Christian rap artists review (VIDEO)

Vivi Feiser and Mecaylla Daniels


Mecaylla Daniels, Contributer

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While it may sound strange or even contradictory, Christian rap, which is also sometimes known as Christian hip hop, is an up-and-coming genre in the music industry. While some Christians feel that the basic components of rap and hip hop conflict with biblical teachings, many younger Christians seem to be connecting with their faith through the music.

The main goal of Christian rap is for artists to creatively express themselves through music by reaching their faith-filled fan base spiritually and musically. The music seems to be very experimental and a diverse genre of music drawing more of its audience to its unique sound.

The first album to promote Christian rap was released in 1982 by MC Swee, titled The Gospel Beat: Jesus Christ. The term “Christian rap” was not used to describe this musical style until the late 1990’s.

Introducing a new type of Christian music, other than live instrumentals was a very different route for Christian singers. Gotee Records was the first major record label to focus mainly on the aspect of Christian Rap in 1994. Gotee Records was co-founded by a well known Christian rapper who goes by the stage name of “tobyMac.”

In November of 2014, a Christian rap tour visited the Philadelphia area among other select cities on the east coast.  The main headliners of the show this year were Lecrae and Andy Mineo .

Andy Mineo is a 26 year old Christian rapper based out of Syracuse, New York. Christian summer camp played a huge part on Mineo’s decision to begin experimenting with Christian rap music. In addition to pursuing music, Andy Mineo is also a music producer and minister. Andy Mineo produced his early 2013 album, Heroes for Sale, listing  number 10 on Billboard 200.

Lecrae is very popular in today’s Christian music culture. Lecrae became a Christian rapper at the age of 25. During Lecrae’s spiritual journey, he had to overcome many hardships but uses music to tell the story of his own life testimony. Lecrae released his first single “Anomaly” which rated #1 on Billboard 200, and received nominations in late 2013 for “Artist of the Year” and “Best Gospel Christian Artist.”

Sharing the stage together as headliners of the 2014 Christian Rap Anomaly Tour,  the two rappers were able to keep the audience entertained.

Junior, Lindsay Funch, and freshman Sarah Allen attended the Anomaly Tour. Both were invited by their church youth group to attend the concert along with other members of their church.

“I had never seen Lecrae or Mineo in concert before. I definitely expected the concert performers to be upbeat. I really liked the strobe lighting with fog. At one point, Lecrae’s performance brought the audience together to a calm and understanding state. He really connected with the crowd by telling his life story and what he’d been through,” said Allen.

Many fans of mainstream rap and hip hop often label Christian rap as less valid because it doesn’t deal with the harder elements involved with many other rap songs. Beyond this criticism, much of its critique comes from the fact that many teenagers are not aware of the positives.

“I wish I had knew more of the music, I think that would have made the experience more enjoyable, but it was something I’d do again,” said Funch.

The biggest difference seems to be that the music brought people together in a peaceful and positive way.

Lecrae and Andy Mineo will finish the Anomaly Tour in February, 2015.



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