Monday, May 18, 2009

Don't love rap; do love creativity; so — "Let the Beat Build," Nyle

Keeping with my (tenuous) tradition of starting the week off on a lighter note....

What is remarkable about the following video is that it is a student production, done on a budget of $2000 — and everything you see was recorded live and in one continuous shot. (One shot — though it was the thirtieth take.)

I've looked for lyrics online unsuccessfully. It's apparently a cover for another "song" you (seriously) should not Google, which does have filthy lyrics. But this one does not, as far as I can make out the words (this site agrees that it is profanity-free).

(If you like, read more about the artist and his plans, and the making of the video here — but that article does have some rude language.)

So. There are (I'm told) Christian rappers, even theologically reformed Christian rappers. Come on now, confess it, be honest. Are there any of you who listen to and like some particular Christian rappers? Who? Link?


Barbara said...

I can't link much right now because I'm at work with heavy surf restrictions (I can't watch the video you posted from here), but look up Timothy Brindle and Shai Linne. They work independently but they also often team up for some songs, like The Holiness of God and Atonement Q-n-A. Faulty Doctrine is another good duo work. One of Brindle's more recent albums is entitled, Killing Sin.

Slammin'. And from everything I've seen, their character and countenance lives up to the witness of their songs.

Anonymous said...

listen to? - well once by mistake.
like? - not my cup o' tea.
but I heard this once (curiously at the same time I was reading Piper's 'Let the Nations Be Glad')
His name is Lecrae, the song is called "Send Me".
Link for lyrics in case you need them, I did :)
for the sound/music - you can find multiple copies on YouTube etc.


Al said...

You cannot call me a link troll... well, you can, but you shouldn't

From the Backwater that is After The BasketI cannot see the videos right now, but this might be the same guys.

Al said...

What did I do wrong?

Re link


al sends

DJP said...

What did I do wrong?

Ah, you've sounded my life's refrain.

Josh Crews said...

These rappers minister to my soul!
It's like Puritans with a beat.

Look up "Flame", Joyful Noise
Also Lecrae, Shai Linne, and Voice (who I belive is at the Sovereign Grace Pastors College as a student). His latest album includes interviews with Ligon Duncan and Wayne Grudem.

DJP said...

I'm having a chuckalicious mental image of a row of Puritans gaping at a rap performance, slack-jawed and wide-eyed.

Jerome Bradley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristine said...

"Don't Waste Your Life" by LeCrae ... phenomenal lyrics. (I've got a link to the official video on one of my own posts, but you can find it on youtube too)

There's also a group whose members are members of my very Reformed Baptist Church, called "One 2wenty One" - they've got a page on MySpace, with some of their songs that'll play for free ... again, phenomenal lyrics.

There's really good stuff out there. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but they've got some seriously great doctrine and very cool ways of communicating it to people who do enjoy that kind of music form.

Sorry about not linking directly. I need a few lessons on how to utilize html tags on these comment posts :P

Kristine said...

Here are those links anyways though:

"Don't Waste Your Life" LeCrae - video and lyrics

One 2wenty One - myspace page and free song playlist

Tom said...

Listen to the lyrics by the artist Shai Linne (check out his album the Atonement -- it has a "CJ Mahaney interlude." I think you will very surprised and impressed. Also ChristCentric. VERY theologically accurate, encouraging, and glorifying to God.

You might find this interesting:


CR said...

I don't listen to rap either, in fact, I'm very uncomfortable with it because of its secular uses, but setting my preferences aside, Shai Linne does have a good album called The Atonement. (You can do a google search) What I would try to do, is read some of his songs without the music, you'll find the lyrics more theologically sound than what is preached on most pulpits.

Shai Linne and Timothy Bridle are the results of churches like Tenth Pres in Philadephia who have urban ministries.

Solameanie said...

The only "rap" (Christian) I came close to liking was that of D.C. Talk, because they at least knew how to sing.

However, as far as the genre itself is concerned, I have about as much use for it as I do tuberculosis.

CR said...


I think we should exercise caution in letting our preferences get in the way of certain things. The Lord used Philip Ryken's urban ministries in 10th Pres to deliver a lot of people gangs. I think it was Timothy Bridle who said the quickest way to change rap music was to change the people in rap.

I have some discomforts about rap because some of the secular forms attack law enforcement and woman. Really nasty stuff.

But again, we have to set aside our preferences. I would challenge you to read the lyrics of Shai Linne's Atonement album.

