The Plugged In Show, Episode 47: The Fascinating Influence of Christian Rap

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When John Newton first penned the words for “Amazing Grace,” the hymn was really more of a poem: It didn’t come with music at all. And when others later set it to music, they co-opted more than 20 different tunes . It wasn’t until the 1840s that “Amazing Grace” was, apparently, first paired with a secular ditty called “New Britain,” creating the hymn we know and love today.

Over the centuries, Christians have proved remarkably adept at finding trends in popular culture and giving them a sacred twist. Take, for instance, rap and hip-hop, arguably today’s most malleable and popular music genre. While many may associate rap with all sorts of bad behavior—glorifying sex and drug use and sometimes encouraging violence—many Christian musical artists have found the genre a fertile field to explore and a great platform for the Gospel.

Our Plugged In team raps about rap on the latest episode of The Plugged In Show. We talk about some of the best and most popular Christian rappers today, and we discuss the influence that rap has had on their own lives. Join us, won’t you, and listen to this great, provocative discussion by clicking here.

Once you’re done listening and want to dig a little deeper, look at the links below. They’ll send you to everything our Plugged In panel discussed on the show, along with a few extra goodies.

Gift of any amount offer: Burning Bush 2.0 by Paul Asay
Plugged In Review: Lecrae, “Blessings”
Plugged In Review: Lecrae, Gravity
Plugged In Review: Lecrae, Restoration
Plugged In Review: Lecrae, Church Clothes
Plugged In Review: Lecrae, Anomoly
Plugged In Review: Tori Kelly, Hiding Place
Plugged In Review: Believe Me
Plugged In Review: NF, “No Name”
Plugged In Review: NF, The Search
Plugged In Review: Switchfoot, “Love Alone is Worth the Fight”
Plugged In Review: Andy Mineo, Heroes For Sale
Plugged In Review: Kanye West, Jesus is King

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

7 Responses

  1. – What is so Christian about Christian rap? As a former dj let me have a say on your program. Now a believer in Christ and a ministry called Are You Dancing with the Devil, there’s no difference between secular rap and hip hop and so-called christian rap and hip hop.Both groups sing, perform, dress and mingle alike. One exception is the use of the word Jesus. Even satan claims christian rap and hip hop as hos own. You can reach me at ***.

    1. – As one that has listened greatly to both, I disagree to a great extent. Yes, there are some that fit your description, but there are many others that do not.

    2. -I think it depends on the artist. I don’t consider every rapper that claims Christianity a Christian rapper, I also look at content, what is packed between the verses. The Christian rappers I listen fill their bars with hope in Christ and salvation for the lost and testimonies from their life and some times old hymns with a different beat behind it. The message is completely different and what they offer is Christ Jesus. I also look at their other projects what they do outside of music and their influence. But that’s just me, I figure you cannot tell people about a God that you don’t know. I believe it’s an evangelical tool, just like singing, poetry, and the arts alike. But this is just my personal process in deciding who I lend my ear to. As well as my opinion. ♥️

  2. – It’s high time people recognize rappers who bump the Gospel. Bryan T and a guy named propaganda and incredible!

  3. – I have a son that I know that this will impact his life in a awesome way it will mean the world to me let alone him thank you so for everything take care be safe also enjoy the rest of life

  4. – To have a mindset of only “one” genre of worship is quite a hinderance. If the songwriter and performer truly believe and behave in a Godly manner, then each genre is like a giant quilt that forms a beautiful song unto the LORD.

    I think there is a giant problem with many rappers who claim a Christian persona, yet their works demonstrate something entirely different. This problem isn’t only found in rap and hip hop artists, it can be found in other genres and in everyday life as well.

    The best way to navigate this is following 1 John 4:1: Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

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