When you think of Rap or HipHop – what is the first thought that comes to mind? Kanye West? C@$h Money? Bling? Black dudes? Drugs? Slangin? Murder?
Growing up I was always attracted to HipHop. Unfortunately, HipHop in the 80s & 90s didn’t give me the best message being a 14 year old kid. Listening to artists like 2pac, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, The Nortorious B.I.G. (Biggie Smalls), & Bone Thugs encouraged a teenager like myself to: sleep with as many women as possible (the “love-em and leave-em” mentality), get rich & flaunt it (any way possible – mainly by selling drugs or making an album), disobey any type of authority figure (sometimes for no reason – just to do it), if someone gets in the way of your success – kill them, literally.
The message has been sold and sold to kids (some beginning as young as infants). When I think of HipHop, I now think of a genre of music that God as created so that we could worship the Lord Jesus with conviction and joy!
When I think of HipHop, I now think of how much of a joyful noise I could make singing along with men like Shai Linne, Lecrae, Tedashii, Trip Lee, Timothy Brindle, DJ Essence (esso), Flame, & Azriel. These young men God has used to take HipHop to a place that teaches me, convicts me, & allows me to rejoice in my Maker & Creator – the Lord Jesus Christ.
Where other “Christian” artists can be sung by other sects of “Christianity” – I call “non-Christianity”, these men make it clear what they believe and what Jesus they are glorifying.
Here is just a sample of lyrics that were written by my brother in Christ
Shai Linne – Jesus is Alive
Give praise to King Jesus, the blessed Son
victorious, glorious resurrected One
To Him belongs the power, glory and honor
Ascended where He sits at the right hand of the Father
At the cross He made atonement- His people He saved
After three days He was raised in defeat of the grave
By faith the elect behold Him, His scepter is golden
He must have been hot or slippery because death couldn’t hold Him
The spotlight is on today’s icons
In a thousand years, nobody will care- their light’s gone
But at that time, Christ will still shine bright
He’s not in the limelight- He IS the limelight
Criminal minded, you’ve been blinded
Looking for the body of Jesus? You won’t find it
We never lack spirit, letting you cats hear it
Because His tomb is empty like most secular rap lyrics
Oh how these lyrics feed my soul with amazing spiritual food. I hope that the music that you listen to will ultimately lead you to praise the Father and not some false savior like money, women, sex, drugs, or status. It seems like this is the way HipHop should be – HipHop redeemed.
You can pick up Shai Line’s albums at your local Christian bookstore. If they don’t carry – tell them to carry it. Or you can check him out on iTunes.
I’ll end with a clip of Shai Linne live in Long Beach, CA. Peace!