Elder Eddie W. Sykes, Jr., General Manager, Neal Reed Artist Management Services, Midwest Region, Detroit Office. Contact: 313-205-3464. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: https://nealreed3.wordpress.com/
Detroit – January 9, 2010 – When the first gospel singers uttered songs that differed dramatically in beat, tempo, tonal structure and subject from the traditional Christian hymns, sounding more like African folk songs and blues, than church music, congregations were agasht. When electric instruments were introduced as part of the church orchestra, pastors took sides pro and con, and in some instances, electric guitars were banned. Now, barely a church choir sings without one or more electrical instruments.
And then the doors to the Church were thrown wide open. In came awave of young people and with them hip hop gospel and gospel rap music. While the debate over the legitimacy of the genre has raged for some twenty years, it is evident that the content of gosple hip hop, and gospel rap music has made an indellible mark on the church world as well as the world of music, and is here to stay.
Why? Because the message resonates with its audience — young people between the ages of 12 and 35 who are searching and seeking God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and are looking for guideposts on that journey that they can relate to and understand. While there is little in the beloved Baptist or Presbyterian hymnal that captures the experience of an urban youngster, the lyrics of today’s gospel rap artists paint clear pictures regarding the pitfalls of sin. Thankfully, we know that young people are listening.