The Soul and Symphonies of Hip Hop

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.

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  • i’d also be interested in reading this book. though let’s be sure not to think of hip hop as being rap only. there were originally four “pillars” of the hip hop movement — though i’m not sure how exactly the movement has evolved into what we find today, and therefore, how much of those original four elements really even remain. they were:

    also, and i hope this doesn’t come across as rude in anyway, but i think it’s ironic this author’s middle name is “white.” and odd that the guy on the cover is white.

  • alec

    check out free Christ-centered rap here!

  • David


    I agree with you here – “…there is plenty of room within evangelical circles for conversation about hip hop.”

    I grew up enveloped in the hip-hop culture and embraced all forms of the expression. I remember shortly after my conversion I thought I had to give up hip-hop because I thought it was irreconcilable with the gospel and the redeemed life. Then I stumbled across people like Crossmovement, Lecrae, Trip Lee, shai linne, Hazakim, and Christcentric to name a few.

    I’m almost certain you’re familiar with at least one of those names, but if not take a look at Lampmode Recording’s new album promo featuring Mark Dever. Yes, you read that correctly.