When was the last time you heard a secular hip hop song celebrating marriage honorably? Still thinking? Keep thinking.
I love hip hop. I love the way a message can be rhythmically conveyed over a dope beat or even a nice display of beatboxing! (Shout out to my early 80’s hip hoppers). Or to get the full effect, a nice ac piece is fresh too. (Ac is short for acapella, pronounced “ahk”).
In many respects I am fascinated by the way an emcee can craft words, using rhyme, metaphors, similes, alliteration, consonance and many other poetic devices to craft a message of continuity. In that we are seeing lyrical creativity, I think, at its best. Hip Hop, I like your style!
But I am not initially impressed in all respects, until I examine the content and the intent of the lyrics. Hip Hop, I am checking for your substance!
When I was first converted, I thought I had to give up hip-hop because I couldn’t find the substance that matched the Spirit of Christ in me. I thought it didn’t exist. I previously discussed that here. This was the beginning of my world view being reshaped by God because I gleaned much of my world view from music and my immediate surroundings through the deception of sin and my flesh. So as my mind was continually being renewed by the Word of God, my appetites changed, including my musical appetite. I could no longer bear with lyrical depravity.
Praise God that He’s called and calling people from all races, cultures and subcultures to represent Him and display the glory of God globally in many different contexts. This magnifies His creativity and His sovereignty over all.
Christian hip hop is still under-appreciated on a large scale simply because of the Substance. This only bears witness to the scope of the truth of the gospel.
Evangel, a very gifted Christian emcee from Maryland, released his first solo album, Expository Journey and it creatively delivers his journey from unbeliever to believer. Rich theology, but also very practical. One song that really stood out to me on the album was A Good Thing. It celebrates God’s institution of marriage, designed to illustrate the love Christ has for His church. Beautiful!
Songs like these continually shine the light on the emptiness of secular hip hop.
Evangel’s album is available at Lampmode Records.