Most artists in this genre are careful to explain that they are making hip-hop music from a Christian worldview, not making Christian music with a hip-hop style. This is a segment of hip-hop music recorded by Christians, not the hip-hop version of Christian music.
Sonically, it may not feel different at all. At first glance, it may seem like a simple matter of semantics. But this distinction is actually rooted in a theological concept about the purpose of believers on earth. And for them, it makes all the difference in the world. They are here to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ by engaging and redeeming the culture.
Popular artist Lecrae often shares how he came to begin recording music. While volunteering at a halfway house, he realized that the young men there, who embraced hip-hop culture, were embracing music that only “encouraged their low ideals and detrimental perspectives.” In an attempt to offer them a godly alternative, he recorded an album. The result was an authentic hip-hop record, marked by Lecrae’s southern musical roots and love for lyricism, that fearlessly presented a Christian worldview in opposition to hip-hop’s typical offering.
It’s an in-your-face approach to engaging the culture, rather than creating a new version of the culture within our safe Christian world. That’s no subtle distinction; it’s a game-changer.
Next: Meet Some of the Players