A Guide To Christian Hip-Hop


Photo Courtesy of Billboard.

The year was 2003, and artists like 50 Cent, Eminem, and Ja Rule were dominating the charts. I came home one day and began to belt, “I got the magic stick/ I know if I can hit once, I can hit twice;” causing my parents to swiftly turn their heads in sheer panic. But I assured them it was okay, I knew what I was talking about. “Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, Lil Kim is talking about a magic wand, duh.”

Over time, many other song lyrics would go over my head. I mean, how was I supposed to know that Ginuwine’s “Pony” was not actually about his pet horse? Over the years lyrics have gotten easier for me to figure out, but sometimes, they’re still too clever for me. So I began looking for music that sounded appropriate, still had a nice beat, and could motivate me while challenging my way of thinking. In 2009, I watched a show called “The Buried Life,” and I absolutely loved the theme song. I found out that the name of the song was “Ooh, Ahh (My Life Be Like)” by GRITS and TobyMac. This was exactly the type of music that I was looking for, and I began to stumble upon even more music that I have grown to love.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite Christian hip-hop songs:

Don’t Waste Your Life – Lecrae Feat. Dwayne Tryumf

If you’re anything like me, you hate feeling like you’ve wasted time. Many people tell us that our purpose in life is to have lots of “stuff”, but sometimes those things don’t make people entirely happy. Lecrae touches on these issues and challenges us to think about our purpose and our goals.

I Believe – KB feat. Mattie of For Today

This is the PERFECT song to listen to while working out. KB takes a familiar chant and turns it into an anthem that motives and encourages us. He wants us to know that we have the ability to defeat obstacles and struggles with faith.

Sweet Victory – Trip Lee feat. Dimitri McDowell & Leah Smith

This is another song that reminds us that we have the power to overcome difficulties. He says, “Cheers to the ceiling/ Feeling good we gon’ make it to the finish (sweet victory) / You hear me / Holla if you feel me / Yeah we still runnin’ even though we limpin’ (sweet victory).”

Against Us (Remix) – Dee-1 Feat. Lupe Fiasco & Big Krit

You may be familiar with Lupe Fiasco and Big Krit. Although they are not Christian rappers, they team up with Dee-1 for this song. This is one of my favorite songs right now. I mean, how many songs do you know of that can get you pumped while listening to the Lord’s prayer? Also, be sure to listen to Dee-1’s “Sallie Mae Back.”

Freedom – Alex Faith feat. Courtney Orlando

What exactly is freedom? We all understand that word, and the world, differently throughout the varying stages of our lives. It can be a difficult thing to talk about, but Alex Faith raps about his idea of what freedom really means.

Still Bleeding – Andy Mineo

Andy Mineo is a Syracuse native, and he is one of my favorite artists. This song talks about the pain associated with hurtful words, failed relationships, and betrayal.

How Could You Leave Us – NF

NF had a difficult upbringing, and he’s very vocal about it in his albums. This song talks about his mother’s addiction and how much it impacted him when she overdosed.

I Luh God – Erica Campbell feat. Big Shizz

As much as I hate admitting I like this song, I felt that it was necessary to throw it on this list. Erica Campbell is a member of the gospel duo, Mary Mary, with her sister, Tina Campbell. When Erica dropped this song last year, it became very popular very quickly. Whether you hate it or love it, you can’t deny the fact that it’s extremely catchy.

You don’t have to identify with a religion to enjoy these songs. They are uplifting and touch on issues that we all experience on a day-to-day basis. Next time you go to the gym, maybe give DMX and Jay-Z a break and listen to a Lecrae album. You just might like it more than you think.

Want to check out this playlist? Follow us on Spotify, TheDolphin Newspaper