Welcome to that culture where we speaking loud
They crying out but all we do is quiet down.
Crying over material, whining over appearance though
God these kids dying over things we’re ungrateful for.
King Kulture: Stop the Traffic opens with these wrenchingly true lyrics by hip-hop artist Kidd. August 27, Rapzilla will release their second compilation album for a cause—this year supporting the fight against human trafficking. Featuring 20 different Christian hip-hop artists, including Lecrae’s label mates Andy Mineo and Sho Baraka, and created by six different producers, the album presents an often-graphic description of modern-day slavery.
Musically, the album carries a narrative that progresses from more informative and convicting boom bap to heavier themes accentuated by spoken word. The lyrical climax is mixed with an attempt to end with a “feeling of celebration of coming out of that, focusing more on deliverance,” says Rapzilla cofounder Chad Horton.
Each song focuses on a separate aspect of slavery—first-person testimony (“Cashews”), an explanation of circumstances (“Rescue Me”), or a view of hope (“Rejuvenated”). Deeply passionate, the lyrics parallel brokenness and redemption.
The album’s acutely personal feel distinguishes it as one that truly recognized victims’ individual faces. The songs speak of daughters, mothers, and friends—not soulless visages. The lyrics spring out of an understanding that everyone is created in the image of God and should be treated out of that understanding.
In the fight against trafficking, the most important witness is to show a face and a story. For many anti-trafficking nonprofits, the temptation is to use these two “tools” as a marketing tactic to draw in funds; but for an organization rooted in the value of human dignity, the goal is to proclaim truth through redeemed souls. Stop the Traffic accomplishes this purpose while interweaving broken reality and hopeful truth.
The 10-year-old top Christian hip-hop Web site’s founders Phillip Rood and Chad Horton initiated the King Kulture project last year. The inaugural album raised over $10,000 to rebuild a small school in Congo. The artists donate their time and talents to create the album.
Proceeds from Stop the Traffic will be donated to New York City Urban Project, an InterVarsity project that works to decrease our “trafficking footprint.”
“The proceeds will go to NYCUP so we can keep helping people in New York City, which will ultimately help internationally,” says Horton. “Whether it’s to help prevent slave labor by [getting people] buying fair trade or getting involved, we’re leaving it in God’s hands for him to do something.”