Over the years the Christian hip hop scene has been a relatively big part of my life. First an foremost it was the tool that God spoke to me through back when I was in high school. It was THE tool God used to introduce His son to me. Like most people, I started listening to mainly just Lecrae and some of the other guys off of Reach Records, but mainly just Lecrae. What they gave me theologically wise was great, but over the years I noticed I started to listen to the 116 group less and less and I couldn’t really figure out why. It hit me one day when I saw the 2 things that made them less appealing to me. For one, I payed more attention to their lyrics and I found a lack of reliability between my life and theirs. I really grew up kind of nerdy and socially an outcast and most of the guys I was listening too were in some way or another from the streets and it really reflected in their music. How is some suburban white kid supposed to relate to former thugs and potential gang members? I never had an issue with drugs or violence, and even when my dad not in the house I still talked to him weekly and had a decent relationship with him that most of those guys didn’t have. The second thing I noticed was for me it felt like I was hearing the same scenarios and messages over and over again, because (at the time) their music catalog wasn’t too big, so I would listen to all of their songs starting on Monday and be finished with the whole thing by lunch on Wednesday.
Now most people will admit that CHH has had a pretty shady past with how corny some of the music was before 2006 or so. There was some good quality stuff coming out, but because it was such a young sub genre, it wasn’t too diverse. Luckily for me, I discovered CHH around 2010, so there was some really good stuff out by that point…but some of the older stuff my youth pastor was showing me made me cringe really hard at times, so I was a bit scared to try anything outside of Reach for awhile. I finally broke out of this fear and decided to check out some of the featured artist that were popping up here and there like Flame, Propoganda, Benjah, Da T.R.U.T.H. and more. It became really refreshing to hear these new sounds and voices. It was refreshing discovering Christian Reggae (if thats even considered a sub genre). It gave me a new found respect for the art and it really got my creative juices flowing. It even hit the 2nd issue I was seeing with the genre, the lack of deep theology. Now being Christians most artists have gone through the gospel at one point or another, or even used bible stories to make dope bars or great stories, but no one seemed to hit biblical theology like Humble Beast did. They really took the genre to a different level for me and again furthered my joy for the art even more.
Because of my passion to listen to as much of these guys as possible, I’ve been able to listen too and even meet some of my favorite artists. Some of the artists I have met, I have been able to actually talk to and to my surprise they seemed very admittedly state how their music has affected their listeners. Some have even opened up to me a bit and they say how encouraging it is to them to know that their music is actually helping people in any way shape or form. I can personally say that this music has really helped me grow in my spirit and has really kind of held me together when my life decided’s to take a hard left turn. (Side note: If you read this far, ya’ll my best friends now). So finally laying that out, I just wanted to say to all artist, producers, and everyone else involved with this music…Thank You! Thank you for allowing God to properly use you in a way that reflects his image and hopes for all of us. You have so far taught us how to be better men and women, how to think deeper, and how to enjoy hip hop in the midst of the negative outlook that it has carried for many years. It’s not always gilts and glamour like how most rappers propose this life to be and some people get that. To Reach, Humble Beast, Clear Sight, Full Ride, Lamp Mode and others…keep doing what you guys do, you have such an enormous platform to get many people the story of Jesus, but also Godly examples of what followers of Christ should look like. To more indie artists, you guys also do the same. You may not have as big of a stage but you guys carry just as much responsibility. I want to thank you for the time you have personally given to your listeners at concerts and over social media. I’ve cried with some of you and you prayed over me and I too you as well. As long as you guys keep listening to that will that God has placed over each of your lives, then you will succeed where it matters. Once again…thank you for everything you do! Bless up!0