Can A Rapper Spread The Gospel?

Yes – if the rapper has repented of their sinful lifestyle and rap (or sing) about the uncompromised and liberating Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

If the rapper is simply uttering “Jesus” in between their vulgar verbal jabs, then they aren’t declaring the Gospel – they’re just spewing garbage.

I say that in response to an article that appeared at MSNBC – “Rappers Spread Gospel, But Is It Hypocrytical?”.

The article details an event called “Exodus”– led by Atlanta DJ Corey “CoCo Brother” Condrey.

Condrey had a noble idea – take evangelism into the clubs and other non-traditional venues in order to reach young people (and others) who wouldn’t normally walk into a local church assembly.

The problem is that Condrey is using unrepentant rappers to “evangelize” and spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s also enlisted the help of the likes of Eddie Long, Dale Bronner and other mega-church preachers (and their flawed doctrine) in order to attract teen crowds to these events.

Let me be clear – I’m not entirely opposed to “religious rap”, or a non-traditional approach to evangelizing to young people. I’m only in my mid-30’s, and I grew up listening to LL Cool J, Run DMC, Whodini, Tribe Called Quest and other rap groups before I surrendered my life to the Lord.

I am opposed, however, when the core message of the Gospel is compromised in the process.

Condrey parades “rap luminaries” like Young Joc, Bone Crusher, 50 Cent, Young Jeezy and others in front of adoring crowds of young people so that they can speak to the power of God in their lives (ask your kids about these guys if you’ve never heard of them before).

Think I’m making a “big deal” out of nothing? OK – take a look at some of the lyrics these guys rap to your kids (sanitized as much as possible):

Now you can call me tipdrill, they playing my song
Throw a couple ones, then she throw away her thong
When she bust it open, take a picture with my phone
She love my cologne, I call it perk body zone
Now she p**** poppin’, it’s goin’ down
Slap the waitress on the booty, tell her “get another round”
And when I make it rain, money all over the ground

– Young Joc’s “I Know You See It”

During the “Exodus” event, Joc says “I’m not trying to be a preacher but God is real in my life”. God is real in his life, but I question if it’s the God of the bible or the god of this world?

How about some words of wisdom from 50 Cent?:

I’m a freak to the core
Get a dose once, you gon’ want some more
My tongue touch ya girl, ya toes bound to curl
This exclusive s*** I don’t share with the world
I have you up early in the mornin, moanin
Back shot, proper or low can’t stop us

– 50 Cent’s “Magic Stick”

50 recently appeared on Condrey’s radio show “The Spirit of Hip Hop” to declare “I’ve been through a lot of different things,” …“I feel like God is the only reason why I’m strong enough to get through those situations.”

If 50 really believes that, then why would he denigrate God (and women) in his lyrics? Why wouldn’t he repent from a degenerate lifestyle and REALLY represent God?

We cannot compromise the unchanging Word of God in order to package it as “user friendly”. Period.

The truths of the bible are immutable, and we do greater harm to unbelievers by trying to become “seeker friendly” and presenting them with a different Gospel.

Before these rappers start “evangelizing” to unbelievers, someone should pull them aside and make them read James 3:1-12.

Oh, and wash their mouths out with soap

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9 Responses to “Can A Rapper Spread The Gospel?”


  1. 1 gcmwatch April 24, 2008 at 11:34 am

    IST man thanks for this. I had read about this and have a sort of friend who idolizes “coco brotha”.

    This is not about rap or rappers but the Word of God.

    Like you I have nothing against rap per se other than personal genre dislike, but when you start using gimmicks to attract people the gimmicks are going to be just that gimmicks.
    Gimmicks cant save people and dont, they just attract and connect with something ungodly in people.

    People use the donkey story in the OT to say that “God can use anybody. True, but when God finished using the donkey, he went back to being…a jackass. Not a holy jackass, but the same ole jackass he was before being used. Is that what we want out of God? To be used, but not CHANGED??
    Paul calls that a “castaway”, one who is lost after instructing others.

    Remember when churches were hot after self confessed porn addict Kanye West for his insipid “Jesus Walks” song? They said it “got the young people in the church doors”. They could have held it at a pig pen and the young people would have come in. They wanted to see Kanye West, not Jesus.

    The rapper vernacular has infested the church. We dont want to say what Jesus said anymore it aint cool. Rather we want to parrot lines from rap songs which as you noted are less than desirable intentions. I heard Noel Jones say “dont hate the playa” when he was talking about God’s favor. So, wow its about being a low down, woman abusing jacka**? Now, instead of holy women, we got “divas” and so on.

    Its nauseating.

