis, we have compiled a list of five (5) Christian hip hop/rap songs to lift your spirit during the coronavirus lockdown.
1. Thorns and Crowns — KB
KB is a Hip Hop artist under the famous Christian label, Reach records owned by Grammy award winner, Lecrae. He is also part of the HGA group (His Glory Alone).
On Thorns and Crowns, “K to the second letter” as he’s popularly called samples Hillsong United’s “Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)” giving a rap remix to the popular worship song, The chorus was sung by Taya Smith.
“Thorns and Crowns” is the 13th track on his 2015 album, Tomorrow We Live. KB is quite expressive in his two verses, as he discusses very pertinent issues.
How does a man stay on top? Become the servant of all?
When you the servant of all, no competition’s involved
‘Cause who is knocking you off? There’s nowhere left to fall.
In a world where everyone is striving to be the best, KB is telling us the best is the least as Jesus said in Mark 10:44. His rap flows effortlessly on the track as each bar (rap line) makes one pause to soak in the lyrics. An excellent wordsmith, He is definitely ready to go the distance for Christ.
2. Selah — Kanye West
Many questions his new-found faith in Christ due to his past and eccentric nature. However, the impact of Kanye West‘s “Jesus is King” album, and his ‘Sunday Service’ Pop-ups which have seen many turn back to God and souls won, can’t be overlooked.
“Selah” is one of the stand-out tracks from the project. “Everybody wanted Yandhi / but Jesus Christ did the laundry.” raps Kanye in the first verse as he made reference to his canceled project and new devotion to Jesus Christ. He then references scriptures; John 8:33 and John 8:36 in the bible.
John 8:33 reads; “They answered him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?’” John 8:36 reads, in response to the above question; “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
“Selah” also features a beautiful chorus of “hallelujah” sung by a Sunday service choir. The word ‘hallelujah” in Hebrew means ‘praise God.’
3. Protected — Limoblaze
2019 Named Premier Gospel “Best International Act,” Limoblaze is an amazing Rapper-singer-producer whose style of music centers around Hip Hop and Afro-fusion. “Protected” is declarative joint featuring US-based Kenyan Christian HipHop artist Proud Refuge.
According to Limoblaze, This track was inspired by Mark 4: 35-40, the story of Jesus calming the storm. “This song basically hammers on the fact that no matter what life throws my way, as long as I have got Jesus in my Boat then I am Protected” the Afro-Hip Hop sensation Added “This song and it is sure to be a blessing”
4. I Will Find You — Lecrae
Lecrae needs no introduction in the rap space. Grammy award-winning artist has been working on several projects with different artists, and “I’ll Find You“ is a stand-out from his 2017 LP, All Things Work Together, featuring GRAMMY-award winning singer-songwriter Tori Kelly.
Lecrae took to his Instagram to talk about the story behind the making of the song.
Life is a precious gift. A gift we often take for granted until it is threatened. Pain can be a haunting reminder to appreciate every waking moment. So we wrote a song to share our hope in the midst of that pain. At the time of this song’s composition, some of our loved ones were battling cancer. We wanted to encourage them to hold on and tell them we are here waiting, hoping, praying, and fighting with them. Some have been released from their pain forever; others are still fighting. — Lecrae.
5. Bitter — Andy Mineo
Andy Mineo is another artist under reach records. He is also a member of the 116 clique (culled from Roman 1:16) which has Lecrae, KB, Trip Lee, and a host of notable gospel rappers. Bitter is a heartfelt song about Andy and his father. He doesn’t have a good relationship with his earthly father and how bitterness is rising in him.
Holy Spirit, teach me to be just like the Son
Remove the roots of bitterness
Don’t stop until your work is done
As a believer, many people might have hurt you, and this song is a prayer anthem for all suffering from the pain of heartbreak.
These are the five (5) rap songs we have selected for you to listen to during this lockdown. Let us know in the comments other Christian hip hop songs you have been listening to this period.