State of The Christian Hip Hop Community: An Honest Conversation

In a recent episode of Church on the Block, Pastor Phil, Pastah J and DJ Rukus, had an engaging conversation about the current state of Christian hip hop. We delved into the recent controversy surrounding the 10 Things That Will Make Christian Hip Hop Better video by Sho Baraka, an elder in the Christian hip hop community, and a comment made about his exit from Reach Records.

The Controversy Surrounding Sho Baraka’s Video

They were surprised at the negative responses to Sho’s 10 Things That Will Make Christian Hip Hop Better video. It seemed that some people misunderstood Sho’s satirical style of communication, interpreting his words as criticism rather than guidance. As Pastah J emphasized, understanding satire and metaphor is crucial in Christian hip hop. They hope that the misunderstanding can be cleared up through dialogue.

Is it possible that some of the negative responses stem from self-esteem issues? Sho, with his years of experience, is an elder in the Christian hip hop community and should be respected as such. Pastor Phil and Pastah J also touched on a comment made about Reach Records, and play a conversation related to it in order to discuss the importance of critically listening and understanding the context of someone’s words.

The Importance of Thoughtful Responses

They also discussed the importance of taking notes and being thoughtful in our responses when listening to something challenging or different. They appreciated Sho’s thoughtful perspective on Christian hip hop, based on his own experiences and participation in the genre. They also expressed a desire for others to be more thoughtful in their responses as well, as their reactions become a witness to those outside of the faith.

The Significance of Internal Criticism

Pastor Phil, Pastah J and DJ Ruckus discussed the significance of receiving criticism from someone within the culture, as opposed to someone outside of it. They compared it to siblings fighting amongst themselves but standing up for each other when someone from outside the family criticizes them. They also emphasized the need for Christians to think critically and be able to respond to challenges to their beliefs.

Encouraging Young Leaders

Pastah J encouraged young leaders to listen to Sho’s message and consider the truth in it, as it will impact the next generation. Pastor Phil highlighted the importance of addressing challenging topics in Christian hip hop and not just focusing on comfortable and catchy music.

The Dichotomy within the Christian Hip Hop Community

Pastah J reflected on the dichotomy within the Christian hip hop community, specifically between those who focus on inward ministry and those who aim to show the love of God everywhere. He disagreed with the notion that Sho should not have responded to criticism, emphasizing that it is irrelevant whether or not Sho has a large following. Pastah J believes that the focus should be on Sho’s role as an elder and his ability to challenge and speak life into the younger artists’ artistry. He dismisses the idea that this is about platforms and highlights the importance of responding to constructive criticism.

The Capitalistic Perspective in Christian Hip Hop

Pastor Phil expressed his concern about the capitalistic perspective that some younger artists in the Christian hip hop community seem to adopt. He believes that this perspective detracts from the focus on the kingdom and being peculiar people. He compares the situation to a basketball analogy, suggesting that the older generation achieved success without the use of social media, and that the younger generation should not belittle their accomplishments. He emphasized the need for accurate information and fact-checking before making statements about someone’s career.

The Importance of Accountability and Understanding Scripture

They stressed the importance of being mindful of the bigger picture when interpreting scripture. They believe that it is crucial to approach discussions with love and understanding, rather than jumping to conclusions. They also talked about the importance of accountability within the Christian hip hop community. They also mentioned how it is essential for artists to support and guide each other, rather than letting them fall into destructive patterns.

Embracing Challenges and Seeking Truth

Pastor Phil reflected on his personal journey and growth in ministry. He shared how he used to be rigid and focused on control, but a humbling experience made him realize the importance of grace. He had to apologize to many people and learn to embrace the mystery of God instead of being stuck in my own ways. Pastor Phil encouraged listeners to embrace the challenges that come from others and seek the truth that can help them grow in their faith.

This conversation highlighted the importance of understanding, respect, and thoughtful responses in the Christian hip hop community. Thank you for tuning in to Church on the Block and see you next episode. God bless.



The tension between elders and younger artists (00:02:01) Discussion on the lack of knowledge and understanding of the impact of elder artists in Christian hip hop and the need for guidance and accountability.

Misinterpretation of satire in Christian hip hop (00:04:49) Surprise at the response to Sho’s satirical comments and the need for a better understanding of satire within the Christian hip hop community.

The controversy surrounding the comment about Rich Records (00:09:37) Discussion on the inappropriate or ignorant comment made about Reach Records and the importance of critically listening to what someone is actually saying before forming judgments.

The Thoughtful Response (00:09:57) Discussion about the lack of thoughtfulness in people’s responses and the importance of understanding context and perspective.

The Witness to Outsiders (00:10:48) Emphasizing the impact of how Christians respond to one another as a witness to those outside the faith.

The Importance of Challenging Christian Hip Hop (00:16:50) Exploring the controversy surrounding Sho Baraka’s challenge to Christian hip hop and the need for accountability and growth in the genre.

Baraka’s comments and the controversy (00:18:44) Discussion about Baraka’s comments on Christian hip hop and the controversy it caused.

Response to Baraka’s comments (00:19:43) Discussing their thoughts on Baraka’s comments and whether they warrant a response.

Clarifying Sho Baraka’s departure from Reach Records (00:24:23) Clarifying misconceptions about Show Baraka’s departure from Reach Records and his reasons for leaving.

The dichotomy in Christian ministry (00:28:45) Discussion about the division between Christians who focus on inward ministry and those who demonstrate the love of God everywhere they go.

The importance of responding to critique (00:29:04) Examining the controversy surrounding Nobigdyl’s response to Sho Baraka’s critique and the significance of engaging in constructive dialogue.

The need for accurate information and responsible speech (00:30:58) Addressing the importance of fact-checking and being mindful of the impact of one’s words, particularly when discussing someone’s career and reputation.

The importance of context (00:37:47) Discussion the importance of considering the whole totality of a person’s work and what they’re saying, rather than taking one verse or comment out of context.

The need for accountability and support (00:38:33) Emphasizing the importance of having people around who will stop them from going down the wrong path and hold them accountable, especially within the church community.

The value of critical thinking and open dialogue (00:43:57) Highlighting the problem of criticizing and tearing down others when they don’t do things the way we think they should be done. They emphasize the need for open dialogue, real debate, and the ability to agree to disagree or continue studying.

The Journey of Grace (00:46:26) Pastor Phil discusses his personal journey of rigidity and how he learned to embrace grace in his ministry.

Conflict and Love (00:47:13) Pastor Phil shares a story about a couple’s argument and emphasizes the importance of speaking the truth in love during conflicts.

Embracing Challenges (00:47:57) Pastor Phil encourages listeners to embrace challenges from others, recognizing their integrity and seeking truth to glorify God.

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