I wish I could find some good footage of a bum rapping. Unfortunately, the only video I came across was of a drunk dude dropping f-bombs like a Lions receiver dropping passes. So you’ll have to just enjoy this nice picture of the coolest bum I’ve ever seen. I’d probably give him a few bucks. But alas, I did not start this blog to talk about panhandling bums and their mad rapping skills. This blog inspired me to talk about a group of people that gets a bum rap: Christian musicians.
I love Perry Noble. He’s one of the best preachers I’ve ever heard. But I have to take umbrage with a statement he made in a recent message: “If a Christian can only listen to Christian music, I wouldn’t listen to music because most of it is bad.” And he’s not alone. There are a number of pastors that hold this position, but since they’re on staff with me, I’m not going to throw them out there. Perry’s a big enough guy to not get upset that I disagree with him, especially since he’ll never know…
I guess I understand where this position comes from. If I was a teenager when he was, I’d probably feel the same way. At one point, DC Talk was the biggest name in Christian rap. Seriously? Give me Run DMC, Sir Mixalot, and even MC Hammer. Christian rap was certainly a joke back then, but no one’s laughing anymore…no one that knows what they’re talking about, anyway.
I’ll never forget a ride home from work in 1999. I was working at Meijer (that lasted for a whole month), and my brother Dan picked me up. A song came on the radio called, “I AM,” by the Cross Movement, off their House of Representatives CD. This song rocked my world. It’s the first song I learned by them, and it wasn’t uncommon for my brother and I to butcher it, in classic white guy style, on the way here and there. I immediately bought this CD. Growing up in Detroit, or rather having a big brother who grew up in Detroit, really turned me onto rap. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything good for me to listen to, until now.
The Cross Movement seemed to be all alone in the Christian rap field. There were other groups out there, but CM was a group of men among boys. I only had them to cling to, and I anxiously awaited every new CD (which I happen to have if you would like to hear what I’m talking about). It was cool, but it was also sad. Why couldn’t anyone else put together beats, rhymes, and solid theology like these guys? I learned more theology from CM than I did at Bible school, and I didn’t mind sharing that with my profs along the way. They minded, though.
Imagine my excitement when Cross Movement Records started, and they recruited their first solo artist from outside the fold: Da’ Truth. Holy cats! Unbelievable stuff. I can listen to his first CD for hours. They were on the verge of starting something huge: a record label with, in my opinion (which I highly value, and you should, too), the best collection of Christian rap artists. I had CDs that I could recommend. Sure, my friends were skeptical, but when they borrowed a CD, they heard what I was talking about. I’ve never lent out a CMR CD to someone that didn’t go out and buy at least one for themself, and that includes unsaved people. From teenagers to adults, blacks and whites, saved and unsaved…everybody who appreciates quality rap loves CMR.
Here’s a list of their artists. Click the link and go check them out. If you like rap, you won’t be sorry.
- The Cross Movement (the Ambassador, the Phanatik, the Tonic, T.R.U.-L.I.F.E…all of which have their own incredible solo works, but I’m still waiting for the Tonic release)
- Da Truth
- Everyday Process
- R Swift
There’s more on the site, but they’re not all rap. There’s rap/funk, r&b, and rap. Those are just the guys whose stuff I own and can vouch for. Oh, and I’ve seen them all in concert, too. Sure, I felt a little out of place, but it was worth it. It was a great show. One more thing, you should notice that I didn’t talk about any other Christian rappers, and that’s cause there’s no one out there in mainstream Christian rap that compares with these guys.
I’ll talk about Christian rock when I get back from Jacksonville. In the words of Kip Dynamite…peace out!