1st Edition

Beyond Christian Hip Hop A Move Towards Christians and Hip Hop

Edited By Erika D. Gault, Travis Harris Copyright 2020
    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    324 Pages
    by Routledge

    Christians and Christianity have been central to Hip Hop since its inception. This book explores the intersection of Christians and Hip Hop and the multiple outcomes of this intersection. It lays out the ways in which Christians and Hip Hop overlap and diverge. The intersection of Christians and Hip Hop brings together African diasporic cultures, lives, memories and worldviews.

    Moving beyond the focus on rappers and so-called "Christian Hip Hop," each chapter explores three major themes of the book: identifying Hip Hop, irreconcilable Christianity, and boundaries.There is a self-identified Christian Hip Hop (CHH) community that has received some scholarly attention. At the same time, scholars have analyzed Christianity and Hip Hop without focusing on the self-identified community. This book brings these various conversations together and show, through these three themes, the complexities of the intersection of Christians and Hip Hop. Hip Hop is more than rap music, it is an African diasporic phenomenon. These three themes elucidate the many characteristics of the intersection between Christians and Hip Hop and our reasoning for going beyond "Christian Hip Hop."

    This collection is a multi-faceted view of how religious belief plays a role in Hip Hoppas' lives and community. It will, therefore, be of great interest to scholars of Religion and Hip Hop, Hip Hop, African Diasporas, Religion and the Arts, Religion and Race and Black Theology as well as Religious Studies more generally.

    List of Figures


    Introduction Erika Gault and Travis Harris

    1 A History of Christians and Hip Hop

    Travis Harris

    Section I: Identifying Hip Hop

    2 Blendzville Global: A Conversation with Andrea "M$. Blendz" Castleberry

    Travis Harris

    3 If My Faith Had a YouTube: Digitizing Christianity and Hip Hop, an Interview with Beleaf Melanin

    Erika Gault

    Section II: Irreconcilable Christianity

    4 Black White Supremacists: An Interrogation into ‘Christian Hip Hop’s Relationship with the White Man’s Religion

    Daniel White Hodge and Travis Harris

    5 From ‘Gospel’ to Global: A Talk with Anthony "DJ AA1K" Amos Travis Harris

    6 "The Prince of Peace Ain't Down with Police Brutality": Gospel Gangstaz Confronting White Supremacy Post-LA Uprising of 1992 Matthew Linder

    7 Skipp Coon: Race, Religion, and Black Radical History in Hip Hop

    Phillip Luke Sinitiere

    Section III: Boundaries

    8 The Ruptures and Reconfigurations of Identity through Christian Hip Hop in Southern Africa Ibrahim Abraham and Tuomas Järvenpää

    9 Latinx Innovators in the Emergence of Los Angeles Hip Hop: Expanding the Intersections of Christianity and Hip Hop

    Jonathan Calvillo

    10 ‘We Gon’ Be Alright’: Kendrick Lamar and the Theology of Affirmation

    Darrius D. Hills

    11 The Gospel According to ‘Ye; Kanye West, the Life of Pablo, and Authentic ChristianityTimothy Welbeck

    12 ‘How You Gon’ See ‘Em If You Live in the Fog’: Theodicy in the lyrics of DMX

    Trudy Mercadal





    Erika Gault is Assistant Professor in the Africana Studies Program in the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona, USA. On the topic of hip hop, religion, and/or digital ethnography she has delivered and published a number of papers regionally, nationally, and internationally. She is the recipient of a 2018-2019 Louisville Institute's First Book Grant for Minority Scholars for her current project regarding the digital-religious cultures of Black young adults. Erika centers her ethnographic work around social media and hip hop. She is an ordained elder at Elim Christian Fellowship and an award-winning slam poet.

    Travis Harris is Assistant Professor in the department of African American Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, USA. Harris is also the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Hip Hop Studies, the leading journal on publishing Hip Hop scholarship. Harris is also involved in the Black freedom struggle as the Director of Political Education for the International Black Freedom Alliance. Harris is an ordained minister and is driven to ensure that those "from the bottom" are not forgotten, in academia or the freedom struggle.