Saturday, June 27, 2015

10 Christian Hip Hop Albums You Should Own

This isn't a top ten. These are not necessarily the 10 best albums in Christian hop hop. This list doesn't even include albums from the top ten artists. Some of my favorite artists don't have albums on this list. (Though some of them make guest appearances.) But if you want to get acquainted with the genre I think this list is a great jumping off point. The list is arranged alphabetically by title.

Christology: In Layman's Terms

The debut solo album from one of the leaders of Cross Movement. No one does a better job than Ambassador of explicitly bringing the gospel with each and every line while never sacrificing the quality of his music. He somehow manages to preach without sounding preachy.

Gang Affiliated
Gospel Gangstaz

At a time when there wasn't a much quality in Christian hip hop, this collection of former Bloods and Crips took the genre to a whole different level. This was probably the first Christian album that could hold its own in mainstream circles.

Grammatical Revolution

These former DC Talk dancers released their first album at roughly the same time as the Gospel Gangstaz and they brought a similar level of quality, albeit with quite a different style. Rather than the West Coast gangsta style, they followed in the footsteps of Outkast, bringing a smooth southern style to the Christian hip hop genre. You can't go wrong with any of their albums, but I went with their third album, Grammatical Revolution, because I felt it was the most interesting, musically.

Hawthorne's Most Wanted

Clearly one of the most gifted emcees in Christian hip hop, RedCloud brings a unique style to the genre. Once again, you can't go wrong with any of his albums, but Hawthorne's Most Wanted seems to be his most polished offering.

The Remnant

This is the newest album and least known group on this list. They're also, in my humble opinion, the most gifted emcees here.

Phase III

If you really want to know about Christian hip hop and where it's come from, you should listen to this album. SFC were best of the pre-Gospel Gangstaz era. Not only that, but they provided a link to the new era of Christian hop hop with DJ Dove as the DJ for both groups. The Gospel Gangstaz actually make an appearance on this album as well.

Pro Pain
Mars Ill

Leading members of Deep Space 5, Manchild and DJ Dust have delivered a number of top notch albums. After hearing one, you're going to want to hear all of them. And while this isn't their first album, it's a great place to start.

Stereo: The Evolution of Hiprocksoul
4th Avenue Jones

As the subtitle of suggests, this is definitely the most experimental album on this list. Not just rappers, 4th Avenue Jones is a full band, complete with guitars, bass, drums, and even a violin. Smooth vocals, interesting sounds, and flawless emceeing. You won't be disappointed by this album.

The Last Street Preacha

Like Grits, Tunnel Rats, and the Gospel Gangstaz, T-Bone has been around since at least the early 1990's helping to elevate the quality of the genre. The Last Street Preacha delivers a polished West Coast sound that you can't help but love.

The Tunnel Rats
The Tunnel Rats

Far from their first, I believe the self-titled album is the Tunnel Rats' best. A large crew including LPG, New Breed, Raphi, Dokument and more, the Tunnel Rats are hip hop veterans who definitely don't sacrifice quality in their craft.

No comments:

Post a Comment