The 116 Life Ep. 52 – Is Christian Rap in Its Own World?
Welcome to another episode of The 116 Life, family. Our hosts have had the privilege of engaging in some truly thought-provoking discussions. And this one is no different. Ace and Meah are unpacking the comments made by Cody Ko and Noel Miller from the TMG podcast about Christian Rap and R&B. We talking about a conversation that gets right into the heart of what it means to create music that is both authentic to one’s faith and resonant with the broader culture.
Grappling with Feedback: A Catalyst for Reflection
When our hosts first heard the comments from Cody and Noel, they admit they were surprised. It’s not every day that your work is discussed by voices from outside the CHH community. But it’s crucial to listen and reflect, even when it challenges our preconceptions. What do you think family? Is Christian R&B sound too sensual? Is Christian Rap / CHH sound too worldly?
The Evolution of Christian Rap and R&B
Ace brought an insightful perspective to the table, noting that Christian R&B is a relatively new subgenre with its own unique challenges. And like Christian hip hop in its early stages, it’s trying to find a balance between the traditional associations of R&B and the expression of Christian themes. This is an easy thing to do, considering the genre’s historical ties to sensuality and lust. Yet and still, as Ace so eloquently put it, music is a vessel for expression, and any sound can be redeemed to convey messages of faith.
The Power of Content Over Chords
Ace and Meah agreed that the content that’s laid over the music is what ultimately defines its message. It’s a reminder that the heart of gospel music is just that—the gospel. It’s about conveying our relationship with the Lord, regardless of its musical backdrop. This is a powerful notion that transcends genre and challenges us to think more deeply about the music we create and consume.
Broadening the Scope of Christian Music
The conversation got real when our hosts considered the idea that Christian artists should have the freedom to explore themes beyond overt religious expressions. They discussed the importance of transparency in our music. They pondered whether we’re allowing our full experiences as believers to shine through our art. From songs about love for family to the struggles of life, there’s a rich tapestry of human experience that can and should be explored within the context of faith.
The Authenticity Debate
The discussion inevitably led us to the delicate balance between creating art that’s true to our faith and the pressures of the industry. They touched on the pitfalls of creating content solely to go viral, risking the sincerity of the message for the sake of clicks and likes. Many Christian artists grapple with—how to market and promote the work without compromising the authenticity of the message.
A Biblical Perspective on Profit and Purpose
Ace shared a poignant scripture from 2 Corinthians that speaks to the heart of this issue. It cautions against peddling the word of God for profit and instead calls us to speak with sincerity as those sent from God. This verse serves as a powerful reminder that our ultimate goal is to create music that’s sincere before God, trusting that He will use it to impact culture in His way and time.
Final Thoughts: Sincerity and Stewardship
As Ace and Meah wrapped up the episode, they reflect on the importance of stewardship in our creative endeavors. Whether the music reaches the masses or touches a few, what matters is the sincerity of our hearts and our obedience to God’s calling. We can’t force Christianity to be “cool” for the sake of being cool. And authenticity will always resonate deeper than any attempt to conform to the expectations of gatekeepers.
Conclusion: Letting God Do the Rest
Thank you for tuning in to The 116 Life. It’s conversations like these that push us to grow, challenge our perspectives, and at the end of the day, brings us closer to creating art that glorifies God in its truest form. And as we continue navigating our faith journeys, let’s remember to let God do the rest. The truth of the matter is what comes from the heart, reaches the heart. See you next episode family!
The Introduction (00:00:00) Meah and Ace introduce the show and discuss the absence of a special guest this week.
Cody Ko and Noel Miller’s Comments (00:01:43) Our hosts discuss the comments made by Cody Ko and Noel Miller from the TMG podcast regarding Christian hip hop and R&B.
The Influence of Cody Ko and Noel Miller (00:02:13) Our hosts discuss the influence of Cody Ko and Noel Miller and the impact of their comments on the Christian music genre.
Social Media Strategy (00:03:20) Hosts discuss the strategy of comparing Christian rap to mainstream rap on social media and its impact.
Reflection on Feedback (00:06:25) Hosts reflect on the feedback received and discuss the need for artists and content creators to consider the validity of the criticisms.
Ignorance and Stagnation (00:11:33) Hosts discuss the potential ignorance on both sides and the need for growth and progress within the genre.
Christian R&B (00:15:58) Hosts discuss the comments made about Christian R&B and the challenges of reconciling the genre with Christianity.
Conclusion and Gratitude (00:15:10) Meah expresses gratitude for the feedback and emphasizes the importance of having these conversations on the show.
The compartmentalization of music (00:18:56) Discussion about the inability to reconcile different music genres and the redeemable nature of music.
Designation of R&B and gospel music (00:19:55) Reflection on the designation of R&B and gospel music, and the challenges in perceiving the sound and delivery of Christian R&B.
Critique of Christian music (00:20:36) Comparing the critique of Christian R&B to other genres like hip hop and worship music, and the progression of Christian R&B.
Expanding topics in Christian music (00:22:03) Exploring the possibility of singing about relationships and love in Christian music, and the need for transparency in the music content.
Christian music authenticity (00:25:25) Discussion on the authenticity of Christian music and the freedom for artists to express their faith uniquely.
Reactions to critique of Christian music (00:28:13) Reflecting on the critique of Christian music and the need to judge intent and pray for those who critique it.
Recognition of Christian music (00:29:33) Acknowledgment of the progress and recognition of Christian music in mainstream spaces.
Challenges in music promotion (00:34:44) Discussion about authenticity and intention in music promotion, and the challenges faced by artists in promoting their music authentically.
The viral game and artistic integrity (00:36:59) Discussion about the challenges of playing the viral game while maintaining artistic authenticity and integrity in Christian music.
Criticism of Christian music’s profitability (00:37:54) Exploration of the criticism of Christian music’s ability to make money and the need to promote and market it in a wholesome and sincere way.
Sincerity in creating impactful content (00:39:57) Emphasis on sincerity and authenticity in creating content that can impact and engage culture, surrendering the outcome to God.
Stewardship and authenticity in Christian art (00:41:26) Encouragement to be good stewards, sincere, and authentic in creating Christian art and letting God do the rest.
Purpose of platforms for conversation (00:43:03) Appreciation for platforms like the podcast for discussing important topics and inviting listeners to engage in the conversation.
Related Radio Show: 116 Life