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Music Styles Christian Hip Hop

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Christian Hip Hop

Christian hip hop (originally Gospel rap, also known as Christian rap, Gospel hip hop, or holy hip hop) is hip hop music characterized by a Christian worldview, with the general purposes of evangelization (Christian mission work), edifying some members of the church and/or simply entertaining. Christian hip hop emerged from urban communities in the United States in the 1980s, when it existed almost exclusively in small underground scenes, with minimal formal industry promotion and little mainstream attention.

Christian hip hop, blending rhythmic music and faith-based lyrics, first emerged on record in 1982 with a track entitled "Jesus Christ (The Gospel Beat)" by Queens, New York artist McSweet. The first full-length, Christian hip hop album, Bible Break, by Oklahoma artist Stephen Wiley, was released in 1985 with the title track becoming a hit on Christian radio in 1986. Other early Christian hip recording artists from the mid-1980s included P.I.D. (Preachas in Disguise), who recorded to funky rock rhythms, as well as JC & the Boys and Michael Peace.

The most prominent Christian rappers have been tobyMac, who was the first rapper to have success in the mainstream Christian music scene, and Lecrae, who has emerged recently on the mainstream rap scene.

History

The first commercially released and distributed Gospel hip hop record was by Queens, New York MC Pete Harrison, under the recording name 'McSweet', The Gospel Beat: Jesus-Christ (1982), written and arranged by Harrison and produced by Mac Sulliver on Lection Records of PolyGram.[1][2][3] The first notable full album released was Stephen Wiley's Bible Break (1985), written by Wiley and produced by Mike Barnes on Brentwood Records.[4][5][6][7] In the same year by David Guzman founded JC & The Boyz. Some of America's premiere Christian rappers, such as: Michael Peace, SFC, Dynamic Twins, MC Peace, and T-Bone came out of this crew. A more commercially successful crew known as P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise) released five recordings. Michael Peace is an American rapper and one of Christian rap's first solo artists.

In the late 1980s, other crews emerged, including dc Talk, E.T.W. (End Time Warriors) and S.F.C. (Soldiers for Christ). ETW was led by producer/artist Mike Hill who went on to pastor one of the largest inner city youth groups in the country out of Tulsa Oklahoma. S.F.C. was led by Chris Cooper who originally rapped as Super C (short for Super Chris / Super Christian) and later became Sup the Chemist and then finally Soup the Chemist. Christian emcee Danny "D-Boy" Rodriguez was another well-known early Gospel rap artist, but was murdered in 1990 in Texas.[8]

The 1990s saw the continuing trend of funky rap artists blending faith and rap, such as D.O.C. (Disciples of Christ) who emerged from Oklahoma as well as the Gospel Gangstaz from Compton and South Central Los Angeles, California. In 1991, JC Crew emerged featuring Maximillian (West Coast beat box champion) and T-Bone.

Gotee Records formed in 1994, co-founded by dc Talk member Toby McKeehan, better known as TobyMac, making it the first record label marketed explicitly for Christian hip hop and R&B that was backed by a major label. The label was among the first to market the Contemporary Christian music market through distribution at Christian bookstores and playing on Christian radio. This trend continued with other labels such as Tooth & Nail's Uprok Records and others that gave an outlet to hip hop artists who identified themselves as Christian and wanted a broader market. Recently, a number of artists and labels such as Reach Records, Grace and Peace Records, Godchaserz Ent., Lampmode Recordings, Collision Records, End of Earth Records, Rezurrected Muzic, Cross Movement Records, Grapetree Records, Syntax Records, Deepspace5 Records, Universal Funk Records, Illect Recordings and The New Unstoppable Records have purposely marketed to people outside of churches[9]

Artists and style

Although generally described to be Christian rappers, artists such as Lecrae, Andy Mineo, KB, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Social Club, NF, John Givez, Jgivens, Derek Minor and Propaganda describe themselves hip hop artists who are expressing themselves, and are openly Christian.[10] Just like in Christian rock and other Christian music genres, some artists welcome being called Christian artists while others do not want it to be labeled as "Christian music", as to not limit their music to the Christian music market.

Organization

Eagle Wings Charismatic Ministries International strives to be a safe haven of Messianic / Christian Information. A conservative Bible based back to our roots organisation, with the primary focus on teaching the body of believers, providing the politically incorrect truth so many times hidden and distorted by an abounding number of denominations.

Christiaan J. de Ruiter

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