Sure, Christians in hip-hop have sometimes gotten a bad rap, but don’t believe the myth that Lecrae was the first believer to put out a good album. Here’s a cheat sheet on some of the genre’s notable moments:

###1985

Stephen Wiley’s “Bible Break” cassette single is generally regarded as the first widely distributed and commercially available recording of Christian hip-hop.

###1990

dc Talk’s “I Luv Rap Music” song/video removes “threatening” elements of hip-hop culture to make it more palatable for church audiences unfamiliar with the movement. They succeed in spades.

###1994

Gospel Gangstaz release Gang Affiliated, which still holds up today, with themes of police brutality (“One Time”) and the struggles of the oppressed (“Tears of a Black Man”).

###1998
Christian artists Playdough, Sackcloth Fashion and T-Bone all make a showing on MTV’s talent competition The Cut.

###2000

Jive Records releases Universal Concussion from Christian rapper BB Jay, scoring notable crossover success.

###2004

Kanye West makes a splash with “Jesus Walks,” the Grammy-winning third single from his debut album, The College Dropout. However, many believers are turned off by the explicit language used in the track.

###2004

Da’ T.R.U.T.H.’s influential Moment of Truth becomes his first widely distributed release.

###2007

Prior to their Humble Beast union, Theory Hazit releases an excellent boom bap album, Extra Credit, on Braille’s Hip-Hop Is Music label.

###2010

Explaining to do,” one of Bizzle’s first public releases after becoming a believer, takes off on sites like WorldStarHipHop.com, who promote it as a Jay-Z diss. Bizzle says he simply felt like David, picked up his sling, and decided to step to a giant he felt was disrespecting his God.

###2011
Propaganda uses only a video camera and four minutes to explain “The G.O.S.P.E.L.” quickly gaining acclaim for his spoken word skill.

###2014

Lecrae’s Anomaly hits No. 1 on the Billboard charts. He performs with The Roots and on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show twice, and rocks out with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *