I have always loved rap and hip hop music. My parents didn't really listen to music while I was growing up so I don't remember even caring much about music until I was in junior high. I still remember the first CD I owned, Candy Rain by Soul for Real.
For some reason, both my brother and I were really into rap and hip/hop, despite being suburban white kids. It's pretty much all we listened to in high school. A bunch of my friends from church youth group, along with my brother and me had a Tupac phase. We would listen to his Greatest Hits album incessantly and I think I still know all the words to each and every song. One thing I noticed about listening to Tupac was that the more I listened to him, the more I used cuss words. I have never been one for profanity but both me and my friends definitely used it more when we were listening to Tupac. We even decided to cut back for a bit to help us control our language.
Since then, my love of rap has gone through phases of adoration and conviction. I would sometimes buy CDs at Wal-Mart, since they came already edited. When iTunes started offering clean versions of songs, I was excited to buy those. Unfortunately even the clean versions can't hide a lot of rap's sexual, illegal and violent undertones. More recently I have been more convicted of these themes and have gotten rid of some music. But yet, I still love rap and hip hop.
I think I have finally found a compromise. In the past Christian rap almost always sucked. It's just true. The beats were poor, the rappers not very talented and the lyrics were cheesy. Only recently have I decided to give Christian rap a chance again. There are actually some decent Christian rappers out there and it's been fun to listen to rap that doesn't make me want to cuss. Sometimes the lyrics are a bit funny sounding but at least they're uplifting. And these guys have a lot more talent than their early counterparts. There is even an album called, 13 Letters, where they rap Paul's letters from the Bible. Pretty cool.
So, if you hear me jamming to what sounds like gangsta rap, listen carefully, because they might just be rapping about Paul's letter to the Ephesians.
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