The Squirrel said...

As Jeff Foxworthy once said,"Most people don't know this, but I listen to a lot of rap music... mostly at traffic lights and stop signs."

I'm not a fan of rap, I prefer music...



DJP said...

Oh, that's funny, and true. I suppose I'd say I mostly "listen to" the bass line of a lot of rap at those "venues."

The Squirrel said...

Our house is 200+ feet from the interstate, and we can feel the bass notes when some cars drive by...

If I ever have money to invest, I'm buying stock in Beltone and Miracle Ear!


Jay said...

David Wilkerson went into the gang lands of New York City wearing his every day "pastor suits" and has changed hundreds of lives preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ WITHOUT becoming like those he was trying to reach or changing his speech to be more relevant to theirs.

It's not a question as to whether or not "Christian" rappers "minister" to our worldly souls - but rather whether they are honoring a Holy God who abhors our every sin.

DJP said...

I'm not certain what you're saying, Jay. Are you saying you think "rap" is inherently worldly and not-usable as a medium?

LeeC said...

What would you have said about Isaac Watts if you were his contemporary Jay? Beethoven was considered much like acid rock by some of his contemporaries.

I'm not fond of the current Christian rap, but much like how I didn't like hymns until I understood their lyrics and then I came to love them for what they said rather than how they sounded I could see the same with even rap.

The closest I come is that I love the O.C. Supertones.

SampleThat said I would not want it played in my worship service. Some Chritian music is for personal edification, and thats OK. It doesn't all have to be written for a church service.

James Joyce said...

I couldn't stand rap until I was introduced to the Christian variety on Way of the Master radio.
My Portion by shai linne is one of my favs. You get rap plus John Piper in the intro and outro. What more could you ask for?

You Tube has a lot of stuff posted. shai does some acapella and shares the gospel here. beats in this one so Jay can watch too.

Moon said...

oh goodness I can think of a handful!
Shai Linne - the best one out there on my opinion, he even has a rap on Spurgeon from his last album Storiez, his blog has all the lyrics to all his songs.-

Timothy Brindle.- he's done a few songs with Shai Linne and he's got really great songs, like The Humility of Christ, among others. --> Here you can listen to some samples of his album "Killing Sin"

Moon said...

ahh I see people already mentioned those...another one I can think of is Stephen the Levite another friend of Shai Linne...but I've only heard a couple of his songs, you can listen to a couple of his songs at

Anonymous said...

23 comments and No one has mentioned Ambassador?

I only own 1 Rap album, Ambassador's "Thesis" and it's really really good (and reformed).

Rachael Starke said...

I love LeCrae. "Don't Waste Your Life" is my Monday Laundry Day theme song.

Just try wrestling a three-foot high laundry pile cheerfully while battling temptations to think back on the "good ol' days" of lunch meetings and a paycheck and various lauded accomplishments,

all to the sonorous tones of George Beverly Shea.

Doesn't happen. Not for this Mom. :)

I'm going to have to look into Shai Linne. :)

David Wolfe said...

Shai Linne is great! Atonement Q&A and the ten minute rap-off with the Christian v. Satan are clearly the best songs on that CD. I would recommend Tim Brindle too..they lyrics are a little bit more repetitive and less creative, but the theological content is just as solid. Both artists are on ITunes for when you get your IPhone. :)

Solameanie said...

Oh, I don't deny it probably has it's uses, CR. I'm not a legalist on it. If someone can minister and lift up Christ through it, great.

Personally, though, it is as I said. It sets my teeth on edge, along with the rest of my nervous system. I react to it in the same fashion as classical opera purists wince at Florence Foster Jenkins.

Moon said...

Solameanie I did not like rap music at all, until I heard/read Shai Linne's song Justified...its an exposition on Romans 1-3..then I heard Triune Praise...about the Trinity, amazing song...then Atonement Q&A basically a mini catechism, amazing as well!
The Greatest Story Ever Told - a summary of the entire Bible (one of my favorites)
Spurgeon - a very very brief summary of the life of Spurgeon (amazing!)
I'm telling you, well I still don't like rap music in general, but I do like these guys and how biblical and theological their songs are.

Jay said...

I guess in today's world it's "whatever works" that is okay.

Probably I have a really negative outlook on the rap and hip-hop culture due to the disastrous influence it has had on my son. He got interested in that culture and was allowed to listen to the "Christian" versions, but naturally we couldn't control everything he listened to. Over the last few years he has gone from being a decent student attending church and youth group to an angry, violent, rebellious young man immersed in hip hop/gansta clothes, talk, music, attitude, drugs/alcohol, etc.

