Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Christians Need to Know About Hip Hop and Chrisitan Rap

First we must check the origin!

According to Wikipedia, Hip hop music is a musical genre that developed as part of hip hop culture, and is defined by four key stylistic elements: rapping, DJing/scratching, sampling (or synthesis), and beatboxing. Hip hop began in the South Bronx of New York City in the 1970s. The term rap is often used synonymously with hip hop, but hip hop also denotes the practices of an entire subculture.

Rapping, also referred to as MCing or emceeing, is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically,in rhyme and verse,generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats, almost always in 4/4 time signature, can be created by sampling and/or sequencing portions of other songs by a producer. They also incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. Rappers may write, memorize, or improvise their lyrics and perform their works a cappella or to a beat.

Further research will show that Rap evolved from African people in general and black people born in the U.S. in particular. Its origins can be traced to West Africa where tribesmen held "men of words" in high regard. Later when slaves were brought to the New World, the captives mixed American music with the beats they remembered from Africa.

Another origin of rap is a form of Jamaican folk stories called "toasts." These are narrative poems that tell stories in rhyme. Over a hundred years later, rapping was a street art. Just as doo-wop in the 1950's, rap began in inner-city schoolyards and street corners in the 1970's. Early raps were boastful tales, and put-downs directed at other rappers. This music style was slowly growing in popularity among black teens in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. As early as 1974 neighborhood block parties in New York featured early forms of rapping.

But it wasn't until the commercial success of "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 that major record labels took notice of this explosive new sound. Rap's audience started to grow tremendously and gain notoriety with acts like Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Ice-T. More than 20 years have now passed and rap still has a huge following among people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

In the 80's many ra s were commentaries on the hardships of ghetto life, warnings about drugs and about teenage love or lust. Those topics led some parents to fear that rap encouraged youths to turn to violence, and illegal substance use. Organizations such as the Parents' Music Resource Center had fits over lyrics in rap and hip-hop which contained explicit references to sex, drugs and racism. The performers don't deny that rap music speaks openly about harsh topics. But they argue that audiences should be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, right and wrong.

Presently, rap and its close relative hip-hop are enjoying its largest popularity ever as a result of its mainstream acceptance. And thanks to artists like Kid Rock and Eminem, African-Americans are not the only ones listening anymore. Also, the female audience has grown steadily with the emergence of ladies behind the microphone like Salt-n-Pepa, Queen Latifah, and Li'l Kim.

So let us speak about both Hip Hop and Rap

Because of its origin and what Hip Hop and Rap originally represented in its earlier stages, we cannot embrace it as Christians. There can be no Holy Hip Hoppers or no Christian Rap because the culture and their roots do not lend itself to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Please understand that Hip Hop and Rap, is a way of governing your life. Therefore, it cannot be exploited as a Christian way of living. We understand that KRS-ONE and Afrika Bambaata have used the term Hip Hop to describe emceeing, deejaying, rapping, breakdancing, and other forms of entertainment, but Hip Hop is also, to them, a religion and a way of worshipping ourselves instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we as believers hold on to this culture when its origin is rooted in witchcraft and voodoo?

How can we call ourselves Holy Hip Hoppers or Christian Rappers, when this move of the enemy is influential enough to persuade Christians to protect it and defend it as a culture that should be embraced by the church even though their founders don't embrace Jesus Christ? God forbid. My people, search the word of God for yourself. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Therefore, being a Holy Hip Hopper or Christian Rapper is just like saying I am a Holy Pimp or a Gospel Gangsta or a Thug for Christ! God forbid. The old man is dead! As true Christians, we should stop loving the things of the world and what the world has taught us. God wants to come and totally wipe away the old man, the old thought process and the old carnal identity that we obtained through poverty, sin, abandonment, fatherlessness, hurt, anger, and prejudice. Sure, we struggled, but once we are set free, we must walk in the newness of live in Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9 )

What did the original pioneers teach?

The founders and original pioneers of this culture teach that it is a religion. They teach that it is a tool to point people to their god. Not the God of the Holy Bible. KRS-ONE teaches that the bible is irrelevant to the knowledge of his god. Hip-hop and Rap are very effective tools for the degradation of our nation’s youth. KRS-ONE and the Temple of Hip Hop teaches that this culture was designed to give knowledge to self, or to show the Black man himself as god! He also teaches that we should accept Hip Hop as an organized religion and accept Hip Hop's drug of choice, marijuana!

What is its purpose? 2Tim 3:1

To set the stage for the coming of the antichrist and teach his doctrine of self-worship and knowledge of self.

To blur the existence and reality of the true and living God of the Holy Bible. To lead youth into rebellion against the righteousness of God’s word. To steal the true “meaning” or “purpose” of existence from our youth and lead them to early death before they can fulfill their God given destiny.

