Stormzy’s album #GSAP (Gang Signs and Prayer) has just become the No.1 Album in the UK, which is brilliant for so many reasons. Not only has he helped bring Grime (along with many other Grime artists) into the mainstream, but he’s done so whilst proclaiming his love for God. It’s not too common for an album to become number one in the UK whilst proclaiming “Look at what God did” – but the overall public sentiment behind this album has been powerful. Each song is so different and relays the story of a complex black man that has gone through so much… a man that is not perfect but real.
Chance The Rapper is another mainstream rapper who unapologetically proclaims his love for Christ, and so many people have responded to the rapper’s genuine passion. Chance’s recent Grammy performance went viral with Christians screaming about how he started his performance with the classic “How Great is our God” and non christians buzzing about how Chance was a refreshing kind of Christian that they could relate to.
One person said:
“As a non – religious person, Chance is the kind of Christian I wish we had more of. It’s clear that his faith means something deep and true to him unlike so many self proclaimed Christians who use it manipulate people for their own self – interest. Chances uses faith to spread a message of love, positivity and self – improvement.”
But why has there been such an overwhelming response to the emergence of rappers like Stormzy and Chance The Rapper? I believe the response is a rejection of the publicised and political charged religion that became notorious in 2016 for contributing to events like Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. People are tired of religious leaders telling them how to feel or think, they are tired of important figures talking about religion from a place that is not authentic or vulnerable, but instead use the platform to point fingers and bring shame, all whilst subtly to trying to push a biased agenda.
Even though Stormzy and Chance are not religious leaders, they are people of influence that have authentically demonstrated how real faith can be, and how it helped them in life’s grittiest and darkest moments. The way both of these artists talk about and approach their faith, it’s from a place of humbleness and gratitude, there’s no agenda, there’s no bias, all they want to do is share what God has done, and this is blessing people.These artists demonstrate that the world is hungry for people that bring the gospel of hope and joy from a place of realness.
People are tired of seeing seemingly perfect people telling them that they need to change from their sinful ways. Instead they want to see a a gospel of hope that meets them from where they are at, which is what Jesus did. Jesus brought hope to the tax collector, the prostitute, the cripple from where they were at, he never called them out but showed them love in a way that changed and moved them to look for something more.
Views expressed by guest writers do not reflect that of Black Sisters Network.