So, is that all the fault of the rap music? No, but it sure didn't help his parents in our efforts to steer him on the right path.

Although some want to try it, I don't think you "minister" to those struggling with alcohol addiction by sitting down with them, having a few beers and calling it "Beer Church" either.

Aaron said...

I think a lot of people's aversion to rap is it's association with violence. There are so many rap artists promoting the filthier versions of it, that in many minds, rap, as a musical style, becomes indistinguishable from the filth. I like some rap, but its difficult for me to get my mind away from this association.

One of my Pastors once made a point about music (and we sang mostly hymns there). He said there is a tendency to turn every church into an American Puritan type church with everyone singing hymns in King James English. His point was that we should expect cultural differences in instruments and style of music. As long as the lyrics and mannerisms didn't violate Scripture, he didn't see anything wrong with having such differences. And I noted that many Christians thought (and some still do) that rock music is evil especially with the use of drums.

An a slightly different note, I'm trying to figure out how our freedom of music fits into having different styles of worship at the same church (for example having a traditional service at 8AM, a contemporary service at 9AM, etc.).

DJP said...

So Jay, I guess that's an indirect answer to my question.

I'm very sorry for your experience, and I sympathize. I'm not being patronizing; I can imagine the gut-wrenching association of the two to you.

You know, though, historically, the same was said of rock, because of the lives of many rockers. And jazz.

I think we'd probably all agree in a Christian condemnation of the rock culture as well as the rap culture, insofar as they embody sex-and-drugs on the one hand, and violence-vileness-misogyny on the other.

But music style is just music style. Poetry, cartoons, novels - just art forms. It's what you put inside the forms.

~Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
~Mark said...

The aforementioned Shai Linne and Cross Movement (as well as some of the acts they produce) stunned me. I don't like most Christian Rap despite having grown up on Rap. These guys changed my mind.

When I hear a rapper quote Spurgeon and deliver deeper theology in fewer and clearer words than most pastor as well as providing good music behind it, it gets my attention!

Anonymous said...


Tobey Mac? Nobody? Lol.

Herding Grasshoppers said...


I don't have much time to be thoughtful today... cramming in school between the orthodontist and Moms In Touch, but...

"But music style is just music style. Poetry, cartoons, novels - just art forms. It's what you put inside the forms."

Totally? Always? Or, at what point does the medium become the message?

(I'm not being preachy, here, I'm really asking.)

At what point does the medium become so polluted that we avoid it because of the associations?

Granted, as far as personal preference goes, I'm with others (solameanie and squirrel) who have little use for rap music. My exposure is primarily to the pounding bass line oozing out of other cars, at a level that makes me think I should buy stock in Hearing Aid companies ;0)

I don't dispute the others' claims that there are God-honoring lyrics out there, but as a mom of three boys I will NOT be deliberately exposing my kids to it for the very reason Jay mentioned.

Just my .02,


DJP said...

Well, you don't have to, and I don't much like it either as a rule. And of course I despise the culture as I described it above.

But is "rap" defined as "A kind of music that requires the artist to hate God and women, spew vomitous verbal filth out his mouth, and do drugs and violence; and which can only be played at deafening levels"?

Or is it "lyrics spone rhythmically rather than sang, to musical accompaniment"? (Or something like that; I made that up.)

If the former, yeah, indistinguishable and irredeemable.

If the latter - yep, totally distinguishable and redeemable.

Think of literature, and maybe that's more helpful.

Can the medium of writing be morally neutral? Depends on the definition. If you define writing as "pornography" then no, under that definition, writing is irredeemable.

But nobody would stand for such a narrow definition - or there'd go everything we have of Spurgeon, Owen, Calvin, etc.

Hope that's of some help.

Michelle said...

I had never heard of Shai Linne before today. I started listening to his "Jesus is Alive" on YouTube and sadly came to the lyrics "He must have been hot or slippery because death couldn't hold Him".

Those unfortunate lyrics aside, if others can worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in spirit and in truth through rap music, that's great. For me, the constant beat appeals more to the flesh than the spirit. This goes for a lot of contemporary Christian music today. I agree with Jay in that we need to be careful of what music our tweens and teens are getting into. Is it feeding the spirit or the flesh and is it really pointing to Christ, especially when the style, by design, so closely parallels the spirit of the world?

