For as long as I can remember, hip hop has had an obsession with God and religion. I don’t mean to suggest that all rappers are religious devotees. But few rappers – or any artists for that matter – can shake the urge to include God somewhere in their art. It’s natural and good for us to speak about God, but the question is, what are we saying? Some will say, “It’s just music. Don’t take it so seriously!” But what a rapper says on the mic is more serious than you may think.
Some have used hip hop to express their sincere religious belief or lack thereof. Islam, The Five Percenters, Christianity, Agnosticism, Atheism, and other religions have all been promoted through the art form. I think hip hop is uniquely suited to express loyalty and devotion to anything we’re passionate about. Partly because of the culture’s compelling rawness and partly because hip hop allows for more words, thus you can actually “teach.”
But most of the time hip hop is more like a barbershop than a Sunday School class. Rappers recklessly run off at the mouth, whether they know what they’re talking about or not.
Sincerity vs. Recklessness