Is Hip-Hop the New Gospel?

For years, the Gospel genre of music has provided a way for people to maintain balance in their lives. With every life lesson in the bible, there was a general take away that motivated people to keep pushing: acknowledging that things would get better soon. However, as time goes by, and as the minds of the people change, we have developed into seeking out new ways to better receive that mental nutrients.

The primary function of Gospel was to spread religious beliefs as well as fundamental teachings and principles of Christianity. This genre of music highlights the expression of one’s own faith while also reflecting on overcoming trials and uplifting people.


For example, I Smile by Kirk Franklin showcases that even in the midst of adversity, when everything that could possibly go wrong goes wrong – just remember to keep your head up. The Gospel genre is notorious for reminding the general public that the main thing to keep in mind when going through what feels like a living hell, is that you’re going through it. There are blue skies and happiness on the other side of whatever tribulations you find yourself tackling. Even when it feels like you are completely alone, and have been for a long time, just keep smiling because “God’s got it.”

People Have Lost Interest in Gospel Music

The root of what Gospel music stands for has been altered over time. As peoples understanding and interpretation of the original text of the bible have changed, people have disconnected themselves spiritually to where the genre doesn’t meet their spiritual needs. The message has become so distorted that people have lost faith in the belief system as a whole.

Hip-Hop as a New Spirituality

As the content evolved, the culture of Hip-Hop has created a new spiritiality. It is very similar to music found in traditionally African faiths. The leads carry the song with an improvised melodic line, and there is always one section that comes up repeatedly that is meant to be communal (i.e. the chorus). The lyrics tend to be catchy enough to repeat, but genuine enough to become a mantra. So much so, that Individuals often find themselves living their daily lives according to the words of their favorite artists. It fulfills similar functions similar to that of Gospel music, but get the job done in a more all-inclusive and expressive way.

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