DJP said...

Michelle...the constant beat appeals more to the flesh than the spirit....

Aigh, you're not channeling Bill Gothard on us, are you?

Michelle said...

Bill Gothard. Isn't he an unmarried father-of-none who instructs on family life? :)

I was careful to begin that sentence with "For me ..."

DJP said...

That would be one way of describing him.

Yeah; as a young Christian, I heard his argument that melody ministers to the spirit, harmony to the soul, and beat to the body.

But I'm just a naturally rhythmic guy. It's why I like to drum. Handel moves me, physically (can't sit still listening to "For the glory of, glory of the Lord... shall") — just at a slower rate than rock does.

For me, having a neat beat doesn't necessarily equal fleshly. Oh, ditto And Can It Be.

Unknown said...

I agree that medium is different than message. However, couldn't one argue that the genre is so corrupted, and that these Christian rappers have such a tiny impact that it really isn't worth endorsing? So many rap songs border on being musical pornography, but no one would endorse Christian versions of porn/erotica/whatever (Mark Driscoll sermons excepted), couldn't the same argument be used for rap.

Lastly, I apologize for this, but you can't spell "crap" without "rap".

DJP said...

Ohhh, Thomas.

Well, focusing on your first paragraph (ahem), I think that'd be like saying that because of wrong things Driscoll has done, we need to give up on preaching, especially to young people; or ever going on TV.

Say... has anyone actually said anything about the video in this post?

Joe W. said...

I grew up listening to some rap music in the early 80's. Back then I think it was fairly harmless. It was just rhythm and rhyme with a level humor, (think Will Smith-although he came along later). There were also plenty of socially conscious songs about inner-city crime and drugs with clear warnings to steer clear of that kind of life. Songs like "The Message" and "White Lines".

At some point in time, rap music took a very ugly turn with performers like N.W.A. and Ice T among others.

I think the form of Rap can be a powerful communicator and teacher. To that end, I have no problem with Christian rappers (who are talented enough, theologically sound and have a genuine faith) using wrap music to communicate the Gospel.

I recently saw footage of Chinese Christians singing hymns in their underground church. As I watched them worship in their native tongue and style of music, I was moved beyond words. They were so joyful and exuberant in their praise, even though their faith is a costly one living under a communist government.

I think it's wonderful to see how Christians around the world worship God with their native languages and musical styles, be it African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Celtic, etc.

However, I think there are limits. I don't know how music that, in it's very essence, communicates discord and disharmony can be used to glorify God.

Unknown said...

I knew the Driscoll reference would mark my downfall (no pun intended).

As to the "puritans with a beat" comment, I've seen an Orthodox Jewish rock band, why not have a rap group dressed as the Westminster Divines or Edwards?

DJP said...

Yeah! They could tour with Meshuggah Beach party!

Jay said...

Yeah, Dan I know - rock n roll corrupts the soul :)

I have always loved rock music of just about all kinds - until heavy metal came along. Several years ago I found myself fascinated with blues. I still enjoy listening to rock, blues and jazz, okay even some classical and country too - and I've never really considered myself to be a "music style" snob.

I feel the same way about some "Christian" rock and blues that I've heard as well. Some of it just brings memories of sounds and songs and decadent behavior better left in my youth.

Let's just say I agree with The Squirrel - I prefer music!

Rachael Starke said...

What I loved about the video - the tightness of the rap and the music that went with it. That's actually one of the biggest reasons I love Christian rappers like LeCrae, and even have respect for the genre - there's a discipline in the way the lyrics are crafted and the rhymes are created that a lot of music, especially so-called Christian music, just can't touch (think random, non-rhyming, subject-object confusng thoughts while singing).

I also loved the mix of people of different races and even instruments - come on, white lady violinists?? That's just awesome.

What I didn't love - the tightness of the two ladies' attire at the end. :)

Rachael Starke said...

Aaaand, so now that I've actually commented on the video... :)

I was raised in the fundamentalist/RefBap tradition that eschewed all kinds of "worldliness", like rock music in all its forms and locations, nail polish, and pants (on women, that is :) ). I vivdly remember the day I was home from college, a brand-new believer, and thought I would bless my parents (a miracle in itsself) by vacuuming our apartment. And I cranked up some music to spur me on in my good deed.

My parents came home in the middle of my attempted good deed to hear the music blaring, and I got a lecture about the unholy music and "beat" I was listening to.

