Many of you may or may not know, that as Vintage Retroman (Your Neighborhood Hope Dealer), I’m from North Carolina. I love this state, so I decided to write about our history of hip-hop music in hopes to educate you on our overall rap music scene.
North Carolina hip-hop has a rich and diverse history that has been shaped by the state’s unique culture and geography.
From the early days of hip-hop in the 1980s and 1990s to the current thriving music scene, North Carolina has always been at the forefront of hip-hop innovation.
The early days of North Carolina hip-hop were characterized by a focus on DJing and MCing, with artists like Little Brother, Petey Pablo, U.G., and Kooley High setting the stage for the future of the genre in the state. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, North Carolina hip-hop continued to evolve, with artists like Little Brother, The Justus League, and 9th Wonder emerging as some of the most influential voices in the genre.
One of the defining characteristics of North Carolina hip-hop is its strong sense of community.
Artists in the state are known for collaborating and supporting one another, helping to build a vibrant and inclusive music scene. This spirit of collaboration has helped to fuel the growth of the genre in the state, with many artists finding success through their work with others.
Another hallmark of North Carolina hip-hop is its connection to the state’s rich musical heritage. From blues and jazz to R&B and soul, North Carolina has a long history of musical excellence, and hip-hop artists in the state have always drawn on this rich musical tradition to create something truly unique and innovative.
In recent years, North Carolina hip-hop has continued to thrive, with a new generation of artists emerging to carry the torch for the genre.
From J. Cole to DaBaby and Rapsody, North Carolina hip-hop continues to produce some of the most exciting and innovative music in the world. North Carolina’s hip-hop scene is thriving today, with this new generation of artists emerging to take the genre to new heights. From the bustling cities of Raleigh and Charlotte, to the rural communities across the state, North Carolina hip-hop is a vibrant and diverse music scene that continues to evolve and grow.
One of the most exciting things about North Carolina hip-hop today is the sheer diversity of the genre. With artists working in a wide range of styles and sounds, from classic boom-bap to futuristic trap, North Carolina hip-hop has something for everyone. Whether you’re a fan of conscious rap or hard-hitting beats, you’ll find something to love in the state’s thriving hip-hop scene.
In conclusion, North Carolina hip-hop is a thriving and exciting genre that is continuing to evolve and grow.
With a thriving music community, a rich musical heritage, and a diverse range of artists, North Carolina hip-hop is sure to be a driving force in the years to come. Whether you’re a fan of the classic sounds of the past or the innovative beats of the future, North Carolina hip-hop has something for everyone.
It’s 2023, and christian music artists are making an impact
Christian artists have been making a significant impact on the music industry for decades. They use their talents and platforms to share their faith and spread messages of hope, love, and redemption through their music. Many Christian artists have found great success and have inspired countless fans with their powerful lyrics and performances.
One of the unique aspects of Christian music is its ability to appeal to people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a devout believer or simply looking for uplifting and meaningful music, Christian artists offer something for everyone. From contemporary pop and rock to traditional gospel and worship music, there is a wide range of genres and styles within the Christian music scene.
In addition to their musical contributions, many Christian artists are also known for their charitable and philanthropic efforts. Many use their fame and influence to support causes and organizations that align with their values and beliefs.
While Christian music may not be as mainstream as some other genres, it has a dedicated and passionate following. Christian artists continue to inspire and touch the lives of millions of people around the world through their music. Their contributions to the music industry are undeniable and their impact will continue to be felt for years to come. Within Christian music, a certain genre continues to grow rapidly and is making a large impact globally.
Christian hip-hop continues to shatter barriers in popular culture
Christian hip hop, also known as gospel rap, is a subgenre of hip hop music that contains Christian themes and lyrics. It first gained popularity in the 1980s, and has since grown into a diverse and thriving musical genre.
One of the pioneers of Christian hip hop is MC Sweet, who released the first Christian rap album in 1984. Since then, many other artists have followed in his footsteps, using their music to spread a message of faith and hope to listeners around the world.
Today, Christian hip hop is a thriving subgenre with a diverse range of artists and styles. From traditional gospel-infused rap to more modern, electronic-influenced sounds, Christian hip hop has something for everyone.
