Christian Hip-Hoppers

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Developing out of this underground movement is what Russel Moore refers to as “new” Christian rappers . Signed to specifically Christian hip-hop labels and nationally known among Christian fans and some mainstream fans, these new Christian rappers specifically market themselves as Christian, often using highly theological lyric, while at the same time producing “accessible” music to those not “hip-hop head” or “devote Christians”. It is within this genre, which is influenced by the (ironically predominantly white) Reformed church movements, that the United States has experienced what some might call “hip-hop churches” or “hip-hop only worship experiences.”. Regardless of style or stage in the development of hip-hop, all Christian rappers…show more content…
The first and most obvious form of language is that of physical speech—that of the spoken word. The second, perhaps equally as obvious and important form of language that Christian hip-hoppers use is that of music and musical language. These two modes have been chosen because they are so closely and intrinsically intertwined areas that define both hip-hop and gospel music. As many researchers on Christian rap and its approximates have noted, Christian hip-hoppers often use the spoken word (literal language) not only to communicate or spread the gospel but as a way of negotiating between hip-hop and the church. The most common way that this occurs is when Christian hip-hoppers use both hip-hop slang and Christian vocabulary. Fluent both of these languages, they are considered bi-lingual who codeswitch when needed. Often words taken from one “language” are brought over and used in their second language, taking the general sentiment but not the meaning. But this process is not an even one. There are certain words that, as Christians, Christian rappers cannot use: those referring to females in a derogatory manner and those using explicit or profane language . Another way that Christian hip-hoppers are bi-lingual is the manner in which they make internal…show more content…
Just as rappers switch between or “hustle” between various moral and linguistic codes, they also negotiate at the level of music. Because music can serve a “language” of sorts, it could be said that the Christian hip-hoppers are bi-musical or at least close approximates of it. In his quintessential text “The Challenges of Bi-Musicality, Mantle Hood defines bi-musicality in terms of a Western music scholar wishing to learn Eastern music and vice versa However, Hood leaves room for broader interpretations. At its core bi-musicality is about the ability to play another culture’s music in such a manner that completely understands the cultural and social meanings of certain music practices. It is the mastering of difference that many do not find easy . While many might refer to bi-musicality in terms of more “distant” musical cultures, there is strong argument for at least a partial application of this term to the current situation of Christian hip-hop artist. Although often fitting into the larger “black music” movement, hip-hop and gospel/CCM do indeed have distinct traditions. In addition, bi-musicality adjusts common conception of music as strictly “universal”. While there might be something more closely perceived as universal language of music for those listening, there is a clear divide for those who practice and make these music selves. This works the same for Christian hip-hop—they are musically (and

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