What was the song?

Keith Green's "Because of You". It had become my theme song as I worked my first summer as a new Christian in a very secular workplace and to live differently than I had in previous summers.

It was...disheartening.

I say all that as a gentle encouragement, to myself now as a parent, and to all the other parents here. One of the things that makes music so challenging, even more so than books, is the tremendous variety of subjective responses that manifest themselves inwardly, long before they do outwardly. Our new selves with their fleshly remnants are as diverse as our old selves with their sinful histories.

I see this already in my own children. My oldest was listening to the new Seeds Family Worship CDs that we just ordered (all pure Scripture set to music of a wide variety of styles. One of them has kind of an electronic rock feel to it. Oldest heard it and said very seriously "Mom, that music just sounds inapprpriate to be singing about God." This is the child that has a library of excuses for her own sin, and absolutely no mercy on anyone else's.

Then there's my middle daughter, who often balks at being read to from God's Word, but has every word of every verse on this same CD memorized, and, a million times better, loves to sing them with me.

Then there's my littlest, who's 3 and very girly. After reading Herding Grasshoppers comment, I did a little experiment. I fired up LeCrae's "Don't Waste Your Life" as I changed the sheets on the bunkbeds in her room (another disliked Monday chore). Halfway through, I watched her race to her dressup box, pull on her favorite princess outfit and ballet slippers, and grab her favorite purple Care Bear. She then began to dance in circles with said bear, singing "Don't Waste Your Wife-Wife!"


3 different girls, 3 different responses. FWTW.

(Oh, and HG, please don't take this as any kind of insistence that rap is actually wonderful, and you should sit your dear boys down and make them listen to an entire Shai Linne album for their Music Appreciation and LitCrit lessons. :))

Barbara said...

Well, here's WOTM's take on Shai Linne.

Rachael Starke said...

Barbara -

Now that's hilarious. My respect for WOTM (which is not always that high) just went way up.

This is one great Monday. :)

DJP said...

Rachael, thanks inserting the on-topic token before the Rachael-riff.


DJP said...

You know, in addition to everything else — this meta's given some peeks at my beloved readers that have been a bit surprising.


Barbara said...

And more WOTM on the subject: Part 2 and Part 3Just as a side note: Paul Washer addressed a group of Christian rappers some time back. That talk is also available on YouTube, and he says and I quote:

"I am not given to flattery, because I believe flattery is a sin, a dark sin that does no help to the hearer, but...I came here thinking that I would hear hip-hop. I came here thinking that I would hear rappers. But I heard preaching. It seems that God would take the least expected thing and use it for a mighty thing. My whole life has been based on that, God taking the runt of the litter, that which is not, that which is despised, that which is unable and using it and filling it with the power of God...Every one of us who is Christian was found by God to be vile. And our best works were nothing more than filthy rags. But He saved us and He cleaned us and He uses us as instruments for His glory in such a way that even angels long to trade places with us. The art form you're doing here - what is it known for in the world? It is known for sin and immorality. It is known to be vile and to cause destruction. But yesterday and today I saw the same thing happen to a music form that has happened to my life. God has taken it, cleaned it off, filled it, and used it to bring life."

It is followed by exhortations to maintain holy lives above reproach. Worth a good listen, at least in consideration of these matters.

jim thompson said...

pure genius

lee n. field said...

"Are there any of you who listen to and like some particular Christian rappers? Who? Link?"

I have sampled Shai Linne. OK, but not my musical cup of tea.

The Squirrel said...

Meshugga Beach Party! Now that's music!

I now have both of their albums on my iPod!


Rachael Starke said...

"Rachael, thanks inserting the on-topic token before the Rachael-riff."My besetting sin has always been that I think everyone is entitled to my own lengthy opinion, especially at other people's blogs. :)

...this meta's given some peeks at my beloved readers that have been a bit surprising."Well, of course! We're

(say it with me people)


Anonymous said...'s my take.

First off, Rap was not meant as a endorsement of drugs/sex/and violence, it was an artistic movement that sprang from Black poetry. We might as well trash anything by Michelangelo and Davinci if we conclude that because they painted, we would get Jesus in a jar of Urine.

Secondly, sorry, music is music. Just like literature is literature. It's not bad until it's made bad by lyrics or message conveyed through the style.
This is the same argument that the CHurch of Christ uses to state that Musical instruments are evil....because the devil once played them....