Some of the most popular Christian hip hop artists today include Lecrae, Andy Mineo, KB, and Trip Lee. These artists have gained widespread recognition for their musical talent and the positive messages in their lyrics.
In addition to mainstream success, Christian hip hop has a strong presence in the church community. Many churches and youth groups have embraced the genre as a way to connect with younger members and share the message of the gospel in a way that is relevant and relatable.
Despite its roots in faith and religion, Christian hip hop is not without controversy. Some critics argue that the genre is too focused on materialism and self-promotion, while others believe that it is an effective way to share the message of Christianity with a younger audience.
Christian hip hop continues to be an important and influential subgenre of hip hop music, with a dedicated fan base and a strong message of faith and hope. Whether you’re a fan of the genre or just looking to learn more about it, there’s no denying the impact that Christian hip hop has had on the music industry and beyond. For many people, Christian hip-hop is music therapy.
Christian music artists continue to make music therapy, either directly or indirectly
Music therapy is a form of therapy that uses music to improve the physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being of individuals. It has been shown to be effective in a wide range of settings and populations, including hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and mental health clinics.
Music therapy is typically provided by a trained music therapist, who uses music interventions to address specific goals and objectives. These interventions can include singing, songwriting, listening to music, and playing instruments. Music therapists use music to address a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, pain management, and social skills.
The benefits of music therapy for those struggling
One of the key benefits of music therapy is its ability to engage and motivate individuals. Music can be a powerful tool for self-expression and communication, and it can help people to feel more connected to others. It can also provide a sense of accomplishment and purpose, which can be especially important for those who may be struggling with physical or cognitive limitations.
Music therapy has been shown to have numerous physical and psychological benefits. For example, research has shown that music therapy can reduce anxiety and stress, improve sleep, and lower blood pressure. It has also been shown to improve memory and cognitive functioning, and to increase socialization and communication skills.
In addition to these benefits, music therapy has been found to be an effective treatment for a wide range of conditions, including autism, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. It has also been shown to be effective in helping individuals with physical disabilities, such as spinal cord injuries and cerebral palsy.
Music therapy can be used in a variety of settings, including individual, group, and family therapy sessions. It can be integrated into other forms of treatment, such as occupational therapy or speech therapy, and it can be used in both short-term and long-term treatment plans.
Overall, music therapy is a powerful and effective tool for improving the well-being of individuals. It can be used to address a wide range of physical and psychological issues, and it can be an important part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
A bright future for music artists that create positive, encouraging music
The future of Christian music is an exciting topic to consider, as it is a genre that has a long and rich history and continues to be a powerful force in the music industry today. While it is impossible to predict exactly what the future holds, there are a few key trends and developments that are likely to shape the direction of Christian music in the coming years.
One of the most significant trends in Christian music is the increasing diversity and representation of artists within the genre. In the past, Christian music was dominated by a few major artists and labels, but today there is a greater variety of voices and perspectives being heard. This includes artists from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, who are breaking new ground in terms of style and sound.
Another trend that is likely to shape the future of Christian music is the increasing use of technology and digital platforms. With the rise of streaming services and social media, it is easier than ever for Christian artists to reach a wider audience and connect with their fans. Many artists are also using technology to create new and innovative sounds and styles, which is helping to keep the genre fresh and relevant.
The trend of hope continues in christian music, both for mainstream and independent artists in multiple genre’s
In addition to these trends, it is also likely that the themes and messages of Christian music will continue to evolve and change over time. While many Christian artists have traditionally focused on themes of faith, redemption, and hope, it is likely that we will see more artists tackling social and political issues as well. This could include themes such as justice, equality, and the environment, which are becoming increasingly important to many people of faith.
Overall, the future of Christian music is bright and full of possibility. With a diverse and talented group of artists, the use of technology and digital platforms, and a continued focus on meaningful themes and messages, Christian music will continue to be a powerful and influential force in the music industry for years to come.
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Toxicity is a word we’ve come to know very well as we look at the world. We look around and see violence everywhere, inflation, recession, Covid-19, etc. Yet, could it be that Christian artists are making more of an impact than you think? As the world is becoming more hopeless, the opportunity for Christian music, and in particular Christian Hip-Hop music continues to grow. As a Christian artist myself, I hate the state of the world, but I love what I am seeing in terms of impact. Let me explain in more detail.
