A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine who happens to be a Christian Artist asked me, “Is it still cool to be a Christian Rapper?”
I’ll be honest, the question caught me off-guard. I’d never considered it before.
Trying to get to the heart of the matter, I asked him, “Why would it be uncool?”
His response: “Many of the leaders in our scene are saying they no longer wish to be called Christian Artists.”
Is this a legitimate question?
Save that thought for a moment.
Let’s Look at the Bible
In Acts 11:26, we discover that the believers were first called Christians (v. 26) at Antioch. Prior to this nomenclature, in verses 19 thru 25, we’ll observe that the Christians were sharing the gospel with those who knew God (Jews) as well as those who didn’t know Him (Gentiles).
To top it off, they were doing this in the face of great persecution. Stephen had just been stoned and many of the believers were forced to scatter across the Roman Empire.
Ironically, the believers themselves didn’t coin the phrase “Christian.” Their allegiance to Christ was so apparent, that others named them appropriately.
Therefore, being called a Christian was probably viewed as a badge of honor amongst the believers. It meant that regardless of what persecution you faced, you still pledged your allegiance to Jesus Christ.
Christian Rapper or Rapper That’s Christian?
The Christian rapper vs rapper that’s Christian debate has been raging in our scene for a long time. Let’s be honest though: at its core, the debate is stupid.
Many of us (I’ve have been a part of the conversation) have made the argument that if you don’t want to be called a Christian Rapper, you are ashamed of the gospel.
This is a bad argument and a misuse of Romans 1:16.
The majority of artists who have said they don’t want to be called Christian Rappers: Lecrae, Japhia Life, Sho Baraka, Trip Lee, R-Swift (He’s just Swift now Btw), Tunnel Rats, Propaganda, J.R., theBreax, Shad, Wize from the Frontlynaz and Mr. J. Medeiros have never denied publicly or privately that they were Christians! With the exception of the Tunnel Rats and Shad, I’ve talked to all of those I just mentioned about this at different times. They love the Lord.
You don’t have to be a Christian Rapper to be unashamed of the gospel.
So why did we debate this? Because some of us (yes me included) wanted to project our own personal beliefs on others.
Unfortunately, this was true on both sides.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, It really shouldn’t matter what we call ourselves. As long as we are not denying the faith and Christ is being preached, what’s the big deal? The original Christian martyr, Stephen, was stoned to death before the term Christian was even invented!
So back to the original question. Is it still cool to be a Christian Rapper? It depends on your mindset. If you want to follow the so-called “trend”, then being a Christian Artist may not seem cool to you. If you just want to please God, however, whatever HE is leading YOU to do, will be cool to you.
Personally, I’m in the latter camp. While I still consider myself a Christian DJ, I refuse to knock the guy or gal who says I am a DJ that happens to be Christian. Same goes for the rappers and singers who take this position.
The real question each of us should be considering is: “Is God Pleased With What I’m Doing?” That’s what really matters.
Can God be pleased with both Christian Rappers and Rappers who are Christians? Why or Why Not?