Stemming The release of ‘Gang signs and prayer’ by English grime artist Stormzy. A lot of people were surprised to hear songs on the album. Such as ‘Blinded by your grace part 1 and 2’ and to be completely honest. So was I. I mean i had heard that Stormzy himself was Christian, and that in his songs there had been references. But these songs were definitely a statement to his character, and one that you can’t ignore. It was one that made me step back and think about the whole sub-genre.
As a Christian myself, I was always interested in ‘Gospel Rap’ and its top tier names. Whether that was american hip hop stars like Kirk Franklin or Lecrae, or English Rappers like Guvna B. These examples by themselves are very much top of the line. Because of that, all of what they say is based on Christianity as a whole.
Due to my last point society usually has a biased opinion on it. Which then leads to them never really getting much media attention. Turning it around though, in the last month a lot has been happening in this area. And it is quite surprising.
Chance The Rapper won 3 Grammy’s this month. Including best rap album for his Gospel centered album then going on to perform how great.(which is a typically known christian song.) Or going back to Stormzy releasing three quite Christian based songs on his new album. Now i’m not saying a trend is starting but what i will say is that once the mainstream start doing it is common for it to trickle down.
It would be wrong of me not to mention one of the first times a mainstream secular rapper was noticed quite publicly for his Christian statement music. that name is Kanye West. Jesus walks was nominated for best gospel artist at the 2005 bet awards. Despite not being a gospel artist himself!
Since the start of Rap music. It was always quite common for rappers to use God in there acceptance speeches and to reference a lot of what the bible says in there music. Where then and now differs though is that before it was usually just a fleeting comment. Whereas now it is becoming more of a life style trend. Making it become more socially acceptable to step out and include in your music. A good example being Ty Dolla Sign teaming up with Lecrae to release there collab song ‘Blessings’
With all the hate and oppression that i see rippling through our world today. It is nice to see some positivity and acceptance being shone through our music. Even if it is in the small.