Hip-hop is one of the most expressive art forms out there. Many of the genre’s top performers express their religious beliefs in their songs. While it is not uncommon to hear rappers talk about a higher power in their music, others take it a step further and live out their beliefs outside of the limelight.
Many of these rappers not only craft verses that echo the realities of the streets but also weave in rhymes that speak to the intersection of faith and fame. Here are a few rappers who have discussed their faith in the past.
The late, great Earl Simmons, who was known as DMX, was very vocal about his walk with God when he was alive. Although parts of his journey were riddled with struggle, the Ruff Ryder never failed to acknowledge that there was a higher, supreme power. In many of his raps, the native New Yorker acknowledged his shortcomings but also affirmed that he would rely on God for salvation, faith, and healing.
"I thank You, Lord, for your guidance, 'cause it's all that counts/And right here, right now... Lord, this is Your house/I thank You, Lord, for a dream that came true to light/And I ask You to bless everybody in this room tonight." DMX — "The Prayer"
Throughout her career, Nicki Minaj has been very vocal about her journey in faith and the role that a relationship with God has played in her life. In addition to publicly speaking out about Christianity, the Queens native has also released a few songs referencing her journey with God.
"'Cause I serve a God that parted the Red Sea/Multi-million dollars commercials for Pepsi / From food-stamps to more ice than Gretzky/I don't gotta talk, the Lord defends me." – Nicki Minaj ("Blessings" feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard)
As controversial as he may be to some, Kanye West has been quite vocal about his faith journey, specifically dating back to 2016. After the rapper's public breakdown and subsequent hospitalization, Kanye got more invested in his relationship with God.
That year, he started his Sunday Service gospel sessions, which became quite popular on social media. He also released a Christian rap album titled Jesus is King, which won an award for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at the GRAMMYs.
Chance The Rapper
Chancellor Johnathan Bennett, popularly known as Chance the Rapper, is another rapper who has publicly spoken out about religion. In a conversation with Teen Vogue, he spoke a bit about sharing his beliefs through his art.
"I don’t make Christian rap, but I am a Christian rapper. When I was going out and trying to fully give glory to God, in my setting, I feared that people would be dismissive of it, like, 'This is Christian rap, I’m not trying to hear it,'” Chance said at the time.
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