“I’m what happens when Outkast meets the writings of Moses.”
This line, penned by Lecrae in his single “Cosign,” reflects the redemptive collision between hip-hop culture and Christianity.
From the early days of Kool Herc to the celebrated days of N.W.A and the Wu Tang Clan to more recent stars such as Outkast and Kanye West, hip-hop culture has developed a reputation for being uncut and authentic. With sex, drugs and violence dominating the lyrics of these artists, God was an afterthought at best.
Yet, just when hip-hop was at its darkest, something changed. MC Sweet dropped a “gospel rap” album in 1982 that held a stark difference to other popular rap artists of the time such as Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five whose widely popular album “The Message” is considered one of the best hip-hop albums of all time.
Followed by DC talk and the Cross Movement, the “Christian rap” genre began to catch some notice in the music industry, but it was still dismissed as inauthentic by most in the hip-hop community.
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DISCUSSION: How Lecrae’s “Church Clothes” Mixtape Caught Mainstream Hip-Hop’s Ear was originally published on praisecleveland.com