Where did it come from? Dan 11:37-39

The true origin of Hip Hop can be traced back as far as Africa. The Zulu Nation, a group of rebels under the leadership of Afrika Bambaata, started the music and religious aspects of hip hop in the late 70’s. Out of Hip Hop came what we know today as Rap, although many of those who classify themselves a Rapper have distance themselves from the Hip Hop movement declaring that they are a group that is more about self expression and not followers of the originalfounders. Over the years, well known rappers themselves have proudly proved that they operate in the same spirit of rebellion.

What does it produce? Gal 5:19

1. Youth with no fear

2. Youth with no purpose

3. Youth with no respect for authority

4. Youth with no parental guidance

5. Youth who are rebels

6. Youth with no regards for their bodies, appearance, self-respect or futures.

For young people who are into Hip Hop and Rap, it seems to drive every aspect of their lives, they live it, breathe it, wear it and die for it.

Hip-hop and Rap Music has done what no other tool of the devil has been able to do at this level.

It has influenced all races, all ages, and all income areas in America. Hip-hop and Rap can be compared to a very weak demon that has gone unattested for so long, that it has a major following.

How do you know when youth are under the influence of Hip Hop or Rap Music?

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

1.The music - This is the number one source of influence. This is the evangelical tool for spreading the spirit of hip-hop or rap abroad. You can easily tell when youth are into gangsta rap and explicit lyrical content. They show it in the behavior and the choices they make in life.

2.The clothing – Sagging jeans, tight fitted tops and bottoms, gang related outfits, prison attire. These are the clothes that hip hop or rap influences our teens to wear freely. What was once considered appropriate only for prostitutes and hardened criminals is now acceptable attire for our youth!

3.The markings – Tattoos, piercing, strange hairstyles, gold teeth, vicious jewelry (dragons, dogs, snakes, etc) and the crucifix are all
products of the hip hop and rap culture. The devil wants our children marked like Cain, to show their pledge of allegiance to rebellion and self-gratification. These marking follow our youth and make it very hard to onvert them back to their original identity.

4.The mentality -Hip-hop or rap causes youth to be rebellious. To use foul language in public. To commit very strong sexual acts with other youth. To feel they have nothing to lose. To give up on their “good” values and take on the negativity of the hip hop or rap culture.

In seculaar hip hop or rap music:

a. Prison is a good place. To be arrested and beat the rap makes you a hero.

b. Teen pregnancy is accepted as the norm.

c. Sex is good. Getting VD is not even frowned upon. Having multiple partners okay.

d. Homosexuality and Bi- Sexuality is normal and accepted.

e. Serving God and sin together is the norm.

f. God forgives sin, so it’s okay.

g. Foul language and physical abuse is accepted.

h. Bad grades in school are okay.

i. Using drugs and drinking is accepted.

j. Murder is good thing, if you deserve it.

k. Choosing a god other than Jesus Christ is okay.

l. Love is just a word.

m. Being a thug is cool. Looking like you just robbed a bank is the norm.
n. The white man is not fair and holds the black man down.

o. Church, the bible, preachers, etc. are not needed. We can learn on our own.

p. XXX behavior is accepted and preached lyrically in the music.

q. Anything goes, as long as you are feeling it.

Now for those who call themselves Holy Hip Hoppers, Christian Rappers, Gospel

Many times when one has become Christian, they bring their preferences and "style" of music, and in an effort to keep their “style”, they we call themselves Holy Hip Hoppers, Christian Rappers, Gospel Ganstas…

They replace the lyrics and their language of hip hop with wholesome righteous words, but still act the same, dance the same, talk the same, rap the same and walk the same as the secular artist, in an effort to be "relevant".

With this in mind, and in an honest effort that none of us be deceived, we must consider these thoughts:

1. How could a Holy God desire to reveal His holiness through music whose origins werebirth out of the rebellion of the world?

2. How could a Holy God use something that feeds the appetite of the flesh and call it holy or righteous.

Changing the words to Hip Hop or Rap music to biblical words does not make it Christian any mor then standing in McDonalds makes you a hamburger Music is Powerful… as we know the devil himself was a master of music in heaven before he was kicked out of heaven and became the god of this world.

Now, in these “last days”, he is deceiving many with “seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” and Music has become one of the powerful seductions and deception.

What we call “Christian” Hip Hop or Rap Music is a deceptive road to compromise. Many Christians today who have had a past history of Hip Hop or Rap and others are drawn to this type of music, believe that because they are now rapping about Jesus that somehow this makes this type of music “holy”.

They are willing to give up the bad lyrics, sex, alcohol, or other worldly behavior that goes along with the Hip Hop or Rap scene, but they don’t want to give the music itself up. They want to serve God and do something great for him but on their own terms, the want their music for it has become part of their identity and lifestyle.

The deception is that they have not put off the old man, they just gave him a bath.

If you were to watch a video of some of these Holy Hip Hoppers or Christian Rappers perform, it is just that a performance.

Their message means nothing when you can turn down the volume and as you watch them, one cannot tell whether you are watching a Christian program or a secular preformance.

