It is a prevalent notion that Christian Rap is weak and preachy. However, since the beginning of this subgenre of rap in 1985, it has widely expanded to cover most styles found in mainstream rap. Christian Rap, also known as Gospel Hip Hop, mainly intends to glorify Jesus and partying and living joyful life for oneself.
Some of the best Christian rappers have proved the long-existing notion false. These artists are so talented that you need not be a believer to enjoy their music to the fullest and if you are, it makes the experience more special.
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Top 10 – Best Christian Rappers – All Time
We have compiled a list of the best Christian Rappers of all time. These artists rap about finding Christ, Bible verses and the struggles of life.
The Christian rapper from Florida, Jonah Kirsten known better by his stage name KJ-52 which he clarified in one of his podcasts as a reference to the Bible story of Jesus feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish. The artist was awarded the Rap/Hip Hop Recorded Song of the Year for ‘Never Look Away’ and the Album of The Year at the Dove Awards 2007.
His second work ‘Collaboration’ represented his nomination for the Dove Award. KJ-52 won four Dove awards, three of them in the hip-hop/rap category. Other popular works of KJ-52 include Dangerous, Five-Two Television and Mental.
This American Christian rap artist from Chicago is known popularly by the stage name Canon. Aaron McCain had begun rapping for Christ when he was in high school. His first professional release ‘The Great Investment’ made him instantly popular among fans worldwide. He gained a lot of popularity for his appearance on Rehab by Lecrae.
He signed with Reflection Music Group and released his first work ‘Loose Canon’ in 2012. With the release of ‘Loose Canon: Volume 2’, Canon got success by getting a position on the Billboard 200 charts. After an accident, Canon disappeared for a long time and returned in 2016 when he released the third volume of Loose Canon and numerous singles.
Another member of the hip-hop group 116 Clique, Tedashii is known for popular albums like ‘Blacklight’, ‘Below Paradise’, ‘Kingdom People’ and ‘Identity Crisis’ on Reach Records. His unique delivery style is featured by a voice that he can use for rapping a wide variety of flow patterns and schemes.
He has produced a number of Christian rap albums for more than a decade now. In 2013, Tedashii lost his one-year-old son tragically and he has recorded his spiritual struggle in his 2014 album ‘Below Paradise’. He was also a host to the NGEN Radio show ‘Serium’.
7. Derek Minor
Also known by his former stage name PRo, Derek Minor is a Christian hip-hop artist who co-founded the label ‘Reflection Music Group’ and signed to Reach Records. As a part of the 116 Clique group, Derek Minor released six mixtapes and six studio albums as a solo artist. His studio album ‘Redemption’ was charted at no. 8 on the Billboard Gospel chart. His studio album ‘Dying to Live’ was listed at No. 1 on the Top Christian Chart and No. 2 on the Gospel Albums chart.
His latest album ‘Reflection’ released in 2016 entered the Billboard Rap Albums Chart at position 5. The artist had grown up listening to music as Gospel songs were played at his home and his parents were singers too. He got inspiration and support from his family to proceed in the field of Christian rapping.
This popular American Christian rapper is the leader of HGA, the hip-hop group and a member of 116 Clique. His debut album ‘Weight & Glory’ was released in 2012 to critical acclaim. His second album ‘Tomorrow We Live’ was released in 2015 and got much popularity. After signing with Reach Records in 2010, Kevin Elijah Burgess, better known by his stage name, KB, appeared on Lecrae’s album ‘Rehab’. His mixtape ‘Who is KB?’ got 30,000 downloads in a year. KB’s latest work is ‘Today we Rebel’ released in 2017.
KB faced many personal problems in his childhood and even attempted suicide. He became friends with a group of Christian rappers in college and formed a hip-hop group called HGA. He produced Christian hip-hop singles and albums that gained top positions on popular charts, making him one of the best Christian rappers of our time.
The American Christian hip-hop producer and rapper is popularly known by his stage-name Thi’sl. He started rapping at the age of 14 and recorded his first demo under the name Uncle Y. He has a mission of making his knowledge of The Bible reach real people in their daily lives. Thi’sl had lived street life during his teens and knows very well how bad life can get. He has survived through the worst realities including losing a loved one, bad neighborhoods, drugs, and murder.
Thi’sl has been featured on various albums since his debut, ‘Chronicles of an X-Hustler’ that was ranked at no. 4 on iTunes Hip-Hop chart. Other popular albums of this artist include Beautiful Monster, Fallen King and Against All Odds.
4. Trip Lee
This American rapper, poet, author, and singer has recorded as a member of a group and as a solo artist. He is the founding member of the 116 Clique. His debut album was released at the time of his high school graduation and he composed the full-length album ‘If They Only Knew’ to expose his gospel-saturated lyrics and unique delivery.
Lee used to travel around the world for concerts with thousands of listeners right from the time of his first album release. His third album ‘Between Two Worlds’ was nominated for two Dove Awards and got the Stellar Award for Best Hip-Hop Album. Lee’s latest work was released in 2016 in the form of an album titled ‘The Waiting Room’ which highlights the fact that his life, as a Christian, is like sitting in a waiting room to see what God has ahead.
Previously referred to by names like Lavyss and Playboy, Mark Julian Fielder is known by the mononym Bizzle and is a popular American Christian hip-hop artist. What made this rapper more popular was his release of ‘You Got Some Explaining to Do’ directed towards Jay-Z where he criticized the rap icon for his negative references for Christianity and Jesus in his music. This song caused much controversy.
Bizzle’s debut album ‘Tough Love & Parables’ debuted at #15 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. ‘The Good Fight’ debuted at #2 on the chart and sold more than 3900 copies in the first week. Bizzle was nominated for Rap Gospel CD of the Year at Stellar Awards in 2012 and 2014.
2. Andy Mineo
This is another artist one is likely to be familiar with even if he is new to Christian rap. A member of the group 116 Clique, Andy Mineo performed under the name C-Lite until he signed with Reach Records. He is renowned for his solo works and as a member of the hip-hop group 116 Clique. In his early career years, he worked in collaboration with other popular rappers. ‘Heroes for Sale’, ‘Uncomfortable’ and ‘Never Land’ are some of his famous albums.
In 2016, Mineo released a video ‘Hear My Heart’ describing his guilt for not being able to learn sign language to communicate with his deaf sister.
Even those who do not know anything about Christian rap would be familiar with this name. The co-founder and president of the record label Reach Records, LeCrae has produced three mixtapes and seven studio albums as a solo artist and released a remix album, an EP and three studio albums as the leader of the 116 Clique hip-hop group. His solo album ‘Rebel’ was the first Christian hip-hop album to get the topmost position on the Billboard Gospel chart. LeCrae received nominations for four GMA Dove Awards and won the 46th Dove Award and the 2015 BET Award. Some of his popular songs include ‘All I Need is You’, ‘Sidelines’ and others.
With so many achievements, it’s no wonder this man made it to the top of our list on the ‘Top 10’ best Christian rappers.
These are the few prominent names among the best Christian rappers. They have been successful in reaching to people through their music and making people understand a lot about Christianity.