Christian Rap/Hip Hop

Bro. Glenn – Childlike Faith

Bro. Glenn Childlike Faith WayMakker Music (release date: December 22, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich “Will you be ready when Jesus comes?” asks Christian hip hop artist Bro. Michael Glenn, aka Bro. Glenn, at the outset of his album Childlike Faith. I don’t know about you, but from the sounds of it, Glenn is ready. Although there’s neither a melodic nor specific lyrical theme that ties Childlike Faith together, there are plenty of recommendations here on how to live the kind of life that will prepare you successfully for the final days. The Christian hip hop artist mostly sings but ...

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Lawrence Hancock – Don’t Stop Caring

Lawrence Hancock Don’t Stop Caring Independent / Symphonic Distribution (release date: April 29, 2022) By Robert M. Marovich Don’t Stop Caring is Bishop Lawrence Hancock once again baring his soul and sharing the raw truth from the pulpit of experience. The Stellar-nominated Christian hip hop artist’s eighth album builds on his distinctive style of delivery: an atmospheric kaleidoscope of computer-generated electronica and rhythm supporting stream of consciousness lyricism. As such, Hancock is like a sacred version of a beat poet. As on 2020’s Who I Am and last year’s Need of You, Hancock prays out loud in a pleading, multi-tracked ...

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“Class Clown” – Mandala

“Class Clown”MandalaIndependent (release date: December 17, 2021)https://mandalaraps.com/ By Robert M. Marovich Born in Joliet, Illinois, Mandala is a self-proclaimed “radical” Catholic rapper who uses the fire and brimstone rhymes of Protestant holy hip-hop to wage legit war against the world’s wrongs. As a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (my alma mater), Mandala would have been brought up with the hymnbook and the greatest hits of the St. Louis Jesuits. Instead, he’s done a 180 into hip-hop. His singles include “American Pope,” the title track of his mid-2021 debut album, which combines serious subjects and personal testimony with Catholic ...

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1K Phew & Lecrae – No Church in a While

1K Phew & Lecrae No Church in a While Reach Records (release date: December 3, 2021) www.reachrecords.com By Robert M. Marovich Christian hip hop artists don’t need the four walls of a church to spread the good news and save souls. They never have. Quite the opposite – they do their best work ministering along humanity’s highways and byways. Nevertheless, that didn’t keep 1K Phew and Lecrae from wondering about those who haven’t been to church in a while, because of the pandemic, because of church hurt, or both. On their ten-track No Church in a While, the Reach Records ...

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Darius Droc Jackson – The Great Commission

Darius Droc Jackson The Great Commission Independent (release date: July 17, 2020) www.youtube.com/mrdroc2010 By Robert M. Marovich I’ve heard plenty of independently-produced holy hip hop projects that leave me feeling meh. Whether it’s the hasty production, derivative beats, or humdrum rhymes, they fall short of their promise. Not so The Great Commission. Darius Droc (pron. D-Rock) Jackson and his featured vocalists and producers offer ten measured, melodic meditations on the power of global discipleship. The opening track, a hook-laden, melodic, and radio-friendly “Kingdom Business,” serves up the album’s main premise: the Great Commission to preach the word of God to ...

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“Help Me” – Jerrell Golden (ft. Romane Scott)

“Help Me” Jerrell Golden (ft. Romane Scott) From Imago Dei Records CD Jerrell Golden (release date: July 30, 2017) By Robert M. Marovich Tappahannock, Virginia, holy hip hop artist Jerrell Golden preaches through his rhymes on “Help Me.” When people suffer from compassion fatigue in a world so cold that “July can be December,” giving up is a tempting option. Others want to help but they cannot. That’s because, Golden reminds the listener, “first we have to learn to follow before we can lead.” There‘s a teaching moment. Between Golden’s stanzas is Romane Scott’s pleading tenor, amplifying the feelings of ...

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Lawrence Hancock – Need of You

Lawrence Hancock Need of You (pre-orders begin April 26, 2021) By Robert M. Marovich Bishop Lawrence Hancock’s new Christian hip hop release, Need of You, emulates his summer 2020 album, Who I Am, more in musical vibe than in message. For his seventh album, Hancock focuses less on uncertainty and more on praise and gratitude. “God’s Been Good,” a praiser with a slowed-down Gap Band groove and punctuations of synare, is the single, but “First Love” is more compelling for its melody and lyrical longing to return to the initial rush of happiness that happens when one discovers Jesus. As ...

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Shyne On Me: What a Year (EP)

Shyne On Me What a Year (EP) (Release Date: November 26, 2020) https://shyneonme.bandcamp.com/ By Robert M. Marovich The year 2020 wasn’t over when DC-based Christian rapper Shyne On Me, like most sentient beings, was ready to stick a fork in it. Nor was the trouble the year wrought, as we witnessed on January 6 in the rapper’s own hometown. His EP, What a Year, encapsulates the emotional rollercoaster that was 2020 through rhymes he renders to a mix of acoustic guitar, laidback beats, and a cacophony of other voices, like friends gathered (masks on, of course) to share collective empathy. ...

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Leland Philpot – Psalms in the Midst (EP)

Leland Philpot Psalms in the Midst (EP) BabelScattered Productions (release date: October 5, 2020) By Robert M. Marovich Chicago avant-garde gospel hip-hop artist Leland Philpot draws on hip-hop, jazz, gospel, and techno wizardry for his EP Psalms in the Midst. Billed as Philpot’s testimony set to music, the EP opens with the title track, a mini-sermon that serves as a general introduction. An aggressive rapper but a disinterested singer, Philpot rhymes rapid fire, near to breathlessly, on “The Gift,” as the beats beep and burble behind him like arcade games. Minimalist beats and gushes of quick rhyming also propel “Break ...

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Mali Music – The Book of Mali

Mali Music The Book of Mali RCA Inspiration (release date: August 14, 2020) www.rcainspiration.com By Bob Marovich The Book of Mali is aptly titled. Mali Music’s fifth album, released in a partnership between his own imprint, K Approved Enterprises, and RCA Inspiration, is a study in self-awareness. Much of the album has a confessional quality, a series of private-made-public conversations between Mali and his Lord. For example, on “Let Go,” Mali dizzyingly delineates the temptations he has left behind. The hypnotic current single, “Mo Lo” (Like You),” is about getting closer to God by humbling one’s self in His presence. ...

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