Let me say: Entertainment is meant to entertain for gain, entertainment a poor substitute for Preaching the Gospel of salvation.

The way that the Holy Hip Hoppers or Christian Rappers are performing, dancing, acting… looks just like the secular artist of today. It is the Spirit of the World full of the “…lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life”. Bottom line, they still look like the “old man" that Christ tells us to put off.

So now, as Christians, we are sending a message that you can come to Jesus and you don’t have to change, you don’t have to come out from among them and be ye separate, you don’t have to put off the old man… you just have to give him a bath.

In these Christian Rap Concerts, many people will run to the altar, saying a twenty second pray, believing that they are now saved, cleaning up there lifestyle, turning in their secular uniform for a Christian uniform, but never giving up the Spirit of the World. Never really putting of the “old man”, not knowing that one day this will cause them to stand with the crowd on that day saying… “But Lord, Lord, did I not prophecy in thy name…” (Did I not operate in the your spirit, do something great for you) “… and He will say depart from me, I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity.

Anything that centers around fulfilling the appetite of the flesh is not from the Spirit of God, but rather the Spirit of the World.

Both Hip Hop and Rap Music has a way of appealing to the flesh, causing a person to want to move to the beat and express oneself by the motion we call dance or through the way that we walk, talk, dress and carry oneself. This ultimately becomes a lifestyle and this rhythm and beat of the music begins to possess us as it feeds and quenches the thirst of the flesh.

In that moment, it matters not that ever lyric of the song comes straight from the bible, we are satisfying our flesh, which is the spirit of the world.

Here is a thought:

Let’s just say that the devil way back in time, saw the African people and how they were a strong race, a unified people that would overcome bondage and slavery. So the devil decided develop a few new demonic sounds and he called them hip hop and rap.

These sounds would carry a rhythm and rhyme that would be mesmerizing and hypnotizing. It would appeal to the flesh of man is such a way that the music itself would be additive.

With it would carry the philosophy that evil is good. Such as:

Being a thug is cool, murder is a good thing if they deserve it, prison is a good place, love is just a word, sex is good, getting VD is not even frowned upon, having multiple partners okay, teen pregnancy is accepted as the norm, homosexuality and bi sexuality is normal and accepted, serving God and sin together is the norm, using drugs

and drinking is acceptable, foul language and physical abuse should be the norm, anything goes as long as you are feeling it …IT’S YOUR LIFE, DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT TO DO…YOU KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU!

Because music is powerful, soon this rhythm and rhyme will influence all races, all ages, and all income areas (low, middle and high income families) both in America and abroad. Most of all this music will find its way into the Christian Church and influence the followers of God.

The devil will send a lying spirit that will whisper in the ears of Christians and say:

I do not have to give up everything to follow Christ, God wants me to have a good time after all, it is “my life”. I just need to clean myself up a little, I know what’s good for me, I am old enough to pick and choose what I really want out of this life God gave me.

So, I will stop cursing or cussing after every other sentence and I will just curse or cuss when I am really mad. I won’t have sexual relationships with all these different girls anymore, I will wait till I find me a good Christian girl and I will have sex with only her, for God understands, he created me with needs.

The lie continues: The thought that when it comes to music, God is so cool and understanding, He has given us :Alternative Music” Rap with righteous lyrics, I don’t have to give up my rhythm an rhyme.

"Yo, I don’t have to give up my talk or my walk, it’s how I roll, with my bling and all my rings, material things that help me bring some sounds that are clean, ain’t nothing but a thing, going to sing it clean, hear the sound ring as I do my thing…. Going to be great for my God… get me a girl like Elrod… blessings going to fall wherever my foot trod… because God called me to holy hip hop… I say it is all about God… but you know it got to be about me… that’s why He sent his Son you know… so I don’t have to give up to grow … one day I’ll get me my record deal, have it sealed, it will become my meal… get my big house on the hill… it’s all going to be mine… just a matter of time… I’ll keep my rhythm and rhyme… I’ll be just fine… that’s the deception that is mine, and I won’t know till it is too late that I will not enter those pearly gates… but for now, don’t spoil my fun… I am having a good run… for this music is tight and it feels right… after all this is my life!?"

Yes, the devil developed a sound, a rhythm and rhyme that would infiltrate the Church of the Living God and captivate souls into an addiction of compromise.

This lifestyle of compromise will lead them into deception that they are truly converted, truly transformed, when the only thing that was transformed was the lyrics of a song.

It makes no difference how many baths you give the “old man”, you cannot be truly converted, saved until you put off the old man and put on the new man. No matter how much you clean up the “Ways of the World”, the ways of the world will always lead to destruction.

When you understand the origins of Hip Hop and Rap Music, to clean the lyrics up and now say that there is such a thing as Holy Hip Hop or Christian Rap can be compared to giving the devil a bath and now say that he is a good devil that will not face judgment but go to heaven… isn’t that absurd.

It may rub the flesh the wrong way... but the Truth is:

There is No Such Thing as “Christian” Rap or Hip Hop.

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