I’m a sucker for Christian Hip Hop and I’ll go as far as to say I’m a protective mom about it. I shed actual tears like a proud mom even on the hype songs during CHH sets. Just to clarify, I said CHRISTIAN HIP HOP, not HIP HOP made by CHRISTIANS. Yes there's a major distinction! Only one of the two focuses on a major element- ETERNITY. No shade, It’s just apples to oranges.
While there’s some GREAT entertaining hip hop out there made by Christians, CHH is operating from the 4th dimension. I’m talking sitting in your car weeping in the parking lot of your favorite Coffee Shop (@CollaborativeCoffeeBar) because you can’t even pull it together to drive out of there after you realize “God so loved Elizabeth that he really just created a CHH collaboration called ARTIST REACHING CHRIST, made them go through all the struggles, studio time, personal process, etc, just for her to listen to “Much More” in the car in 2020 and know that GOD IS zealous to reveal His purpose in us and wow the amazing things that happen when artists respond to the call.”
What is Christian Hip Hop? Assuming there’s a general understanding, I’d say it’s more than a genre. It’s another dimension of the musical experience. It is where the artist + the spirit of The Living God collaborate into producing a liberating, life altering, convicting experience. It is where the standard of the artist and his position in this environment is almost completely counter cultural to “secular” artists and mainstream media. While most would agree that music has the ability to influence the listener, CHH is the spitting image of using that for eternal purpose. CHH began with the sole purpose of allowing and ushering the listener into the presence of God through testimony, provoking thought, and challenging the believer and non believer.
“What is CHH?” ft. ImGoodNews
This track by featured Spoken Word Artist, “ImGoodNews,” is a powerful piece for anyone and everyone putting out creative works that are kingdom focused. While the track focuses solely on Christian Hip Hop artists, I’d definitely classify this as a convicting, “if the shoe fits” track. Or better yet “he who has ear let him hear.” While this is a recurring theme for this whole album, I really felt this piece beautifully introduces the listener and gently helps you get settled in your seat for the rest of the experience. Titled “What is CHH” this track highlights some conflicting realities as to common contradictions in Christian Hip Hop culture. He calls out disunity, pride, spiritual immaturity, and other heart wrenching topics. These are tough pills to swallow, but MAN, the fruit that one can bare and experience if we yield to what God is speaking through this track!
This song felt like an “I SEE YOU!” from God! This is for the heart that desires to serve but is trying to find the balance between walking in obedience and resisting the little bumps in this process. This has to be my favorite track from the album hands down! If you classify yourself as someone who strives to serve in anyway YOU KNOW the struggle of constant beatings of discouragement left and right. But you also KNOW God’s faithfulness through it all so you continue to put up the fight. THIS IS THAT SONG. This is that song that will fuel you back up and remind you plainly why you do what you do. I’d even go as far as to say that this album is a beautiful “retreat” experience for the CHH community and anyone really who’s just trying to love God but still in this world and dealing with the downfall of our humanity. “To whom is given much is required” taken straight from scripture is the major message of this track (hence why I assume it's titled ’Too Much”)
“THROW IT UP”
By the time I got to this track I was full on dancing in my car and crying at the same time. It just felt like God was speaking straight to my heart and POURING IN!!! This is the song that will fuel you to put your flesh to death and really let it sink in that “throwing in the towel” is not the option. God’s been too faithful and Young C and Aldre are encouraging the listener that the only thing we should be throwing are praises up to God. This song had me reminisce on everything that God has done up to now. When we reflect on the victories and storms he carried us to and through, it really fuels you to see that praise is the only appropriate reaction given the circumstances. As long as we are walking this earth in humanity, there will be much temptation to give up or claim defeat but when you throw those praises up, you are reminded as to what the future holds. This flesh fight is not on our own and we need the spirit of God. But it is so worth it to fight the good fight and walk in the blessing that is constantly submitting our flesh and running to God.
“Tryna hold on to some things in our life that God said “surrender em.” OOF! ON MOMMAS, IT’S TIME TO GET RIGHT. This song is that anthem for those that need that push to recognize that spiritual baby life is done with. There are things that have been clear cut for us to succeed and overcome the battle that has already been won. I imagine this track as the little slaps in the face of encouragement MMA fighters get before they are going to get back in the fight. Aldre and Young C are actually hitting us with the truth. This had me thinking of all the areas in my life I may be satisfied with that aren’t based on the truth and victorious walk God has called for me. A lot of us know better but still have let the lies lead. This whole album is just cutting my soul at this point. I'm crying in the car and my head is rocking to the beat at the same time! This one will slap you back into reality of the kingdom!
You know THE WAY. At this point in listening, we can’t even deny that God poured this message into Aldre and Young Cs hearts because HE KNOWS what the CHH and community of believers struggles with and the warfare that is raised against them. “Quit losing yourself behind your selfishness” It stings! I’m guilty too, of running to God with my “WHYs?” when He’s given us guidance on freedom from some of the strongholds that hold us back. Why do we act like we don’t have guidance? Sheesh. We have a book full of promises and a Holy Spirit full of strength to lead us through this walk. We KNOW. WE KNOW WE KNOW THE WAY. We cannot afford to mess around. Sanctification is for our good and bares blessing in our lives. We cannot grow comfortable allowing sin to lead us. We cannot continue to allow our flesh to lead and get away with our blessing. There is a high calling and a high price that was paid for our lives. It is a fight that ends in victory so we should definitely walk in it!
“Most of us Christians wanna make everything seem like its roses like we just got it all together but it's gonna take God to come and expose us” This track calls out the very idea that we need to put that front and facade aside and be raw and honest with God. It is very true, sometimes as Christians we tend to feel the pressure to perform but there is no edification for anyone if we are not honest with ourselves and especially not with God. I’ve seen that when people are sincere sometimes my spirit has felt more encouraged that I am not alone and that there is normalcy to it and not just a sign of weakness. “Everybody wanna look like they good on the outside but the battle inside though” The reality of this faith walk is that there is struggle and the internal struggle is inevitable. We need to persist in the word and “ask seek and knock” for the Lord’s will to be done in our lives. We need to ask for that exposure. We need to ask Him to come and correct us and expose our true intentions and heart so that we can experience the power of the Gospel. There's no need to perform. It is grace that allowed us this walk in the first place. Let's enjoy that and grow in freedom!
This is the perfect conclusion to the album. At the end of the day, at the end of the struggle, we need God. WE NEED GOD. At the end of it all, WE ARE ALWAYS IN DESPERATE NEED (God’s intervention in our lives). Sometimes we just have to fall prostrate in that honesty and cry out. The moment we realize we are struggling or what a fight this actually is, we have to cry out for God to save us. This track calls out the importance of a prayer life and obedience to be able to walk in the victory Christ has paved for us. “Dying to yourself is a daily mission, holiness not a choice when you claiming that you’re Christian lack of obedience leads you to imprisonment by flesh.” This song is just the raw honesty of warfare and the need to continuously fight back and allow God to help us through this war.
Question: What is Christian Hip Hop?
Answer: “Much More” an album by Artists Reaching Christ