I manage a barber shop that is Christian owned and operated. Part of the deal is that we have a clean and family friendly atmosphere. No cursing or vulgarity is allowed inside the shop by either employee or customer. We play only Christian music, movies, or television, except in the rare cases that an informative documentary is on.
We use Pandora for our music and one of the barbers had put on a Christian rap station last night so it was still on this morning when I turned the Google TV on. We listened to several hours of Christian rap today before a few of the unbelieving barbers asked for the station to be changed. It was interesting to hear their take on Christian rap.
The general consensus was that they didn’t like it because the Christian rappers tried too hard to sound like their secular counterparts. This didn’t make sense to the barbers who wondered why saved rappers would want to sound unsaved. It was confusing to them. It sent a mixed message.
And if I’m honest, it wasn’t merely how the rappers sounded that led the barbers to be confused; it was also what they said. Many of these rappers seemed to be glorying in their sinful pasts; describing in detail the myriad crimes they committed against God. Sure, they’d end by saying that they’d been delivered from said lifestyles, but the messages were anything but messages of deliverance.
It’s interesting to note that Lecrae was cited as the lone exception. Perhaps this is because he’s quite original and doesn’t mimic anyone in the secular landscape. I commended Stephen the Levite to them because of his originality and his ability to teach while rhyming. In the end though, the barbers preferred their rap secular, as I do.