Christian hip-hop artist?
The term Christian hip-hop can be considered an oxymoron. The reason for this is because the majority of hip-hop music's content goes against the beliefs and practices of Christianity. A considerable amount of hip-hop music is negative, talking about drugs, killing, and exploiting women. So, declaring yourself to be a Christian hip-hop artist can certainly raise a few eyebrows. Unless of course your name is Lecrae Moore.
Lecrae Moore is a Christian hip-hop music artists that has taken the mainstream industry by storm in recent years. He has been recording music for more than ten years and is now known in the music industry as the most popular and successful Christian rapper ever. In 2012, his sixth studio album "Gravity" won a Grammy award for best gospel album of the Year as well as a Music Dove Award for gospel album of the year. The album also charted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was the first gospel hip hop album to ever do so. This was a major accomplishment and defining moment for Lecrae's career as well as the hip-hop culture. Now hip-hop listeners have the option of listening to a more positive side rather then the infamous drug dealing , violent lyrics that we are so used to hearing.
Now, that Christian rap has emerged itself into the mainstream. The questions now are can it co-exist with the culture of pre-existing hip-hop? Will one overtake the other? Will the lyrics and messages of both types of hip hop conflicts with one another? These are questions that only time will be able to answer, but for the time being it seems that Christian hip-hop music overall has been embraced by it's darker predecessor. (Source 2) When asked how has the mainstream hip-hop community reacted to you and your mission, Lecrae responsed by saying, "They understand I'm authentic. I'm not some rapper trying to cash in by calling myself a Christian. And I'm not some church boy trying to do rap music. It's nice to be embraced." Whether this is only temporary or the beginning of a permanent change in the hip hop culture, one thing is for certain. The term Christian rapper is no longer an oxymoron. Instead it is a term defined by people like Lecrae, teaching the principles and beliefs of Christianity through the sound of hip hop music.