Can hip-hop “really” be holy?

September 27, 2012 in Church, Music

Stumbled upon this article and I felt the rumblings of C. Delores Tucker days with her was on hip hop many years ago.  I personally think that hip hop or rap have a place within gospel music if for no other reasons than it is resonating in the spirit of the rapper and is reaching the soul of its listeners. Its not for everyone, but I also know a lot of people who don’t particularly care for Hymns…. Read a snippet of the article which can be found in its entirety here

Hip-hop’s all the rage at universities and seminaries these days. Scholars parse its angry and often violent language. They sift out refrains of religious redemption or clever critiques of modern culture. In some traditionally African-American divinity schools, the rise and fall of response and call, old-school black preaching, is giving way to intricately rhyming rap.

Dozens of pop culture books have been written about using hip-hop to evangelize young people, to relate to their lives and bring them into the organized church. But Monica R. Miller, a visiting professor of religion and popular culture at Lewis & Clark College, warns that looking for religion in hip-hop is a risky proposition. “Seeing isn’t believing,” she says. Listeners who point to religious words in lyrics and assume their meaning, or those who spend hours trying to discern some artist’s systematic theology, may be wasting their time and effort.

Her new book, “Religion and Hip Hop,” argues that shared vocabulary doesn’t equal shared meaning, and religious language sometimes sells rather than saves. In an interview, Miller talks about religion, hip-hop, and whether and how they overlap. Her answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Religion News Service | Culture | Entertainment & Pop Culture | Can hip-hop be holy? A Q&A with Monica Miller.

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