Christian hip-hop

New Washington Post shocker: Christian bookstore chain wants CDs with 'clean' language! Film at 11

New Washington Post shocker: Christian bookstore chain wants CDs with 'clean' language! Film at 11

You can imagine that when one of we happy, few Get Religionistas writes a snarky headline, there's more to follow.

Thus, I trust you won't be disappointed as we join the Washington Post on a voyage of discovery. The find? The shocking development here: Folks who run Christian bookstores respond quickly when customers complain about the content of a product they're selling.

(Your correspondent has direct, personal experience in this matter. I'll get to that in a moment.)

Here, now, the "news." Sho Baraka is an African-American hip-hop artist with a highly creative mind, and a love for Jesus. He's been popular in Christian circles after finding faith a few years back, and his latest album, "The Narrative" (promotional video above) hit the shelves at LifeWay Christian Bookstores, a chain owned by the Southern Baptist Conventions. Then, it appears, some folks listened to the songs, which then alarmed those hearers.

Take it away, Washington Post:

Popular hip-hop artist Sho Baraka has taken aim at Southern Baptist retailer LifeWay Christian Stores for dropping his album for including the word “penis,” a move that shows a growing tension between the black artist and his white evangelical fans.
A spokesman for LifeWay confirmed the retailer’s decision, saying in an email that customers complained about the language, but the representative declined to provide further details.
Christian bookstores don’t usually place rap albums by black activist artists front and center on their shelves. But in recent years, white evangelicals have embraced several black hip-hop artists such as chart-topping rappers Lecrae and Trip Lee, whose albums are sold on LifeWay’s website. Baraka, who was once part of Lecrae’s Reach Records label, said he upset LifeWay customers by including the anatomical reference in his album.

Here's a stunner, right?

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Nashville's Christian hip hop music scene is now under The Tennessean's microscope

Nashville's Christian hip hop music scene is now under The Tennessean's microscope

Hip-hop and its cousin, rap, is stuff I won’t let my kid listen to on the car radio because I never know what weird thing is going to come out of the speakers. Which is why I was interested to see the Tennessean announce that Christian hip hop has arrived.

When it comes to this kind of music, I’m beyond clueless. But I do know that Nashville is as close as you can get to not only being the go-to place for country music but is also the national capital for contemporary Christian music. There’s a reason why CCM Magazine is based there.

So I appreciate it when a secular publication tries to explain the genre to us great unwashed in the peanut gallery.  Here's what ran Tuesday:

The audacious Christian hip-hop movement, which to this point has been spearheaded mostly by independent artists and record labels, has made its way to Music Row with Word Music’s launch of a hip-hop imprint called 4 Against 5.
The new imprint is headed by Joseph Prielozny, the producer and artist development executive who helped guide the career of Christian hip-hop’s flag bearer, Lecrae.
Prielozny likens the rising popularity, word-of-mouth marketing and do-it-yourself ethos of the Christian hip-hop movement to rap music’s emergence into the mainstream in the 1990s. Obviously, the message of Christian rappers like Lecrae is different than Easy E, but the ethos is the same. Something fresh, something resonating is happening with Christian hip-hop and now Word, the genre’s oldest label, is buying in.

I kept wondering what 4 Against 5 meant, but the article never said. Thank goodness for online searches and YouTube. The story continues:

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