Today one of our seminarians led a really great talk on finding God in hip-hop. It was such a great discussion!! The talk was inspiring to me, because just like many hip-hop artists, there is a strong connection between my artistry and my faith.
JM started out by asking us what initial images or ideas come to mind when we think of hip hop. People shot out things like sex, violence, black people, dance, gold chains…he then went on to share his passion for hip- hop and the role that its played in his life.
JM passed around a sheet with the lyrics to a song called Silly Puddy, by a group called Zion I and the Grouch. As he played the song for us, we all took a few minutes to read thru the lyrics and find references to God in them. There were ALOT!! As JM explained, the song is really a Psalm. A Psalm is either a praise to God, or a prayer to God. They are either saying ‘Thank you God” or “Why God?”. Many hip hop artists such as Nas, Black Eyed Peas (before Fergie), Common, The Roots, Two Pac, have used their music as a form of a Psalm.
A lot of the hip hop artists we know today actually identify themselves as Christians. (I think he said it was 70%) . That is the faith that most of them were brought up in, and probably where they were originally introduced to music. And although they do not market themselves as “Christian” artists, (that wouldnt sell), faith is a big part of their music and who they are . They talk about the God that they know. The songs they sing are filled with progressive ideas and a passion for social change. In fact, JM suggessts that it is the Holy Spirit itself that moves these artists to write these words down.
Here are some other artists he talked about today, I’m going to check them out this week. Hope you will too! 🙂
Gift of Gab
Boyz in the Wood