The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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This Week's Subjects: The "Christian rapper" oxymoron; Bushwick Bill's conversion to the gospel; how much it would cost to sell out the Lord. Ask a Rapper: Given the general rapper stereotypes, doesn't "Christian rapper" seem a bit like an oxymoron? I mean, how does one make it rain for the Lord? Soulbrotha: One, [you] can't make it rain for the Lord; that would be an oxymoron. Two, if we are to consider rapping as an artform as a profession, then no, being a Christian rapper is not an oxymoron. If so then why does the word 'Gangsta rapper' or 'Conscious rapper' exist? AAR: Well, take Common. He's a "conscious rapper," right? He even says as much. But he's in that "Poker Face" song telling some girl to get down on his dong. Aren't there certain parts of the rapper lifestyle that are sort of inseparable? S: That would depend on how YOU the rapper will define what being 'conscious' is to you. I'm sure if you asked Common why he said that he'd give you his reason. Plus, don't forget Common has had songs on his albums that have had to do with sex... so that's not necessarily new for Com'. AAR: Wait, did you just make my point for me? Thanks. S: [laughs] AAR: Do you listen to local hip-hop? S: I do, as time permits. AAR: ...never mind. That was going to be a dumb question. S: [laughs] AAR: Got it. Bushwick. What'd you think of him turning to Christian rap? That dude was one of the rawest, most insane to do it. Doesn't that hurt ya'll's credibility a little? He's talked at length about eating various body parts. That doesn't seem very Christ-like. S: It actually helps, because it proves that at any point in time one's personal convictions can change, which is what Christianity is about: a fundamental change from a status quo life to a new breathtaking one. AAR: Yeah. As soon as I said that I knew that was going to be your retort. Dammit. Point goes to Soulbrotha. S: [laughs] AAR: Okay, one last thing, and this is completely reasonable. Let's say Lucifer came up to you and was like, "Yo, Soulbrotha, got a proposition for you. From here on out, I want you to do nothing but the realest, thuggest, most exploitative crap rap. And if you do that, I'll make you wildly famous and rich. And you can use that fame and those billions of dollars to help further the Church's cause. You'll save 1,000 souls. But nobody will know that you're using you're responsible for that. Everyone will assume you're using it on hookers and blow. You can't convince them otherwise." Would you do it? S: [laughs] Wow, dude. I would not. Light & darkness don't mix. AAR: But you would save all of those souls. Isn't that the point? S: Unfortunately, no. The point is for people to understand their need for a Savior and of their own volition and will choose Him and follow Him the rest of their lives. Catch Soulbrotha at www.theehlp.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/soulb, and see him at www.youtube.com/soulbrothavideo.