When it comes to Hip-Hop, God has always been a topic for an artist to discuss. There has always been a connection between the artform and the culture’s belief in divine power.
Depending on if you’re religious or not, a person’s relationship with God is the most significant relationship a person can have. A relationship with God can define a person’s daily outlook on life. Often times I have found it to be a stress relief when I pray and ask God questions about my own life.
The greatest thing about Hip-Hop music is that it allows an artist to think outside the box and to put it all out there when it comes to their personal lives. When the music touches your soul, and it feels like your about to cry is when you know a song is good.
Tupac was one of the first Hip-Hop artists that I heard speak on God, and life after death. As I got older, I started to notice artists such as D.M.X. putting prayers in every album he released. A lot of these artist show that side of them because they’re fighting battles just like everyone else.
Let’s take a look at some of Hip-Hop’s Best music spiritual moments.
Hip-Hop’s best music spiritual moments
Mase Leaves Hip-Hop to start his own Ministry as a Preacher.
It would be impossible not to talk about how Mase walked away from Hip-Hop when he was the hottest rapper in the game. Usually, rappers use their music to speak to God, but Mase decided to leave rap all together to find God. Mase has been criticized throughout the years for speaking against the very thing that made him famous, which is rap. Mase went from rap to church back to rap to then back to church.
Kanye West – “Jesus Walk”
When it comes to Kanye West, he has never shyed away from his relationship with God from the very beginning of his career. Kanye has shown us that even with all of his success, he still has his own battles with God and doing what is right in life.
Let’s take a look at “Jesus Walks” for example, the hit song discussed how Jesus walks with all people no matter if their a saint or sinner. The first verse is through the eyes of a drug dealer talking about his relationship with God while doing what he’s doing in the streets. The second verse is about how the media would view the sound and how he questioned if it would ever get played on the radio.
Fast forward to 2019, and Kanye has put together live performances called Sunday Service, which sees a choir set up singing soulful, sounding music with a heavenly feel.
J Cole – “Want You Fly”
When I first heard this song, it was on a J Cole HBO documentary. This is a great song that discusses God using us for a bigger purpose. From the beginning of this song, Cole is discussing a relationship with God. When it comes to the world we live in, a lot of these teenagers don’t go to church so the closes thing they have to church is an artist like Cole talking about relationships with God. Cole touches on modern music being what can lead people to read biblical scriptures in church.
This verse is important because it shows how money is more important to this generation than hearing God’s word. J Cole is using this song to bring people closer to God using Hip-Hop.
Killer Mike – “God in The Building”
In this song, Killer Mike discusses his relationship with God and how it helps him push through life even when he is dealing with social conditions that Black men experience.
The Hook on the song is interesting because he is pulling from Bible verses, but at the sometime, he is explaining how God is with him even though the devil is trying to get to him.
To start off, the second verse like this was powerful cause what Mike is saying is that he would rather be a king in a black hell than be a servant in white heaven. It makes you question good vs. bad because, as Black men, what we do can be viewed differently from how other races view it.
Kendrick Lamar – “Faith”
When Kendrick Lamar dropped his classic debut “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City” in 2012 to some people that might have been their first time hearing Kendrick discuss his relationship with God. For example, on his mainstream debut, he started it with a prayer.
But that wasn’t the first time Kendrick put his relationship with God out there, in fact, in the song Faith, which is my favorite Kendrick Lamar song because it made me ask myself when did I find religion for myself. The first time you as a man decided to connect with God and open up about everything in your life. The song tells the story of different people who are going through some hard times keeping their faith.
D.M.X. – “Prayer”
From the beginning of his rap career, D.M.X. has made it known that he was a man of God and that he was human like the rest of us and not perfect because of his fame. On his classic debut album “It’s Dark, and Hell is Hot,” D.M.X. introduced the world to “Prayer,” which would be a spoken word piece that would follow D.M.X. throughout his music career.
On the first “Prayer,” D.M.X. thanks God and at the same time questions the motives of God. In life, we have all went through times where we was going through something bad and just wanted to ask God what was next in our lives.
Tupac – “So Many Tears”
When It comes to the life of Tupac Shakur, he was a great poet, rapper, actor and was one of the first mainstream rappers to let it be known how he felt about what was going on in the world. Tupac had no filter and lived the life he wanted to live even though it was cut short at the age of 25. T
upac was the first person that I heard take the word Thug and give it a new meaning (Thug Life). Like every human on earth, Pac had flaws, but the only difference he was a mainstream celebrity that was selling millions of records. Tupac made several references to God and the fear of him through his short music career. Tupac didn’t seem like a religious person; he seemed more like a spiritual person who was searching for answers from God.
I decided to make “So Many Tears” the final song I discussed because this is one of Pac’s greatest songs. In the intro of the song, Pac is discussing how he shall fear no man but God as he walked through the valley of death. When it comes to Tupac, death was a constant theme in his albums. I believe that he knew he didn’t have much time on the earth.
That’s why he would record so much. I believe Pac made songs like “So many tears” to speak to God, but at the same give a glimpse inside what he was going through In his mind. Tupac was not only dealing with fame and death threats, but he was also dealing with childhood trauma that he suffered as a child. Speaking to God in his music was therapy.