    Sola Christo. That’s what people need, but not what the rappers and cocobrotha are offering.

    • 2 luvyourneighbor February 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm

      I do question if it’s the true God in heaven or the god of this world. One day we all will find out. 1John 5:19 says the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one. The bible also refers to satan as the god of this world. We shouldn’t judge but their lyrics speak for themselves. Thank You

  2. 3 Speaking Truth April 24, 2008 at 11:53 am

    Amen GCMW!

    People use the donkey story in the OT to say that “God can use anybody. True, but when God finished using the donkey, he went back to being…a jackass. Not a holy jackass, but the same ole jackass he was before being used.

    That’s why you’re the pastor and I’m not – you have the distinct ability to just “break it on down” 🙂

    The sad fact is that many people would rather be “used” by God on their terms – kind of like that old “I feel the anointing” line that most pimps use. It’s a great way to justify being lukewarm and going back and forth from sin to repentance (if repenting at all).

    Rather we want to parrot lines from rap songs which as you noted are less than desirable intentions. I heard Noel Jones say “dont hate the playa” when he was talking about God’s favor. So, wow its about being a low down, woman abusing jacka**? Now, instead of holy women, we got “divas” and so on.

    Right again. As I’ve stated in a previous post, RA Vernon uttered the same “don’t hate the playa” line in defending his pimp lifestyle, and you can’t swing a dead cat at a church here in the ATL that hasn’t refered to the women of the church as “Dreamgirls” or “Divas”.

    Sola Christo indeed.

  3. 4 gcmwatch April 24, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Got to check this out in light of your post.

  4. 5 Speaking Truth April 24, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for the heads up…great article.

    It is an interesting conclusion – especially since churches are almost falling all over themselves to make their services seeker friendly.

    It’s another example illustrating that sticking to the basics is the best model.

    It also reminds me of what Greg Hawkins (Exec. Pastor of Willow Creek Church in suburban Chicago) recently discovered when he surveyed church members.

    Hawkins found out that WC congregants weren’t growing in discipleship by participating in the church’s multi-million dollar programs, but they deeply valued the programs that cost almost nothing to produce (click here to see Hawkins’ interview on the subject).

    Go figure…

  5. 7 Orlando Bethel May 18, 2008 at 11:20 am

    I am the minister who was interviewed in the above news story. I initially went to this event to preach against the so called gospel artists who were performing there with their perverted gospel message and I was unaware of who the secular artists were. This whole event is a sad commentary on those who are supposed to be saved. Based on the personal conversations that I had with those in attendance and with some of those who were promoting this “Exodus” event, both the sinners and the so called saints held the same errant philosophy that GOD loves everybody no matter what they do in their personal lives. This is why these hip hop rappers are well received by the reprobate ministers and there is no requirement for repentance from sin and living a born again life style through Jesus Christ (not the Kanye West jesus). My message to those in attendance an that day was “GOD hates you sinners, repent in Jesus’ name live sin free” which is sound Bible preaching. As long as a sinner is under the deception that GOD loves them even in their sin, there is no motivation for a sinner to want to repent of (turn from) sin. A person can not repent from what they are proud of or believe is honorable. Those wicked secular rappers are proud of their wicked music and life styles, and they are now even receiving accolades and honor from those who supposedly are representatives of GOD, therefore these rappers do not see the need to repent even though they know that their lives are filled with sin.
    -Orlando Bethel
    ***ST NOTE – personal contact info removed
    http://www.youtube.com/repentorburninhelltv

  6. 8 Speaking Truth May 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Thanks for stopping by, Minister Bethel. I can’t imagine how you were received while protesting this event up close. I applaud you actually putting feet to the Gospel and literally “practicing what you preach”.

    I found an interesting quote from Bobby Jones and J. Moss from the original aricle (my emphasis in bold):

    “I think it’s very narrow-minded for someone to categorize an other one’s relationship with their spirituality,” says Jones. “Who are we to say what’s right or wrong about what somebody develops? It doesn’t matter if five minutes ago someone sang about the love of their life in a very intimate position, then the next five their talking about their love of Jesus Christ.”

    Gospel singer J Moss says a rapper’s testimony may be the only one someone gets.

    “It could be their only church,” he said. “God is for everybody.”

    I think that says it all…

    Keep up the good fight!

  7. 9 glynisbethel July 3, 2008 at 7:26 am

    GOD, I love you.
    I am not putting curses on others. They are already cursed by GOD for their deeds. What I am doing here is reading the Bible. The same applies for myself. My family and I just finished reading Duet. 28 and there is a lot of talk about blessings from GOD and curses from GOD based on people refusing to obey all of GOD’S commandments.


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