Hip Hop And The Church

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Thursday 1st November 2001

Christian rappers face same challenges as their rock predecessors

IN A FRONT page story in the American Billboard trade magazine, Christian rappers and industry figures argued they are waging the same battles their rock predecessors fought decades ago when Christian conservatives challenged whether that genre was an appropriate medium for furthering the Christian message. "We are fighting the exact same battle," Teron "Bonafide" Carter of Grits told Billboard. "Christian rock is one of the main music genres they sell a lot of. I believe it's going to get like that with hip hop, but they're a little more fearful of this genre because they're uneducated about it. Rock pretty much crossed all cultural boundaries. Hip hop has done that in the mainstream, but in the Christian market it has such a bad reputation that they don't take it seriously or consider it to be a viable ministry."

That is a charge that hurts and frustrates rap artists. "There were years of toiling and being called the devil," said DAX, a veteran West Coast rapper who founded the rap outfit LPG and is spearheading the Tunnel Rats' Tunnel Vision' album, due out in November. "We are ministers of the gospel, but we just happen to rap." Added Mars Ill's Greg Owens (aka manCHILD), "As believers, we want to impact lives. Rap lets us do that."

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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