Since today is Easter Sunday, one of the biggest religious holidays in United States, we decided to take a look at five groundbreaking Christian Hip-Hop acts.
While these five do not necessarily early represent the variety of sounds in Christian Hip-Hop, each artist on the list has released notable projects over the past year.
Each rapper has been nominated for Album of the Year at the 2012 Dove Awards, which are taking place on April 19, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The ceremony, which is in its 43rd year, honors the top artists from a variety of genres of Christian music, including Hip-Hop.
Check out the artists below:
Tedashii dropped his album Blacklight on Reach Records in May of 2011. Tedashii, who also goes by the name “T-Dot,” although he hails from Denton, in East Texas. Tedashii converted to Christianity in college, after he attended a Christian event on campus. Fans of Tedashii are familiar with his deep tone of voice, which has powered him through three albums, the third being Blacklight. Blacklight was a commercial success when it was released, hitting #1 on the Christian Albums chart and #2 on the Gospel Albums chart.
2. Jai - Jai's album Culture Shock was released in August of 2011. Jai (pronounced Jay) is a female Christian Hip-Hop artist who frequently raps about the importance abstinence, which she held as a value until she got married. Jai is also educated - she received a Bachelor’s degree in media communications and is working on her Master’s degree. Jai is also a minister and youth pastor. Jai, who has been co-signed by major acts like Kirk Franklin, is also the CEO of Outlet Music Group (OMG).
3. Lecrae - Dallas rapper Lecrae is co-founder of Reach Records, in addition to being a member of the Hip-Hop group 116 Clique (along with Tedashii). He released his album Rehab: The Overdose on January of 2011. When Lecrae was 19-years-old, he attended a conference where he heard James White deliver a message that changed his life. He eventually founded Reach Records, along with Ben Washer. Lecrae has five studio albums under his belt. The album Rehab: The Overdose was nominated for a Grammy Award and hit #1 on the Billboard Gospel charts.
4. Da' T.R.U.T.H.- The album The Whole Truth was released by Philadelphia artist Da' T.R.U.T.H. on Xist Music/Universal in 2011. The artist, also known as Manny, has released five studio albums, the most recent being The Whole Truth. As a teenager, Manny was interested in Christian music and became a drummer, but he actually didn’t have an interest in rap until later in life. Da' T.R.U.T.H. is also a graduate of the Philadelphia Biblical University and The Institute of Jewish Studies. Da' T.R.U.T.H. is well-traveled, having been featured on tours with Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Bishop T.D. Jakes and others.
5. Flame - Flame's album Captured hit stores on Clear Sight Music. Flame, born Marcus Gray, has sold hundreds-of-thousands of records. Before becoming a rapper, a series of tragic events changed his life. After Flame was almost killed by an 18-wheeler and his mother died from a heart attack he went to church, heard the gospel and was converted. Flame graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a degree in applied theology. Although he originally wrote raps as devotionals, he was soon supported by the Cross Movement Records and later started his own record label, Clear Sight Music. Captured hit #1 on the Gospel Billboard charts in 2011.