The Journal of Hip Hop Studies


Vol. 5, No. 1, Summer

From Yeezus to Pablo: An Existential Theology between God, Blackness, and Being
Introduction"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High."- Psalm 82:6, KJVSimply speaking the name Kanye West elicits conflicting responses. Whether one is a critic or a fan, one cannot deny that his music and persona continue...
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Hip Hop Hermeneutics: How the Culture Influences Preachers
IntroductionThe decline of congregations and mainline denominations in the West has been a source of scholarly attention.1 During this same decline, however, there have been two rather drastic increases: (1) the meteoric rise and worldwide influence...
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In 2017, Professor Cassandra Chaney at Louisiana State University (LSU) had an idea to do a special issue on Hip Hop and Religion. She spoke with Doctoral Candidate, Travis Harris and Dr. Daniel Hodge to "set off" the tremendous amount of work to start...
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Kendrick Lamar's Collapsing of Hip Hop Realness and Christian Identity
IntroductionSpirituality in the music of the Compton-based rapper Kendrick Lamar is a means through which he liberates himself, Compton and his black community.1 According to Danielle Macon in her exploration of the Afrocentrism in To Pimp a Butterfly,...
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In Search of Soul: Hip-Hop, Literature, and Religion
In Search of Soul: Hip-Hop, Literature, and Religion By Nava, Alejandro. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2017. Pp. xiv + 275. $29.95.There are books written for general audiences and those written for academia. In Search of Soul: Hip Hop,...
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The Messianic Zeal: A Case of Radical Aesthetics in Black Cultural Production
IntroductionWhy are contemporary artists preoccupied with the messianic? In a genre known for moral shortcomings, conversations related to religion topics are less common especially considering the "secularization of the West."1 The messianic paradigm...
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"Is There a Heaven for a Gangsta?": Hip Hop, Spirituality, and Heaven
IntroductionMany artists have acknowledged Heaven in the Hip Hop community. To illustrate, the above sampling is from "Rapper's Delight," one of the first Hip Hop songs recorded in the United States. Although the release of this song occurs almost forty...
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Introduction: "Ain't It Evil to Live Backwards?": A Hip Hop Perspective of Religion
Historically, Black religion has been the cornerstone of the African experience in America. Due to the "peculiar institution" of slavery,1 and the ways this institutional residue still affect the lives of slave descendants, Hip Hop provides a forum to...
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