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How “Christian Rap” Christianizes Street Gang Culture and Brings it Into the Church

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Chicago, one of America’s oldest and largest cities with a rich history in the industrial revolution is now known for its highest murder rate per capita primarily perpetrated by its notorious street gangs. Chicago is by far the most gang-infested city in the nation with rival gangs constantly bickering over territory giving rise to what some people consider music–“gangsta rap.”

These rappers will then create albums which consist primarily of death threats and diss tracks toward rival gangs. The wars on the streets rage on as “gangstas” follow through with their threats, targeting their rival gangs, and leaving innocent people caught in the crossfire running for shelter and watching in horror.

That’s the best analogy I can come up with for what these so-called “Christian” rappers have Christianized and brought into the Church. Their genre of music is rooted in gang warfare culture and appeals only to those who are obsessed with this culture. “Christian rap” is filled with foul language, references to gang culture, and even “diss tracks” toward their rival “Christian rappers.”

This is what is currently taking place between popular “Christian” artist, Shai Linne, and his apparent rivals that he supposedly “dissed” in a track he put out a few years ago. Shai Linne tweets:

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Which prompted this response from Derek Minor, another rapper,

What Derek Minor is referencing is a track put out by Shai Linne in 2017, called Random Thoughts, where his lyrics stated,

We noticed a big shift in 2012… Christian Hip Hop found a different algorithm and crossed over without taking the cross over… Trip [Lee] asked me if I was still motivated. I was quiet, but I wanted to say, β€˜No, I hate it, [because] brothers in your camp [are] causing lots of confusion. I love them as brothers in Christ but not their conclusions. They want to reach the world; by all means keep pursuing it, but why [do] you have to diss the Church while you [are] doing it?’

Derek Minor, along with Trip Lee, Lecrae, and several other well-known “Christian rappers” are all part of a group called Reach Records. Their music has taken a decidedly leftist turn as they’ve all abandoned the gospel in favor of social justice. But their bickering back and forth, their “diss tracks” toward each other, and their rivalry is eerily similar to the culture that their music came from.

For the record, we’re not against this simply because it’s rap. There are some good, solid conservative Christian rap artists out there. But we should be wholeheartedly against the culture that this particular brand of “Christian rap” represents. It should be evident that all they’re doing is putting a Christian spin on their gangster lifestyle that they’ve never repented of.

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