I've never been a fan of rap as it isn't really music. But if it has good background music, then it is pretty cool. The ultimate example, Lecrae, usually has a good beat behind his music, although he also includes some high-pitched noise that gets on my nerves. Usually if you must rap, it's good to have music and singing along with it for me to consider it music.
Flame is another guy I listened to recently who had a good music behind his words and deeply reformed theology coming from the lyrics. Of all that, Da TRUTH is my favorite so far. He includes singing, music, choruses, and deeply reformed theology.
So, I think this is why I'm beginning to like rap, especially when it's rich with reformed theology. It reminds me of sermons. Being an ADD kid growing up, I could never really appreciate spoken sermons until I was through with seminary. Then I started listening to John Piper, MacArthur, RC Sproul is my favorite. Now I crave the sermons on the Gospel Coalition. Some people on YouTube have done this, they took words from a John Piper sermon and placed a beat behind them.
So reformed Christian rap is the same thing to me. If the man preaches the scriptures and exposes them in meter and rhyme, then that's pretty awesome. And I still feel the Spirit warming me up as he raps the Word.
So, today I listened to samplings from a compilation on this website I discovered called "New Release Tuesday." All Christian music of all shapes and sizes that is released every Tuesday. This was a rap compilation called "Headz UP FM Presents: Christian Hip Hop 2014." This has more of the lesser known people. For the most part I did not like it. But I still thought it would be fun to pick a winner just the same.
For this criteria I picked someone who I could understand. 1. I need to be able to hear the words.
2. There can be no high-pitched whining or machinery involved. Hello headache.
3. In the background (and this applies to Southern Gospel, too) there cannot be someone singing bass so low that he sounds like he's belching.
4. Use of Scripture and theology.
So the winner of Headz UP 2014 compilation out of many that was just forgettable or terrible are.
1st place: Saylah -- My Life (remix)
Solid music mixing, I can hear the words, no high pitches or low belching. Good poetry.
2nd place: Demetric Pruitt -- Crying Out
Cute little girl, low voice without nasal quality, he ends the song with Romans 1 and the song is laced with Scripture.
3rd place: Krosswerdz Crew
I didn't necessarily think this was the best thing. I think they include some crude words. They shouldn't because of Ephesians 4 and 5. Why did I pick this? Because I'm a Whovian, and these guys are clearly British (or possibly Australian). They make me laugh. They're more of an honorable mention.