Christian Rap/Hip Hop

“Unbelief” – Stephen King

“Unbelief” Stephen King From the CD No Secrets (release date: April 28, 2018) By Bob Marovich Not the best-selling author of horror and suspense novels, this Stephen King is a Christian rap artist from Battle Creek, Michigan, who now calls New Orleans home. “Unbelief” is from King’s debut album, 2018’s No Secrets. It’s an anguished prayer for divine assistance during a time of supreme doubt. By the end, he turns the moral of faith into a message of hope for those still trapped in anguish. If you listen hard, you will hear a recurring sample from B. B. King’s classic ...

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Kanye’s Conversion Novel but Not New

By Bob Marovich In its first week, Kanye West’s spiritual album Jesus is King made record chart history by topping five charts at once, including the Billboard 200 chart and the Christian and Gospel album charts. The shift in message was a surprising move, even for the enigmatic and politically perplexing West, and it stimulated a range of responses—from cynicism to delight. But for all its novelty, Jesus is King is not the first time a pop artist has ventured into the realm of religious music. It’s not the first time an artist has left fans wondering whether the change ...

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Sir the Baptist: Everyday Music from a Sunday Knight

By Bob Marovich The sacred-secular divide in music is a uniquely modern conception, and it misses the point. In West Africa, where most enslaved Africans came from, all music was sacred and all music was secular. There was no distinction…until the music came to America during the African Diaspora and distinctions based on intent were forced upon it. This Saturday night-Sunday morning dialogue about what makes gospel gospel arises whenever a new generation of music makers blurs the applied distinctions to communicate a modern message to a contemporary community of believers and non-believers. Perhaps no artist today better represents the ...

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“Everytime” – Social Club Misfits

“Everytime” Social Club Misfits From the Capitol Christian Music Group EP MOOD (release date: April 12, 2019) www.socialclubmisfits.com By Bob Marovich Produced by Young Sidechain, “Everytime” by Christian hip hop duo Social Club Misfits is an autobiographical rap about their commitment to sharing the Word throughout the nation, regardless of the consequences. They proclaim what amounts to a gospel artist mission statement: “I do it for the people who got nothing left / And if I did it for the money, I would probably quit.” They also call out rappers who sell themselves short – “buyin’ chains with chains around ...

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Rezurected – The Prodigal Son

Rezurected The Prodigal Son Dubbstarr LLC (release date: March 19, 2019) www.rezurected.org By Bob Marovich The Prodigal Son is an appropriately titled album for Rezurected. It depicts, in nine bite-sized tracks, his personal story from the consequences of an early life of bad decisions to salvation and victory. The Christian hip hop artist Rezurected is Brent Reusch (pronounced “rush), an Atlantan who now lives in Cleveland, Ohio. The Prodigal Son tells his tale through a mix of urban street vernacular and biblical quotes buoyed by beats that are sometimes gothic, sometimes melodic, and other times minimalist or infused with fuzzy ...

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Apostle Thomas – The Resurrection (EP)

Apostle Thomas The Resurrection (EP) T&T Ministry Records (release: December 20, 2017) https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/apostlethomasthesanktifi By Bob Marovich Unlike the doubting Apostle Thomas of the New Testament, the Christian rapper Apostle Thomas of South Carolina is fully certain who Christ is. Apostle Thomas, born Thomas Leroy Morrison and also known as “The Sanktified Soulja,” gets candid about his life before and after salvation on a respectable independently-released four-track EP called The Resurrection. The rhymes on the appropriately-titled EP are well-articulated—Thomas rarely embellishes his vocals with daredevil speed work so the message gets full attention. Nor does Thomas employ clever metaphors and analogies, ...

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“Freedom” – Quamid feat. Christina Prophet Shorter

“Freedom” Quamid feat. Christina Prophet Shorter From the independent EP Bold as a Lion (release date: December 25, 2017) By Bob Marovich Augusta, Georgia, Christian rap artist Quamid Green (aka Quamid) teams with Christina Prophet Shorter on “Freedom,” a piece that redirects the freedom journey from the traditional trajectory of collective equal rights to individual soul salvation. The ultimate bondage, according to “Freedom,” is life without God. What sells the song is its compelling chorus, delivered with thunderous intensity by background vocalists that sing like a gospel choir in a documentary about the Civil Rights Movement. As Quamid spits about ...

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Jarred AllStar – Water and Wine

Jarred AllStar Water and Wine Independent (release date: December 25, 2018) www.jarredallstar.com By Bob Marovich What I find particularly interesting about Christian hip hop is that, like any type of poetry, the more you listen, the more you are rewarded with new insights. Of course, not every song or poem is deep, but enough are to warrant closer investigation. This is certainly the case with Jarred AllStar Haynes’ Water and Wine. While some selections gush with the unbridled joy of salvation, others have more incisive messages. Peppering his rhymes with humorous references to popular culture, Jarred, a licensed minister, finds meaning ...

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Da’ T.R.U.T.H. – Vet (EP)

Da’ T.R.U.T.H. Vet (EP) Independent (release date: November 9, 2018) Available on all digital platforms By Bob Marovich Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’s EP Vet is a musical memoir designed to bring fans of the Christian rapper up to date on what he’s been doing since his last release two years ago. But more importantly, Vet is T.R.U.T.H. venting from the get-go about the reason for his absence: the spiritual cost of chasing commercial success. On “The Prologue (Where You Been),” he expresses a profound disillusionment with the music business. Seeking to get back “to a time when it wasn’t about the numbers,” ...

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Jerrell Golden: J Rocks the Mic…for Jesus

By Bob Marovich Anyone who witnessed Tappahannock, Virginia, rapper J Rock during freestyle battles heard a young, hungry, and confident artist who didn’t just want to emulate Jay-Z: he wanted to be better than Jay-Z. But behind the scenes, the story looked different. “I was hooked on drugs and did a lot of bad stuff,” Christian hip hop artist Jerrell Golden told the Journal of Gospel Music. “Me and my mom, we weren’t seeing eye to eye, so she kicked me out,” he said. “And honestly, I deserved it. I went through a spell of being homeless, going from friend ...

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