That being said, I think MUCH more discernment is needed. I like a lot of Rock songs, but I've had to slash many of them from my playlist because I realized their message wasn't affecting me, but it was affecting those around me who were listening(aka, siblings)
So more discernment, less damning. That's my stance

BTW, I don't think any one here has done this, just letting everyone know....

God bless.

~Mark said...


thanks for the even handed approach to this thread. You said that you don't like Rap, but you didn't bury it because of your own personal taste.

I have a TON of respect for that, and for you for doing it. It might just be me, but when people just flatly state that they hate Rap in general or that "Rap is Crap" (an old cliche) it's hard for me to listen to them because I don't believe they'll be logical in their approach to anything else.

I loved that WOTM link Barbara!

Michelle said...

Okay, if rap is good enough for Paul Washer, it's good enough for me ;). Seriously, good words those. Nothing is irredeemable and unusable in the hands of our awesome God!

We are all different. Whatever edifies and doesn't detract from our walk with the Lord. That will look different for each of us.

Oh, and lest you go forward with a misconception of this reader, DJP, I'm not averse to a beat or two myself (my teen daughter and I have been known to belt out Faith Hill's "Mississippi Girl" en duet). And I love Elvis, even though I was veeeeery young when he died :).

What was the post about again?

Associate-to-the-Pastor said...

I went to church and college with Flame; he is a solid, God-fearing man. Also, a prominent Reformed Christian DJ named NAB went to church with us too; he is a solid believer.
Check out . As a youth pastor, I could only wish that more Bible study material was like that.

Associate-to-the-Pastor said...

Check out

For what it's worth, my old pastor appears in the song about the trinity on the album Rewind. Marcus (Flame) wrote that song specifically to address the fact that many black churches have been taken in by the modalism of folks like T.D. Jakes. He also goes through part of the 1689 LBCF article on scripture, as well as a song about hermeneutics called Context.
Better than almost ALL Christian music- even praise music.

threegirldad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
threegirldad said...

[I deleted my prior comment because I left out an important phrase by mistake. Let's see that again in slow motion...]


I "hate Rap in general" in the same way that I "hate brussels sprouts in general" -- which is to say, entirely, and as a simple matter of taste.

On the other hand, I'm certainly edified by and appreciate the lyrics of the songs recommended here. But listening to them "rapped"? thanks.

For some of us, it really is that simple.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Oooo, Dan, good conversation today!

FWIW, I did listen to most of the song. It had more actual music than I expected. I probably would've enjoyed the background music more without the distraction of the rapper, as I couldn’t distinguish most of the lyrics, and I'm not fond of the monotone style of delivery.

But that's just my personal taste.However, let me pick on your logic a little. You said, (in comparison),

Can the medium of writing be morally neutral? Depends on the definition. If you define writing as "pornography" then no, under that definition, writing is irredeemable.

But nobody would stand for such a narrow definition - or there'd go everything we have of Spurgeon, Owen, Calvin, etc.

Hope that's of some help

I agree that the medium of music is morally neutral. Just as I wouldn’t define all writing by the description of pornography, neither would I define all music by the description of (the common, debased form of) rap music.

But as Thomas said, “… many rap songs border on being musical pornography, but no one would endorse Christian versions of porn/erotica”, because that genre of writing is corrupt. Is rap different?

The predominant associations we all have with rap music involve violence, profanity, pornography, drugs, etc.

In the battle between “good lyrics” and “bad associations”, what will win? Obviously, in the mature minds of many of your readers, the answer is clearly “good lyrics”! But will that be true of most of the listeners? Or will “Christian Rap” just habituate more impressionable minds to readily accept the more common form of rap?

I probably sound overly alarmist, and I admit – as a mother with sons approaching adolescence – that at times I have to fight the temptation to allow my decision making to be based on fear. Like a mother bear protecting her cubs, I want to shield my boys from anything that would entice them into sin. And, from my limited observations, I think Jay’s sad story is all too common.

But again, that’s just one woman’s viewpoint.


Susan said...

I'm comment #66 (if no one gets ahead of me), and I just can't resist derailing this whole meta at the very, very end with the Duncan Bros. Rap!

Joe W. said...

I think you get the last laugh, that was too funny.

Rachael Starke said...

Can't. Stop. Laughing. Susan WINS.

If I keep my husband up all night giggling, I'm telling him it's Ligon Duncan's fault. And Susan's.

I just have to watch it one more time...

CR said...

