It’s a known fact that most artists in the Christian Hip Hop community have a full or part-time job to supplement their income. They work hard to support their families and during their “downtime” they are working on their music.
Right now CHH is a small but growing genre in comparison to secular or mainstream hip hop. People tend to think that because an artist may hit some top spots on the iTunes Charts that they are raking in the dough. What “fans” most often forget is what it takes to make that album a success.
There are a lot of people involved when making an album. You have the artist, graphic designer, producers, engineers, and countless others who assist in marketing or other tasks needed. All these people require time and money to continue to do the work that they do.
So I asked myself, what would it take for CHH artists to make a stable income from music alone? How would the fans benefit? How would the genre benefit? How many more people could we save?
Stop “blessing” others with music.
One of the things I noticed about the Christian community is that we use the term “blessing” when we want something for free. It is a term I’ve come to realize that people use to mask their conviction of ultimately hijacking that $10 album. By doing this, you as a fan are saying you care nothing about the artist’s well being and want to steal the music for your entertainment. I understand sharing a copy with an unbeliever but if you bought the album and your believing friends are asking you to “bless” them, they just want to use you and the artist for their entertainment.
Stop complaining about Christian Hip Hop being corny when you are the one causing detriment to the genre.
It’s been quite the controversy when CHH artists try to separate themselves from the “Christian” label. The reason why CHH doesn’t sound like mainstream hip hop in quality is because CHH simply does not have the funding to work with that talent group. To work with some of the top producers in the industry artists or labels could potentially have to shell out $25,000-$100,000 per song. Do you want to help CHH sound less “corny?” Pay for the music they work hard to produce. You’ll be helping them financially, CHH, and others to discover Christian Hip Hop for the first time.
If more CHH artists were able to work full time on their craft and music you’d notice a significant difference in quality, substance, art form, and frequency. Sometimes we go through a significant drought as I like to call it during certain periods of the year. During that timeframe, whether it be a month or three months it seems that no music is going out. Since most of these artists are balancing music into their hectic schedules, fans can go for an extended period of time without hearing new music.
I’ve been following Christian Hip Hop for quite a few years now and to describe how far it has come would be a task that would probably overwhelm you. Since CHH has grown, I’ve also noticed more blogs giving studio albums for free and also fans trying to piggy back off people who purchased. I do understand not everyone has the income to buy every single album they desire, but I also don’t go out buying every shoe I desire either. There are limits set for our lifestyle for a reason. If you can’t afford it and your next move is to ask someone to “bless” you, then you need to get your priorities straight. God put those limits on your life for a reason. Stealing music so you can be entertained is not the answer.
Let’s all do our part to lift these artists up for the time and effort they put in. They want to edify you, they want you to break your car windows to the beat, and they value you as a fan. The best way you can help contribute to CHH’s success is to actually be a part of it.
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