I am no authority on hip hop music but as someone who used to be immersed in hip hop (I still am to some extent) Christian rap has come a long way from DC Talk’s Heaven Bound that is to say that we have just recently had something might I dare say worth listening to with Lecrae, Da Truth, Shai Linne and a few others around. When I first became a Christian I had to be very cautious about the type of beats (instrumentals) I would listen to as they would evoke certain ungodly emotions in my heart. Musically, stylistically, and theologically this type of rap actually serves me well and spurs me on to love and glorify Christ more. I cannot commend Lecrae and the like enough for those who want to give Christian rap a chance. I say “Christian rap a chance” as most are prone to seeing this as an oxymoron and unfortunately most of what has been out there has either been too prideful to call it Christian or just plain out corny.
Mike Anderson has a transcript up of a recent interview with Lecrae here. Mark Driscoll has also interviewed Lecrae on his life, his engagement of culture and more on the same page. You can also download a free song from his new album here.
What was your inspiration for your new album—”Rebel”?
The inspiration for the album was largely realizing my own need for a biblical worldview. As I would navigate through arts, economics, politics, media, and culture as a whole I’d wrestle with a dichotomy between sacred and secular all the time. I’d either embrace aspects of secularism or the other extreme be very separatist in my views. I began read and listen to stuff by D.A. Carson, Mark Driscoll, Tim Keller, and Francis Schaeffer, and taking another look at Genesis, Daniel, and Romans and I found a better grid to see the world through.
Over time I’ve worked to see Urban culture through a biblical lens and it’s really helped. So I wanted to share with the listener the need to take a stand for Christ in culture yet still be a blessing and cultivator for the culture.