Oh, you ladies never saw the Duncan bro rap?? Get with the program ladies. :=)

Hey, I'm wondering if we can get Solameanie like raps if we get him to listen to the Duncan bros.

You still out Solameanie? In love bro, in love.

CR said...

Rita: Spurgeon - a very very brief summary of the life of Spurgeon (amazing!)They say the quickest way to reach a man's heart is through his stomach. Well, since none of outside of Valerie cook for Dan, that option is out.

But, the quickest alternate way to reach Dan is give him something about Spurgeon. And if you have that link, Rita, for Dan, share it. If not, I can touch base with my homies (I just like saying that word, homies) and they'll dig it up.

Joe W. said...

Did you just call me a lady? I didn't realize my writing was so high pitched.

Maybe I should grow a thicker beard.

Tournifreak said...

Michelle said...
"I had never heard of Shai Linne before today. I started listening to his "Jesus is Alive" on YouTube..."

Weh-hey - I made that vid!

DJP said...

Susan, I can't believe I didn't put that up at some point. Thanks for it; yet another reason to love Lig.

CR said...

I wasn't thinking of you JTW, really. I was thinking of Rachael and I thought there was at least one other woman that was surprised. I wasn't thinking of you bro!

LeeC said...

I'm sorry I ever introduced my children to Handel. I thought it was fine since it was good wholesome content, but the other day I heard them playing *gasp* Wagners Die Nibelungen!!!!

Oh my poor pagan children what have I done to you.

The content in these songs are more grounded than what is coming out of well, I fear over 65% of the pulpits these days.

It's not my bag, but that doesn't maker it not God honouring.

Just like you getting tattoos piercings and talking street slang will not get your children to respect you and like the Gospel likewise the solution to your children not getting involved in gangster rap or any other pervers thing is not avoiding Christian rappers.

It is the Gospel, and living a life that exemplifies to them the importance of putting glorifying God in all you do. In showing them that you LOVE Him dearly, and that is how you can love them so dearly.

Salvation saves, not walls around temptation. When they love God, they will love the things of God, and abhor the things that revile Him.

That is your only hope.

Aaron said...

Dan: I haven't had a chance to see the video on your post yet, because I haven't been at home. So that's why I haven't said anything about it...yet.

Others: I've heard all kinds of arguments by Christians against various musical forms as ministering to the "flesh." Exactly what is wrong with ministering to the flesh? Should I stop eating dessert, drinking coffee (or soda), sitting in my spa, or any other activity that I do because it feels good? Why did God give us fruit that was good to see and delicious to taste? Was it because it ministers to our soul? I guess if you believe in "soul food" but otherwise, the point is to appeal to our flesh. So I eat dessert and after thanking God, I ask if I can have seconds.

BTW, I said very early that most people's objections to rap are with its association to violence. But I don't believe rap started out this way. If you listen to some very early rap or even rap from the late 80s, I don't think you'll find violence nearly as prevalent. If that's the case, would that change people's opinions here about rap as an art form?

P.S. I enjoy some rap, but generally don't care for it in the same way I don't care for country music.

Patrick said...

Dan -

Check out Shai Linne's song called "Mission Accomplished" which defends limited atonement.

Jay said...

After having thought a lot more about this overnight, in light of my son's situation, what I have to hope for is that rap/hip-hop as a music style and ministry tool can be used by God to reach my son and others like him.

In the end, if he is saved and truly knows, loves and follows Jesus then I cannot condemn whatever method reaches him.

LeeC said...

I WILL pray for your son Jay.

I'll tell you this much. I have been involved in hardcore metal, and punk movements. Much of them are crying out at the futility, and hopelessness of this world.

As much as they spurn Christ, they shout from the rooftops their need for Him.

Preach the Word.

Moon said...

CR please say that again in english :P I did not understand a ok kidding.
Well everyone can listen to it here:
Shai Linne - SpurgeonLyrics

Michelle said...

Sir Aaron, there's no problem with "ministering to the flesh" if you're talking about eating dessert or sitting in your spa. There's nothing wrong with music that appeals to the flesh in that it evokes emotions and is enjoyed and appreciated.

When it comes to offering praise and worship to God through the powerful medium of music, or even proclaiming Him the way Christian rap seems to do, I just think the type of music definitely affects whether or not it's more of Him and less of us. How much will be different for each person. It is a powerful medium and will affect people differently, as evidenced by the vigorous response it never fails to evoke.

Angie said...

I dislike rap for the same reason I dislike jazz - I don't like the way it sounds. It's not my thing.

