Favorite kinds of music…

If I told you I was a overweight, goofy-looking white guy that grew up out in the country in the great state of Texas, you’d probably think that my favorite kind of music was country. And if odds had anything to do with it, you’d be right – unfortunately I am not.  A lot of people who I surround myself with are country music fans, and I don’t have anything against it (I even enjoy listening to it every now and then). But I can truthfully say that one of my favorite kinds of music is hip hop/rap – I’m not sure what the difference is, so I’ll just put a little ‘/’ in between them for now, and I’ll just say rap for the rest of this post, since it’s shorter to type.

I can remember back in the very early 90’s, when I was in 4th grade, that I got my first taste of rap – it was (drumroll, please…) Vanilla Ice. That’s right – Ice Ice Baby…  And after that I listened to other rappers, too – like one rapper named Candyman who used a real whole lot of PG-13 euphemisms related to overly sweetened food items. But there was always something about the music and the beat of rap songs that drew me in. And I also really like the rhyme structures of a lot of the rap songs I heard.

Fast forward about 8 years, after my conversion to Christian spirituality. I was just getting my first taste of true Christian music (contemporary stuff, not just music from the hymnals at church), and I really did enjoy listening to it. But with no real rap presence in the Christian music world, for a long time I still listened a lot to secular rap artists, and it probably wasn’t the healthiest for me, spiritually speaking (let’s face it – gangsta rap can be a little vulgar at times!). Fortunately, sooner or later Christian rappers starting popping up, and I was able to get a taste of some rap lyrics with a Jesus twist.

Not all of the early Christian rap was great, as far as music and rhyme structures go. But some of it wasn’t half bad: DC Talk did some early stuff, and I still have CDs of a few better known Christian rappers like KJ-52, Grits, John Reuben, and T-Bone. I even have some CDs of not-so-well-known Christian rappers, like the Peacemakers (heard of them…I seriously doubt it). I don’t want to put any of these artists down, because they all have talent, but when it came to great rhyme structure, awesome beats, and lyrics that truly speak to me, it wasn’t until I started hearing artists like Cross Movement and Lecrae that I really enjoyed Christian rap.

Now, a lot of people are coming out with Christian rap records, and some of them are pretty good. The one I can’t stop listening to right now is Tedashii’s Identity Crisis CD. The first song on the album is only about a minute and a half long, but I keep listening to it over and over again. It’s genius…he effectively presents the gospel in about 15 seconds, rhyming the whole way:

Now What’s Up/
Hey man I’ll tell you what’s up/
Man sinned and sinned and in the end now our image’s messed up/
And Identity’s damaged/happened all over the planet/
Not lost, but sure is blemished/now how we see is scrambled/
But God,
Being rich, in mercy, gave me living water when he saw that I was thirsty/
And I came (and I came) to the cross (to the cross) for the Lord and it ended my searching/
I was lost (I was lost) in a maze (in a maze) until His amazing grace/
And I got to the truth, and I found out what to do/I need to live by faith

Check it out:

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5 Comments

Filed under Music

5 responses to “Favorite kinds of music…

  1. Ha!
    I’m a middle-aged, white, mother of four, two in college, living in rural Illinois.
    Same problem. Surrounded by Country.
    My daughter looooves Taylor Swift.

    I’m like you. I don’t mind some country some of the time.
    But I like variaty. Have you ever listened to Finnish Folk Metal, or German Death Metal.

    Throw in some Enya and Loreena McKennitt and you’ll get an idea of the kind of spread I like.

    Will have to look into Tadashil. But I can vouch for LeCrae. I even have a video linked on my small town, conservative blog with one of his songs.

    http://lightexcelsdarkness.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/verses-on-faith-part-5/

    The video plus his song moves me to tears nearly every time I watch it.

    • jjtrayn

      Thanks for your comment! You’re the first person to comment on my blog, so you can understand my excitement! :)

      You definitely have an interest in a wide variety of music – I’ve never heard of Finnish Folk Metal or German Death Metal… If you’re looking for some good Christian rock, I really like the groups Pillar and Thousand Foot Crutch. I once saw a concert of a group called G.S. Megaphone, and their music was awesome, but their lyrics were questionable. They had a song called Gun, where they were saying to God “make me your Gun…” I don’t think they were saying that they wanted to shoot people, but it did sound like that.

      Lecrae is, in my opinion, the best Christian rapper out there. The first song of his that I ever heard was Take Me As I Am, off of his album Real Talk. It’s just one of many, many great songs of his that can be life-changing if you understand the message.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  2. Oh, I know what it’s like getting your first comment.

    Have you ever gone tag surfing?
    That’s how I found your blog.
    Since I just posted a link to a Lecrae song I decided to see who else had posted on the topic.
    It’s a good way to find people thinking and talking about the same things you are.

    I’ve long been aware of Christian music.
    Saw DC talk open for Degarmo and Keye back before mainstream Christian music ever heard of them.

    My kids go to Cornerstone music festival every year
    http://www.cornerstonefestival.com/

    And used to go to Agape Music fesival
    http://www.agapefest.com/

    I’ve heard of 1000ftcrutch but not Pillar.

    We went through a phase in 80s and 90s where Christian is all we listened to, ever.
    My husband has since back-slid and now listens to everything. I listen to it along with him because it’s either that or not ever be around him.

    Only know about Finnish folk metal because of this:

    As a long time Muppets/Swedish Chef fan I thought it was funny and added the song to my secular playlist out of affection for this video.
    You really have to be a muppet fan or it isn’t very funny.

    I feel honored to be your first commenter and hope you have many more.

    • jjtrayn

      Thanks for the links. I’ll have to wait to check out the YouTube video until I get home tonight – my computer here at work doesn’t have speakers. I’ve been thinking about petitioning for some good speakers, but our office walls are paper-thin, so I’d probably just end up ticking someone off with my sounds. Anyway, I used to be a Muppets fan…a long time ago. I’ll definitely have to check out the video…

      I haven’t ever used the Tag Surfer before… I messed around with it a little, and I indirectly found this blog called Stuff Christians Like (stuffchristianslike.net). It’s hilarious! I’m glad I found it :)

  3. Actually I shouldn’t say long time fan of muppets, more of a muppets ‘classic’ fan.

    Anyway, will your office allow you to purchace your own head phones. My speakers don’t work either, but one of my coworkers gave me a set that I use.
    I like them because even if I need to keep one ear open to what’s going on in the other offices, I can have one ear tuned into the computer.

    I’ve see Stuff Christians Like. It is funny. And sad.

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