The 28-year-old rapper, who hails from Gladwin, Michigan, and counts Eminem among his biggest inspirations, is no stranger to the top of the charts: His third studio album, “Perception,” debuted at No. 1 in 2017, beating out the likes of Gwen Stefani, Marilyn Manson and Lil Pump. On his latest release “The Search,” he speaks openly about his struggles with mental health and fame, and frames songs such as “Only” and “Hate Myself” as prayers to God.
LeCrae was back in the news this summer, given he’s featured on Flame’s “Joyful Noise.” But his career is far more than just a guest spot. Like NF, this Grammy winner is one of the few artists in Christian hip hop to cross over to the mainstream, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with his aptly titled 2014 album “Anomaly.” More recently he collaborated with Tori Kelly on the single “I’ll Find You,” which preaches hope amidst adversity, and Ty Dolla $ign on “Blessings,” a playful reminder that family matters more than Ferraris. LeCrae, who regularly shares spiritual motivation and witticisms on Twitter, returned with new song “Drown’” featuring John Legend a few weeks ago.
Signed to LeCrae’s Christian label Reach Records, this thoughtful New York MC has cited musical inspirations as wide-ranging as Busta Rhymes, Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and “The Chronicles of Narnia” author C.S. Lewis. Throughout his career, Mineo has eloquently spoken about his sometimes uneasy relationship with faith and being labeled a Christian rapper, which partly inspired his 2015 album “Uncomfortable.” But he proudly touts having God on his side on the rumbling breakthrough single “You Can’t Stop Me,” which was voted baseball’s best walk-up song in a 2015 ESPN poll and has amassed more than 70 million Spotify streams. His new album, “Work in Progress,” is now available via all digital platforms.
Few artists have had an unlikelier path to the forefront of Christian rap than Wande, who was born in Nigeria and raised in Austin, Texas. Despite pushback from her family, she converted to Christianity in seventh grade and started rapping as a ministry tool in college, where she double-majored in journalism and public relations. Wande is the sole female artist signed to Reach Record’s roster and has shown off her dexterous flow on a string of hypnotic songs including last month’s “BAND$,” which sharply asserts that you need Christian values “to be bae to me.” (“‘God first’ in your bio ain’t amazing to me / I can’t let just anybody come and hang with me.”)
One of the newer faces on the Christian hip-hop scene, nobigdyl (real name: Dylan Phillips) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area listening to the late Notorious B.I.G., whose laid-back rhymes partly inspired his own free-wheeling-yet-staccato rap style. Through a college internship with Reflection Music Group, nobigdyl was introduced to label head/rapper Derek Minor, who eventually became his mentor. He released his first album, “Canopy,” in 2017 and most recently released the woozy, Auto-Tune-laden single “Energy,” which talks about his relationship with God.
Social Club Misfits
The Miami-based rap duo of FERN and Marty Mar has been a staple on Billboard’s gospel, Christian and rap albums charts for the better part of this decade, breaking out in 2014 with the ambitious “Misfits 2.” Their latest EP “MOOD.,” released last spring, candidly tackles loss, relationships and tested faith, and nods to FERN’s Puerto Rican roots on the Spanish-language “Que Lo Que.”
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Watch Music Videos below;
Absteiner – Dance 4 You (Official Video)
Goddey – Hallelujah (Official Video)
Aduhemaa – Diamonds Cover