This reminds me of a story I heard once from a man who did prison ministry. He was discipling a young man who one day shared with him a rap song that he had written. This was a young man from a rough neighborhood and a poor start to life worshipping God in a medium he understood.

When people translate the Bible they talk about "heart language". That's the language they know best, the one that has the most impact on them. I think rap is probably the musical "heart language" of many lost people in our society. Take the gospel to them in a language they understand. The word of God will not return void, even if presented in a musical style I don't particularly like.

Aaron said...


Exactly! But that isn't what most people argue when they decry rap or other musical styles. They declare the style in and of itself to be unGodly. I do believe that worship at church should allow the entire body to participate in a meaningful way and with the primary goal of praising God. That is why I object to much contemporary "praise and worship" services. They are only concerts aimed at getting people into the pews because the music is satisfactory to them. I prefer hymns because they are easy for me to sing along as well as rich in theology. But I am open to choruses and other songs so long as they meet the aforementioned criteria and align with Scripture generally.

Jay: I have not experienced the sorrow of having an unsaved child so I can't truly imagine your situation. I will pray that God will call your son to repentance and forgiveness through whatever means He elects. I'll also pray that God will comfort you and assure you in the meantime. As an aside, I'm not convinced that the means of presenting the gospel is all that important. I've never been a proponent of making rap music, dressing down, or doing anything else as a way of "reaching" somebody. I think that crosses into an area of marketing or trying to sell something by appealing to somebody's particular desires. I just try to stay within the boundaries of what God has gifted me to do. But if there are those who love rap as an artistic style, enjoy making music, and are gifted by God then I say go be the best rapper you can be for the Glory of God.

Solameanie said...

Bass? You all want bass?

Hear the full-throated roar of a Moog Taurus pedal as it shivers the concrete of a 25,000 capacity stadium.

Now THAT's bass.

Susan said...

1. Rita--that "Spurgeon" rap is awesome. :D Thanks for the links!

2. Believe it or not, I didn't expect to find the Duncan Bros. rapping together when I did the Google search. I was trying to look for Ligon's rap from Ghostbusters II, also done at a Ligonier Conference. Turns out that two heads are indeed better than one! :)

Rich said...

"Josh Crews said...
These rappers minister to my soul!
It's like Puritans with a beat.

Look up "Flame", Joyful Noise
Also Lecrae, Shai Linne, and Voice (who I belive is at the Sovereign Grace Pastors College as a student). His latest album includes interviews with Ligon Duncan and Wayne Grudem."

I totally agree about Voice I am not a fan of rap in general but I got to say "The Long Road Home featuring Devon Kauflin" is a must listen and it is one of a few songs on my ipod.
Here is a link to sample

"Here I Stand" is great Reformed Rap!

Jack said...

I've read a lot of the comments on here. There is nothing in the Bible that condemns a certain musical style, there are tons of condemnations of lifestyles. People tend to justify their own preferences and try to enforce their personal preferences as if they are legit rules.

Bad lyrics set to classical music are still bad. The old hymns set to rock are still God honoring. It's the heart-set and focus of the artist that matters. Are they trying to glorify Christ or self? Are they fighting sin?

Do they enjoy fellowship with God?
Are they sensitive to sin?
Do they obey God's Word?
Do they reject the evil world?
Do they eagerly await Christ's return?
Do they see a decrease pattern of sin in their life?
Do they love other Christians?
Do they experience answered prayer?
Do they discern between truth and error?
Do they have the witness of the spirit?
Are they rejected or persecuted for their Faith?

The answer to these Christian rappers is an astounding yes, in a way that should be a lesson to all of us and the greater Christian culture.

To add to the list of Christian rappers and comment on the ones mentioned.

I love Shai Linne and Timothy Brindle, amazing theological lyrics. Just like a sermon as mentioned, every song.

Flame (one of his songs was mentioned) is awesome.

The 116 Clique are awesome, they have an album called "13 Letters" which details the 13 letters that Paul wrote, each song pertaining to a book.

In the 116 Clique are:
Lecrae (the most well known)
Trip Lee
Sho Baraka

Trip Lee has a chill laid back sound, a bit harder to understand but his lyrics are phenomenal (check out his song "Behold the Spirit" and get the lyrics).

Tedashii is great too, check out his song "Off da Hook", it's a fantastic assessment of man kind's condition and a presentation of the gospel.

They pursue Christ in a humbling way.