On Monday night I was honored to be a part of an online discussion about rap, race, and faith.
It was hosted by author Seth Tower Hurd and included hip hop artist/urban missionary Kareem Manuel and Ta-Tanisha Jordan, a Chicago-based actress who will be opening up a Children’s Theater Company this fall.
Our talk was sparked by the release of Sho Baraka’s Talented Xth album (which hit #3 on iTunes’ Hip Hop/Rap charts yesterday) and his “Jim Crow” song that uses the “n-word” and “b-word” – something that surprises and shocks people given Sho’s past affiliation with one of Christian hip hop’s most visible record labels.
Our hour long conversation covers:
- The “Jim Crow” song and its “controversial” language
- Whether or not Christians (particularly rappers) can use the “n-word” and “b-word” in their lyrics
- How music like this can motivate others toward positive action
- How this type of music compares to hip hop pushed in mainstream media
- What happens when marriages between Christians get strained
- Whether or not music by Christians that uses strong language should carry parental warnings or offer “clean” alternative versions
So heads up that the “n-word” and “b-word” are spoken in this video.