Quick History in Christian hip-hop
When I was growing up, Christian rap music had a horrible reputation for being low-budget, bad quality, and unrelatable. I would have to say that I agree with that sentiment 100%. Like many of you, I grew up in the golden age of hip-hop and loved it. Music artists like Nas, Tupac, Jay-Z, Notorious BIG, and Outkast were just a few of my favorites.
Sure their music was profane, but many of their songs had messages that I could relate to and the quality of their production was so good. They told stories that I connected with and seemed to be real and transparent in their approach. Talent-wise, their flow, delivery, and lyricism were amazing. In contrast, when I heard a few of the classic Christian rappers, I mean no disrespect but the quality back in the late 1980s, 1990s, and even the 2000s was subpar in my opinion. Poor flow, poor delivery, basic lyricism, and some of the worst hip-hop production I had ever heard.
Back then I said to myself, just because you say Jesus in a song doesn’t mean I’m going to listen to that. I didn’t understand that many of the classic Christian rappers had very little to no support. They were doing things that hadn’t been done before. They didn’t have the endorsement of the music industry, because back then all rap was looked at as either gangster music, party music, or socially conscience music. There was no genre for Christian Hip-Hop. Those early artists were pioneers and trailblazers in their own right that deserve respect for being counter-cultural.
my turning point in Christian rap
The turning point for me regarding Christian hip-hop came around 2006-2007 when I heard Christian rapper Lecrae for the first time. When his song “Jesus Muzik” was released from his 2nd album “After The Music Stops”, I said to myself, that was different! The production at the time was impressive and sounded similar to the sound of other secular artists, but the message about God and delivery was so much better. The intro to the song started with a “chopped and screwed” voice yelling “ridin’ with my top down, listening to this Jesus Music!” I said to myself that I can listen to this!
Still, that was one song. A few more years went by and I enjoyed a few other Christian rap artists but no album really stood out. Then came Lecrae’s “Church Clothes” album, produced by Don Cannon! Don Cannon was one of my favorite secular producers growing up. When I heard “Church Clothes” for the first time around 2012, that changed my perspective forever of what Christian rap music is supposed to be like. Everything was the best quality musically, and Lecrae worked with several secular artists but stayed consistent in the gospel message. I had never seen that done before, and Christian rap was put on a national stage unlike ever before.
New Christian Artists rising to the challenge
I am happy to report that Christian hip-hop artists are looked at differently today. The genre as a whole has gained a tremendous amount of both respect and criticism. There are still people that say it sounds like the devil’s music because of the beats. Then there are other people that say they are confused because the message is positive but it sounds hard. Then others say that some songs relate to their struggles, but the artists themselves don’t say Jesus enough. You can’t please everyone all of the time. It is something I have learned myself as a Christian artist. As long as your heart is for God and you’re doing it for Him, that’s what really matters.
Still, when I listen to newer Christian rap artists today like J. Monty, Nobigdyl, Battz, 1K Phew, and many others, I hear a quality in their music that far surpasses some of the most popular secular rappers today. I couldn’t be happier. Their music inspires me. I listen at the gym, in my car, with my kids, and everywhere else. To all of my fellow newer artists fighting to make a way in the music industry, I salute you. For those that don’t know, I just released my first album as well, entitled “The Genesis” on all major streaming platforms. Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5PmyNTyCHtYcqXd19lxj14?si=27975491b56c4a3f&nd=1
Christian Hip-Hop has infiltrated secular culture
The Covid-19 pandemic has shifted our world in many ways. Anxiety, depression, and suicides have increased dramatically to levels I’m not sure we’ve ever seen. There has never been a time in human history that people need hope more than today. With unlimited access to information via smartphones and the internet, it has made it possible to reach the entire world easier for good or bad.
I was sitting at work listening to my Christian hip-hop playlist when a new song by secular artists DJ Khaled, Kanye West, and Eminem came on entitled “Use This Gospel”. I listened intently as Eminem started his verse. To hear him rap about God and Jesus as he did really made me think about the fact that we don’t know how God can use us all. Eminem is one of the most talented secular rappers I have ever heard. He was recently inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I am grateful to see God’s word penetrate the hearts of our popular secular artists. Much respect to Eminem for his amazing career.
