Sunday, October 20, 2019

See How Social Progress Gets An Unlikely Hip Hop Inspiration From Christian Rap

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While The Commercialized Music Industry Focuses On Gangster And Egoistic Versions Of Hip Hop Ironically Christian Rappers Lift Up A Social Message 
Rapper Derrick Minor In His Anti-Materialism 
By Kamau Austin, Publisher and Editor-and-Chief, The Black News Scoop and Scoop AMS Publications.

Back in the day, when pop music was the major commercial musical force - I welcomed the messages of hip hop music.  Pop icons Michael Jackson and Prince dominated the air waves.

However, to me the major media seemed to influence the message of the music largely toward eccentric opulence from these music icons.  However, I wondered where was the music of the masses of our people reflecting our harsh realities?

Hip Hop was in my discernment a reaction over against the political detachment of iconic driven pop music.  In short hip hop, spring-boarded in NYC, was a voice for young people in the inner cities.

Over the years into the 80's Hip Hop became a source of social commentary and critique.  Groups like Public Enemy, X-Clan, KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, and many others in a myriad of ways challenged the major media narrative towards positive messages of Black liberation and empowerment.  Since the rise of NWA and gangster or egoistic rap, progressive voices in hip hop, now largely a commercialized mainstream music, have been too often marginalized - enter Christian hip hop.

Ironically, Christian hip hop a sub-culture of rap, is picking up the mantle of progressive socially conscious rap.  Artists like LaCrae and Derek Minor are prolifically and profoundly making socially relevant music and lyrics with rhythmic poetic flourish.

They are - I dare say, the new social prophets with a powerful musical soul beat.  They call into question, unlikely mainstream Christian concerns like - police brutality, gentrification, and the prison industrial complex.  For instance listen to Derek Minor's rap "Free," below...    

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Many people think that the Black Church and consequently its music has been largely less involved in social empowerment for the Black community in favor of prosperity or after life messages.  However, when a loved one turned me on to the Lacrae and I later stumbled on to Derek Minor I saw that progressive socially conscious rap was alive and well ironically in Christian hip hop.

Perhaps due to the corporate music industry takeover of rap music Christian hip hop by de fault (because of its relative independence) it has some progressive voices.  If one listens to the hip hop rotation on Hot 97 most of it centers on gun and bling bragging.

Christian hip hop offers a breath of fresh air and socially relevant messages within the music.  And these Christian rappers come from the source: the streets.  Rapper Lecrae once tried drugs and sold drugs.  Derek Minor also comes from a challenging background.

Prophetic Visionary Hip Hop Artist LeCrae Brings Social Critique and Insight To Christian Rap
While all Christian rap isn't socially empowering and is a "sub-group" of hip hop, it still is keeping the prophetic and progressive message of the streets.  The Biblical Prophets like Moses and Amos often told the people in power how society should be and will be.  Christian rappers are filling this role today.

The Christian market in the US is a large and influential one.  These prophetic poets like Lecrae, Derek Minor, Bizzle, Ruslan, and others are challenging the mainstream society and Christianity.

They therefore can have an impact.  I applaud them and look to showcase more of these artists in the future.

Derek Minor's "It is What It Is," Calls Into Question The Prison Industrial Complex, Racial Stereotypes, And Criminalization

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Posted by community events coordinator, Nzinga Lonstein Austin, is a prolific blogger who writes on the entertainment industry and issues for people with developmental and physical challenges.

She is presently in high school looking to have a career in video, film, and media. You can see more of her entertainment writing on Lonstein Movies.

About the Black News Scoop - covers national and global news focused on reporting insightful, and empowering news for the international Black Community.

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