If it is one thing the black community is known for is it's churches and ties to organized religion. Hip-hop artists much like athletes and political figures try to incorporate this into their lives. However, most of it seems to be hollow gestures that are done more so just because it is expected. Take a look at songs then look at awards acceptance speeches and album liner notes.
You have the majority of artists who talk about how they are blessed by God when they win an award or receive an acknowledgment from someone but they don't carry any of the ideals of religion across in their music. This pertains to both Christian and Muslim artists for the most part. The most notable exception of this is DMX who does take the time to dedicate at least one song on each album to God.
X is one of the few artists who can successfully cross over from the gangster talk to telling how the Lord has affected his life. It's not the contradiction that keeps most artists from pulling this off, but the passion and truth in their voices. X truly feels it.
Then you do have some contemporary gospel artists who can be considered hip-hop or at the very least hip-hop influenced. However, unless your name is Mary Mary and you slap some auto-tune onto your latest song, don't expect it to be played on the radio.
(I feel another regular series coming on)
Hey it was the first thing I saw on youtube and Diamond Dog sounds just like Ed Lover.
This guy seems to be more subliminal with his message but it's there.
Where is all of this coming from? Honestly the entire "Jay-z is a devil worshipper" movement has me pissed off. We're quick to start following a conspiracy theorist who is telling us what a song sounds like backwards when no one else can even listen to it backwards. Ipods don't do that buddy. Yet it is once again a sign of us looking for the negative instead of trying to find the artists who are seeking to show the light and positivity of their particular faith.
Would a Catholic rapper be accepted? What about a Jewish rapper? We already know there are many Muslim rappers though the main proclamation about their faith we seem to hear is that they don't eat pork and that they use Allah in some songs in addition to the usual "only God can judge me". Will these artists ever be allowed to spread the tenets of their faith outside of using them as excuses to sell drugs and shoot each other?