Other music artist crossover examples
Recently, there have been a host of other popular secular artists that crossed over and made songs referencing God and Jesus. Snoop Dogg recently made a Christian hip-hop album, collaborating with other Christian rappers. Of course Kanye West, regardless of how you may feel about him on a number of issues, has made albums and songs about his faith in Jesus. Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar have made several tracks in the past referencing Christianity and faith. Secular rapper Nas throughout history as an artist has made several songs referencing God and Jesus Christ.
I have heard people make statements such as “Those artists are being fake” or “They are only doing it for money”. The truth is, we don’t know the hearts of people, only God does. I encourage you to not judge the hearts of secular artists, or anyone else for that matter. If you are a Christian that believes in the bible, remember what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians Chapter 1 starting at verse 15.
The Bible states, “It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice!”
Vintage Retroman’s New Christian Rap Album Blazes A Novel Trail On “The Genesis”
In January 2022, I made a commitment to release my first full-length album this year but I wasn’t sure what the album content would be about. The reason why is that I typically try to focus specifically on gospel principles in my music as a Christian Artist. I have always made it a goal to never water down the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ in my music.
Christian Hip-Hop music has changed so much over the years, and many new Christian rap songs focus on relating to the issues that you deal with every day. The gospel message does not change, but the methods that matter to you just might. It is because of these reasons that I chose the subject matter I did for “The Genesis EP”. This breakdown gives the reason why behind each track on my new Christian album.
6 Tracks Set The Tone on My New Christian Rap Album, “The Genesis”
There are 6 tracks on the album that touches on several subjects to uplift God and encourage you as my listener. 5 are actual songs, with an outro at the end. The songs in order are listed below, along with a description of the meaning behind each song.
Endurance– I made this Christian song for you because you are stronger than you believe as a Christian. This song is all about not giving up, trusting God, and enduring trials and difficulties in a confident way.
Go That Way– I made this song to encourage you when dealing with difficult people. When people hate on your efforts to do well in life, sometimes it is easy to get caught up in things that don’t matter.
Losin’ It- This song is all about anger management. We have all had moments when we feel like we’re losing our cool, but one of the Fruits of the Spirit in the Bible is self-control. This song is about keeping your cool in every situation.
Gettin’ It– I made this song to address the main issues affecting us in culture, from politics and violence to social media and racism. It is a song that promotes unity in the culture from a Christian perspective, while at the same time not ignoring real problems in the culture today.
Voodoo- Based on Ephesians 6 in the Bible, this song addresses spiritual warfare. There are many demonic forces at play in today’s media, and this track calls them out and how we can defeat evil through the blood of Jesus.
My New Christian Album Was Inspired With You In Mind
When you stop and look at culture today, you see so many problems in the world. We are more divided now than ever. People are hurting, inflation is real, and so many people are putting faith in politicians that do not have any power. It takes courage and endurance to be a Christian in this world. When I started the journey for my album back in January, I had you in mind.
I prayed about this album and asked God to help me to touch people and relate to their everyday struggles. I know how it feels to struggle to raise your kids right. My wife and I have 4 children and have the same struggle. I understand anxiety, as I also deal with a general anxiety disorder along with controlling high blood pressure.
I can relate to the falsehoods of our political system, and the various agenda’s that the powers that be put out there. I see the culture shifting to one of secular humanism and relativism. It breaks my heart to see children hurting, homes shattered, drug additions, and other issues. This is why I made this new Christian rap album because I had you in mind.
In conclusion, I hope that you enjoy the new Christian album
Truthfully, I put a lot of time, effort, and energy into making this album for you. I have never been motivated by how many records I sell, but by how many people I touch for God. This album ultimately was created to uplift and magnify God in a different way, while simultaneously encouraging others. The album is on all streaming platforms. Enjoy and please share it with everyone that you know. Thank you,
“I Know” is my new Christian song that I made with my 10 year old daughter Je’well (Lil Juju). Check it out on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, and any other major streaming platform. I really appreciate the support – Your Neighborhood Hope Dealer