Now, I must be honest with you all. I am not the biggest fan of hip-hop music. This was not always the case. So let me give you a little bit of background so that you understand why. Before I started following Christ, hip-hop was all that I listened to. In fact, I am sure that the only reason I did listen to it was because of the vulgar lyrics, sexual references, and popularity of the style among my friends. I wanted to be “cool” and one way for me to do so was to blast hip-hop music from my car. The more vulgar the language of the song, the better I thought it was. Although I did think I was acting so “godly” when I wouldn’t say the really bad words or lyrics in front of others. Ha! I was in direct opposition to God and was eagerly rebelling against Him every day. I wanted to have the newest song from the newest artist before any of my friends had even heard of it. And the songs had to be the explicit version since the clean version was “lame.” Seriously? Even the clean versions of these songs were in total opposition to God and I made a mockery of Him since I claimed to be a Christian. How foolish I was! I loved to show off by bringing CD’s to the basketball locker room for us to listen to before games. My favorite time to listen to these terrible hip-hop songs was in my car by myself on the way home. I could drive fast and blast music and sing every single vulgar lyric without feeling any embarrassment from others. This just shows how evil and how far from God my heart truly was. I didn’t listen to this music because “everyone else was doing it.” Primarily, I listened to this music to angrily disobey God. I consciously rebelled against who is now my greatest Treasure! Since my true conversion a couple of years ago, I threw the majority of my CD’s away and totally stopped listening to any hip-hop music whatsoever. I can attest to the fact that secular hip-hop is subtly dangerous and it hardens your heart against God whether you realize it or not. Oh, the terrible influence it had on my life! Due to this scar of sin that is left on my mind and heart, I have been against any form of hip-hop; even Christian hip-hop. I was convinced that all Christian rappers were just compromising the gospel by infecting young minds with terrible music even though they may “throw some good lyrics in from time to time.” I must say that I have never been more wrong in my life.
The video that I will link at the end of this post highlights Christian hip-hop artist Trip Lee as he discusses how he believes hip-hop is a great way to fight sin. He also talks about a couple of songs off of his new album, The Good Life. His humble, serious, and God-centered demeanor attracted me to his music and I must say that from the songs that I have listened to, he is Biblically sound as his songs are gospel- and Scripture-saturated. My favorite has been “Fallin’.” As temptation is pounding at the door of my heart at every moment, particularly those moments when I am alone, this song is great to listen to in order to remind me and motivate me to continue to fight sin even though it is a struggle. This song encourages me to be watchful and on guard against sin and temptation as I trust in God’s satisfaction to be sufficient for me. Trip Lee talks about how hip-hop has an aggression tone and “feel” to it. I completely agree and it is just this kind of attitude that we should take toward sin in our life. We are to love God and hate sin. If we truly hate sin, then we will fight it with forceful aggression from a humble heart. This paradox is very appropriate and evident in Lee’s music. While he aggressively raps and you can feel his hatred for sin, you can also sense his humility as his love for God and desire for His name to be glorified is radiant in his songs. The same paradox should be true in our lives. Fight sin with aggression from a humble heart as you seek to glorify God through it.
I am grateful to God for softening my heart in many ways, but particularly for His grace in allowing me to open myself up again to Christian hip-hop. In the words of my fiance, Erica, yesterday, “It will take some getting used to.” Because of my dark past experiences with hip-hop, it will indeed take some getting used to in order for me to be in love with Christian hip-hop. However, you can be sure of this: I will never again degrade or make derogatory comments against the music of Trip Lee and others like him. I am now a fan of his music and will probably listen to it often. I encourage any of you who have had any reservations about Christian hip-hop to throw them out the door and stop being a stereotypical snob like I once was. How can there be Christ-like unity among believers if we are in harsh disagreement over something as minute as music style? Do I worship to Christian hip-hop? In a sense, yes. Of course there are other styles that I worship more frequently to. Nevertheless, that is a matter of preference and not the area in which we should argue or fight. We all have a greater battle to fight each day; with temptation and sin. The hip-hop music of Trip Lee has helped me tremendously over the past two days. I thank God for his music ministry. So, today, fight sin with hip-hop. Give it a shot!
Fallin’ by Trip Lee
By His Grace — For His Glory — For our Joy