Imagine a world if Reach Records never existed. Imagine the Christian Hip Hop scene if artists like Lecrae, Andy Mineo, and Trip Lee weren’t paving new ways for Christian artists to be heard.
Now I don’t want to diminish Reach’s achievements or what they are doing to engage culture. I commend what they are doing and am thankful for the thousands of lives they have touched. What I want to accomplish is to make you aware of the current issues within CHH.
If Reach Records didn’t exist would you try as hard?
Would CHH artists try as hard to get heard? It seems like now days artists will do anything to gain fan page likes and followers. A lot of times they write a “letter to [insert artist]” song to piggy back on that artist’s fan base because they know their fans will protect the artist. I do understand it is important to communicate with the artist issues you may disagree with but these artists don’t really care about confronting them personally. What they really want is to engage their fan base. This communicates laziness and at times almost slander.
Would you still want to contribute to Christian Hip Hop?
As the Reach Record empire grows, it seems that CHH has a constant influx of new artists. Most of these artists want to perform on big stages and they want thousands of fans to buy their music. What they are missing is the hunger for sharing the Gospel. They get so caught up in the music and career of it all that they forget the main reason why Reach exists. Reach Records has inspired a generation to be unashamed of the Gospel and to confront it head on. If you’re one of these artists, I say you need to reflect on your ambitions and realize your actual intentions. Becoming famous was never the goal, to use your gifts to save more souls is.
What happens when you don’t make it in CHH?
For some artists this is a harsh reality. Not every artist is supposed to make it big in CHH. This is a small genre compared to mainstream hip hop and at times it’s difficult to gain fans. A lot of artists who never really gain traction in CHH cross over into secular. When I say cross over, I’m not talking about making positive hip hop or music that is clean but with God removed. I’m talking about songs that are flagrant and self empowering.
What this tells me is that the intentions of artists who pursue this method were never really wanting to spread the Gospel. They saw the CHH community as an easy way to get people to hear their music and to connect with others. If CHH fans decide not to support you, I’m not saying you should quit but you should reevaluate your intentions and your business model.
Reach Records makes it look easy.
From the outside this is true. What most of us don’t see are all the hours of work and where they came from. Reach Records was founded in 2004. It wasn’t until very recently that they have garnered mainstream support in certain places. If you think back to only 5 years ago, they weren’t selling anywhere near as many albums as they are now.
To pull off what Reach pulls off now takes thousands of man hours. They have been grinding for 11 years and God has been blessing them along the way. You weren’t there when they had only a few fans. You weren’t there when the label was only a dream. You don’t see all that goes into building something like this.
Don’t get discouraged.
It’s easy to get discouraged when you see others doing what you want to do. I can almost guarantee that you haven’t been doing it as long and as hard as they have though. Starting something from scratch is not easy. It’s definitely not the path of many but the path of few. If your dreams and ambitions stay aligned with God’s intentions, the possibilities are endless. It’s when we take things into our own hands because we believe God isn’t moving fast enough, that is when we get into trouble.
God only gives us what we can handle.
God never gives us more than we can bear (1 Cor. 10:13). Will He stretch you and grow you? Yes. Will it be uncomfortable at times? Absolutely. God wants the best for your life but he also wants a better you.
Let’s reflect as to why we are doing what we are doing. Let’s think about why we are supporting or contributing within CHH.
We can’t change the state of hip hop if we are living a lie. Be honest with yourself, be authentic, and make good music. You’ll grow spiritually, fans will take you seriously, and you will gain support.
With the right intentions, we can all move forward together.