Looking through the IVP catalog the other day, this title caught my eye: The Soul of Hip Hop: Rims, Timbs, and a Cultural Theology (IVP, June 2010).
Here’s the book’s description from Amazon:
“What is Hip Hop?
Hip hop speaks in a voice that is sometimes gruff, sometimes enraged, sometimes despairing, sometimes hopeful.
Hip hop is the voice of forgotten streets laying claim to the high life of rims and timbs and threads and bling.
Hip hop speaks in the muddled language of would-be prophets–mocking the architects of the status quo and stumbling in the dark toward a blurred vision of a world made right.
What is hip hop? It’s a cultural movement with a traceable theological center. Daniel White Hodge follows the tracks of hip-hop theology and offers a path from its center to the cross, where Jesus speaks truth.”
I don’t know much about the author, but I do know that there is plenty of room within evangelical circles for conversation about hip hop. I’ll be looking for The Soul of Hip Hop, and hoping that it advances the conversation. Rap is one of the more powerful mediums of musical expression when done well. It’s not all good, it’s not all bad.
Also, if you want to check out some groundbreaking new stuff, watch the video for “Symphonies” by Kid Cudi and Dan Black. Very interesting–a fusion of classical music and hip hop. Though secular, it’s pretty cool stuff. I would love to hear more music like this.