The State of Christian Hip-Hop

The Story: In the latest video installment of The Chopping Block, Lampmode artists Shai Linne, Timothy Brindle, Stephen the Levite, Json, Hazakim, and S.O. discuss the state of Christian hip-hop (CHH) today. Among other things, they consider the relationship of hip-hop to the local church, the importance of explicitly Christ-centered lyrics, and the perennial danger of pride. Surveying the CHH landscape leaves much to be applauded and much to be desired. On the one hand, the rise of social media has generated more opportunities than ever for artists to rhyme publicly. On the other hand, however, there don’t seem to be many voices pointing people to something beyond the music.


The Background: Many Christian hip-hop artists have arisen since the late 1990s when The Cross Movement began setting a new standard for theologically-rich, Christ-exalting lyricism. The Lampmode artists in this discussion, along with contemporary artists such as Lecrae, Trip Lee, and Flame, are in many ways carrying on the tradition that The Cross Movement began. They’re not in the majority, however, for what gets passed as Christian hip-hop is too often characterized by theological levity and tireless self-promotion.

Why It Matters: 2 Corinthians 4:5 states: ”For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord.” At the end of the day, the question all believers—especially those holding microphones—must face is simply this: who’s the hero? The Lampmode artists are wrestling with how to promote King Jesus as the supreme and sole hero over-against any competitor, including themselves. So watch the video, reflect on what’s discussed, and be encouraged by the thoughtfulness and humility exhibited by these gifted brothers.

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  • Rache

    It’s very inspiring and comforting to see musicians in this genre talk about using their skills and the medium to promote Christ and ultimately to glorify God. For a long time, i’ve seen eyebrows raised when I mention my love for Hip Hop in church. It’s great to show that it’s not the genre of music but the message that matters. God bless you all!

  • Aaron

    I love Christian hip-hop that is explicitly gospel-centric, but I also enjoy artists that can rap about other topics in a way that is Christ-honoring. I would love to hear more guys rap about family, work, children, etc., and do so in a way that is glorifying to God. Not every song needs to be a rhyming exegesis of Romans 5-8.

    • Heather E. Carrillo

      I recommend This’l and Lecrae. They both pick up more grittier topics. And they have some family stuff too. Also, Json has a great song called “Parent Me.” Check it out sometime.

      • Heather E. Carrillo

        *more grittier* grammar….who needs it?

  • Heather E. Carrillo

    True Story, @Rache! Praise God for these guys.

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  • Rob

    This video is very encouraging. I enjoy the music put forth that is explicit with the Gospel, but also enjoy music that raps of other Christian virtues and areas of life. Blessed to listen to Lampmode recordings!

  • John

    Christian hip-hop artistes should be exponents promoting King Jesus solely!

  • John Wiser

    As a producer for Christian artists, I have found that the spectrum of Christian Rap/Hip Hop has broadened in less than a year. While there are several, genuine Christian artists… it seems that there are more and more artists who are posing in the genre because they see a less cut-throat side of the music business. Like most Christians that seem to fall back, this could put a smudge in the Holy Hip Hop genre.