This is a FANTASTIC article for every Christian Hip-Hop artist, producer, promoter and listener to read. DJ Wade-O has been releasing a series of articles entitled “The State Of Christian Hip Hop”. While the first edition dealt with the artistry of CHH, this issue tackles the difficulties balancing business and ministry (as I’m sure you got from the title of the article). Here’s a great quote from the intriguing article written David Daniels: (Full link to the article here)
“Thomason applauded Washer for leading the Christian hip-hop marketing revolution saying it saved the game, but he hasn’t clapped for all who followed in his footsteps.
Collision’s CEO said when some labels realized they could chart on iTunes, they began to think, “How can we make this happen?” compared to what was previously a complete reliance on God.
He added that many looked at Reach’s success—saw attractive album covers and advertisements—and attempted to reproduce a branding-focused formula, all while forgetting that the label’s pure craft and worship were at the center of its success.
“People took what was supposed to be craft and greatness of the Lord and we turned it into a den of thieves and robbers,” said Thomason. “When you take a gift that was given to you and use it to build up yourself and your brand, that’s a language, us vs. them, which isn’t of the kingdom.”
That “us vs. them” attitude has Christian hip hop resembling one’s local high school—there are too many cliques.
“There’s a lot of people in Christian rap who act like divas,” said K-Drama.
Butta P of Rhema Soul claimed the genre is so cliquey that if an artist isn’t connected to a group, he or she is likely to go unnoticed. She sees Christian hip hop as one huge movement rather than a collective of competitors.
D-MAUB felt the same way and believes Christian artists are called to promote one another.
“Here’s what I don’t believe,” he said, “that God will not bless me because I’m helping promote somebody else who’s doing it for the Kingdom. That’s a selfish, backward, greedy mindset.”
D-MAUB said too many artists worry about their brand more than their Christian community.”
Whoa. The article is packed with many hard hitting truths about the downfalls of an industry filled with people who find it challenging to balance business and ministry. To be transparent, I’ve been struggling with the same thing for years now. Wanting to put God first, but falling into the trap of focusing on my own “Brand” too much. It’s an easy pitfall to fall into. My belief is that constant study of the Word, being an active part of your church, and having a group of humble christians to hold you accountable are great ways to avoid becoming imbalanced.
What do you think?