Christian rap. What do you think of when you hear those words, written next to each other?
Before I met my husband, I would have told you that I have a very eclectic music list on iTunes. Pop music, acoustic, jazz, classical, country, hip hop, R&B, ska, and a few random genres that friends had recommended songs from. Rap was not on that list. Now, while I don’t use iTunes regularly anymore, for various reasons, I have a few Pandora stations I have fine tuned to my preferences, but rap still does not make that cut. I have always acknowledged the talent that rappers have; while I like to sing songs (my life is very much like a musical and I can burst into song at a moment’s notice), and I can tap beats out (which is probably where my son gets it from), but I have never beat-boxed, or pumped up the bass, or whatever it is that happens in rap songs.
Before he became a Christian, he listened to rap music. He was pleased to destroy his collection of CDs that glorified sin, but he found an alternative… I do not know how he first discovered Christian rap, but I couldn’t help but roll my eyes when he told me. How could such a Godless genre be redeemed? Not to mention the fact that bass at the level he enjoyed it practically made my ears bleed. (I kid, I kid, but I do get a headache from listening to it for prolonged intervals.)
Being the good girlfriend that I was, I listened. And I found it wasn’t terrible. Now, I cannot claim to be a rap-convert. I would not even say that I enjoy the genre as a whole, not even Christian rap, but there are a few artists whom I have come to expect good things from when I hear them. And, as we generally live by the rule that whoever drives picks the music, he often selects songs I wouldn’t and it expands my horizons. Live and learn. Listen and have your horizons stretched.
“Penelope Judd” by Shai Linne is my favorite, but Flame and Lecrae also have songs on the top of my very short list. Kirk Franklin, who reminds me of Toby Mac, is also up there. If you are looking to expand your own musical horizons, I definitely recommend those artists as a great place to start.
While my current ringtone is not a rap song, it is in my head when it plays, and I have my husband to thank for that. (As an aside, I don’t pay to download songs for ringtones, and I don’t know how to set a song I have downloaded as a ringtone, so I use the app Zedge for free ringtones and notification sounds. The app doesn’t have a huge list of songs available, so I had to take what I can get.)
The song, or at least the chorus, is a familiar one to many. “Awesome God,” I think is the title, but the chorus goes something like this:
Our God is an awesome God,
He Reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
Unless you’re special enough to me (or call me often enough) to have your own ringtone, this chorus will play when my phone rings, sung by what sounds like a choir. I sing it all the time, probably because my phone rings with junk calls at least 5 times a day (I say junk calls, because if I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer… and if I don’t get a message I consider it a junk call.) Kirk Franklin (who I very seriously doubt will ever see this blog), thank you for this earworm.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16