The Gravity of Gospel Hip Hop
By: Min. Angela Lee Price
Embracing contemporary gospel music may not be the answer for every church congregation, but it can be a way to keep young people from slipping into what secular hip hop mogul Jay-Z calls “the wild.” Jay-Z won a Grammy in February 2013 for "No Church In The Wild", his collaboration with Kanye West featuring Frank Ocean and The-Dream, a song that prophetically and pathetically describes the state of postmodern America. He says society has gotten so bad that people have been reduced to nothing, to a mob. In the hook, he rhetorically asks, "What’s a mob to a King? What’s a king to a God? What’s a God to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything?" In a violent and troubled time, Jay-Z is asking where is the church? He is being facetious because to him the answer is clear. The church is nonexistent. It is ineffective. There is no church in the wild. To a great degree he is right. In a time when people show no respect for God nor for human life, the church has become ineffective, a social gathering place. Even Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of the most well-known preachers on the planet said recently that he's tired of the "Hollywood Spirit" in the church.
I am so glad God is raising up a new generation of young men and women in this postmodern age who are not afraid to stand up against forces that speak against the church. God is gifting young people to speak truth to power with integrity, authority, and in the power of the Holy Spirit. While the church has its issues, the Bible declares that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. The 21st century church has to stand up and begin to embrace our best and brightest young representatives, artists like Da Truth, and LeCrae, who has not only given a strong Christian retort to "No Church In the Wild" in his song, "Sacrifice," but also won a Grammy this year himself. LeCrae won a Grammy for “Best Gospel Album” for his groundbreaking "Gravity" CD. In winning the award, LeCrae made history becoming the first gospel hip hop artist to win a Grammy. LeCrae has proven that gospel hip hop can no longer be taken lightly. With gifted artists such as LeCrae giving a contemporary defense for the faith with integrity, Gospel hip hop has become an undeniable force in the gospel music industry.