26 March 2012

The Image of Christian Rap

This week, I saw this on a friend's facebook wall:

The caption read, "Mighty men of God right here".

I commented and said, "They look like thugs."

The response was, "Thugs for Jesus bro!"

Thugs for Jesus. They can dress, gesture, wear tattoos and walk like the worldly rappers, but as long as they say 'Jesus' and 'the cross' and 'grace' in their lyrics, its OK, after all they're doing it for Jesus. I wrote that my primary problem with Christian rap is not the rap itself but rather my own connotations and associations to rap in my mind that make me uncomfortable with it. My secondary problem with it, that would help my primary problem greatly, is its image.

Observe the following...



Shall I rest my case? I apologize if I threw in any worldly rapper in the set of pictures. The truth is I just couldn't tell the difference.

I repeat, the mannerisms, the gestures, the dressing, the chains, the hand signals, the tattoos etc, are all reminiscent of what is happening in the worldly rapper's world. These men may have their hearts in the right place. They may truly be Christians but they must realize that it is not just about the message. The way the message is given is also important. God must be glorified by both the message and how its delivered. How can you bring what is seen in the world into church? Yes, they have taken the art from its worldly use but surely can the addition of Christ to the art bring out what is pictured above? I don't think so.

I do not see God glorified. I see God honored with lips but not with actions. I see a genre that puts me off but the striking resemblance it has with the way it's used in the world. Unless this changes many like me I believe will only find it all the more difficult to be open to Christian rap. Christian rappers out there, what you are doing could save a generation but how you do it could just as easily ruin it.


"Tarry Home" said...

Amen Bro!

I Am Blaxican said...

I am a huge Christian rap fan but I agree with you, I don't like the way its going with the whole thug image and purposely trying to look hood thing. The lyrical content is good and God glorifying but the image to an extent has to match; its ok to dress urban, hats to the back etc but sometimes some of them take it to far.

Shane Bounty Gardiner said...

Obviously you's do not know any "christian rappers" I know both christian and non christian rapper's and there is one thing that connect them both and that is the culture they were raised in and that is were the link ends they may look the same to the unknown but deep down they are completly different and i'm not just talking about there choice of lyrics but there actions one sort help's the youth and one sort is self indulgent can you figure out for yourself who does what? I believe the good book states "Thy shall not judge" but what are you's doing? No one is perfect and we all make mistakes but it is our actions that we take to help better humanity and our community that make the difference - God Bless

Shane Bounty Gardiner

Anonymous said...

I also wanna change
the world through
Christian rapping.I
am still learning how
to rap and i believe
with my whole heart
that Jesus will Help me..

Anonymous said...

I believe that's a completely judgmental perspective. Everyone has their individual style and just because you don't like it, it's really not your place to judge. At the end of the day its about their heart and mindset. The Lord isn't worried about the way they dress so why are you? These people have reached thousands of people who otherwise might never have heard the message, and you're worried about their clothes? That's sad to me and tells me maybe your heart is in the wrong place.