The A-List Rappers (in my mind)
The A List (in my mind) inspired by Jin's song A-List I decided to make my own A-List focusing on Christian rappers.
Asian connection: Jin is Chinese, born in Miami and based out of New York. Of all the MC’s on this list, Jin’s Asian connection is the strongest. He’s made numerous tracks that are Asian and Chinese-related as well as recorded several albums in Cantonese. He is currently based out of Hong Kong.
Jin is the single most well-known, written-about, revered, disrespected, loved and hated Asian American rapper ever. It’s hard to believe he’s been out in the scene since 2001 – it only seems like yesterday you could catch him Freestyle Friday Battle. Before Jin, most people had never seen an Asian rap before (myself included). Jin changed the game as the first and only Asian American rapper to break into the mainstream. For better or worse, he’s still the only Asian the average rap fan can name. I think it’s for the better.
Keep Moving On
This young gentleman called Mars exudes confidence and eagerness to share his solid messages, catchy beats, distinctive lyrics, and great production value. What sets Mars apart in the hip hop industry, what he will long be remembered for, and what makes him delightfully special are his “clean” lyrics and his seriously good sound.
Shake It Off
Jonah Sorrentino, better known by his stage name KJ-52, is a Christian rapper from Tampa, Florida. Despite the tornado of unsettled dust swirling around him, hip-hop veteran KJ-52 refused to play it safe, zigged while so many others zagged, and managed to create what’s easily the most mind-bendingly ambitious project of his career, Five-Two Television. There’s certainly nothing remotely like this conceptual magnum opus in our flagging musical marketplace.
The Invasion (Hero) Feat. Jai.
William Lee Barefield III, better known as Trip Lee, was born and raised in Dallas, TX. As a young boy, Trip Lee had dreams of being a professional athlete or famous rapper, and he began to hone his lyrical skills at the age of 12. “I rapped about random stuff…how hot I was, how many girls I could pull,” Trip says. But upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame, and women to serving and ministering the Gospel.Trip slowly recognized that all of his life should be centered around Christ. True to form, his hope is that his reflections not only resonate with listeners, but also point to Jesus as the Hero.
Since his first album release, Trip has traveled the world doing concerts for thousands of listeners, and his last three summers have been spent on tours (national and international) with his Reach Records label mates. His Christ-centered hip-hop message has also built a platform for him among churches and other Christian organizations, which has led to numerous opportunities to preach and teach at conferences and other events.
Trip now resides in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and is pursuing a degree in Biblical Studies at Philadelphia Biblical University.
Praying For You
From the southside of Houston to a leader in the movement of urban reform, a rocky road provides a window into the grace he experienced through out his life, with every situation molding him into the artist and leader that he is today.
Since formation, Lecrae has released the groundbreaking album After the Music Stops and the first Christian Rap CD to ever sit in the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Gospel Charts, Rebel. Led by the classic single ‚Jesus Musik, After the Music Stops slowly spread to the mainstream market with other hits such as Praying For You‚ and Send Me. Aimed to build an audience of disciples, the album sat on Soundscan‚ Christian Hip Hop/R&B chart for two years after releasing in 2006. While in the No. 3 position, Rebel released in 2008 and claimed the No. 3 position on the secular iTunes‚ Rap chart.
A graduate of University of North Texas, Lecrae now resides in the inner city of Memphis, one of the nations most violent cities. A movement is brewing around the country with hungry, unashamed believers popping up in inner city communities everywhere. Lecrae is humbled to be a part of leading others towards Christ so that lives can be changed forever just like his changed years ago. With new avenues and strategic partnerships Lecrae prays that the impact from Reach will spread far beyond simply the music and into the lives of believers across the world.
There are many more Christian rappers that went unnamed in this blog because of space and time. Hopefully I'll be able to make similar blog later with more artist.