last week i talked about hymns. this week i'm swinging the pendulum to the other extreme and thought i'd open the conversation up to hip-hop and rap.
i know few people these days that would think to condemn this style of music associating itself with God, but i'm sure some remain. i would like to go on record as a self-proclaimed-hip-hop-advocate. dare i say wannabe?
i want to introduce you to a couple of artists that i've grown very fond of:
i've had the chance to meet these guys and hear them live... in fact we've had the chance to collaborate with Propaganda on a couple of things (
and brand new soon-to-be-released Crystal Lewis//People Get Ready Remix) and i must say, i'm a fan. yes i'm a fan of this genre, always have been. but there is more to my fangirling than that. these guys are changing the game as they charge into uncharted territory. invading the space previously inhabited by money-hungry, greedy-for-glory rappers and singers out pushing and shoving their way to popular-town.
these guys are different. for starters their lyrics ring with the truth of scripture. yeah, the Bible. rather than all the selfish gibberish about me+money+whatever these guys are letting the weight of the truth balance their intentions and ideas, all with a clear confidence rather than a dirty arrogance. i told Propaganda after hearing him live one time, "ugh. this makes me want to be a rapper! you get to use so many words!!". my point being, sometimes as a songwriter it's incredibly difficult to make your point within a certain number of verses and a chorus. the pattern can be somewhat limiting. not to say that rap artists ramble and rhyme aimlessly... they don't. as i mentioned, their words are weighty and they choose them carefully. it's overwhelming impressive and inspiring.
the other way these particular artists, and others associated with them, are different is the fact that they have aligned themselves with a new version of a record label. Humble Beast records describes itself as follows:
Humble Beast is a family of
, pastors, writers, theologians, and musicians, who leverage their talents to see the Gospel go out into the community and transform lives. We do this as individuals and as a family. Individually, we live our lives as missionaries, disciple-makers, and culture-creators. As a family, we combine our efforts to create a hub of Gospel-saturated resources, communicated in compelling ways for everyday people for free.
yep. for free. what??!!
all of the music created by the dozen artists on Humble Beast is available for FREE download.
i'm sorry, excuse me??
this is unheard of. i mean, yes, you have spotify and pandora where you can stream music for free (or pay a fee for premium access), but the artist's themselves giving away their music for free??? this is a new concept. this is a new way of thinking. a GOOD way of thinking. Humble Beast does have a store where you can purchase hard copy CD's, T's and other merch. to support them. and i know from personal experience (based on the pile of goods i bought for myself) that the artists do well selling stuff at shows. as they should... it's awesome stuff! but other than that it's all about the free downloadable music. i love this 'business' model and as Brian Ray and i seek to revamp and breathe new life into our 22 year old label Metro One, we are moved and inspired by the eternal perspective that pervades their thinking.
i am familiar with the difficulty in balancing your God-given gifts and the platform He provides with what the world says is the way to do things. i know that it's not easy to 'make a living' in this industry.... especially when you are giving people the opportunity to own your music at no cost to them.... because the costs of creating it are massive, not just monetarily but emotionally, spiritually, physically, personally. and so it makes me love these artists, and this label, even more!
the point here is in the heart... these guys really are humble beasts! they believe what they are singing/saying and they sing/say it WELL!!!
i highly encourage you to visit
today and don't just get music for free... check out their store and purchase merch!