Since launching New H2O in 2010, we have gotten to know some of the other sites who share the same mission. Back then there were only a few sites who were doing it. Rapzilla, DaSouth, and Holy Culture to name a few.
I didn’t realize this until now but West Coast Fiya launched the same year we did. Both of our sites have gained a level of maturity within CHH and have grown since then. When I initially read this I understood, but there was a level of sadness to know that one of us is officially biting the dust. As most of you know, I took a 5 month break from CHH as I have felt the same way about the genre.
Read P-Dub from West Coat Fiya’s statement below:
“When West Coast Fiya started, Christian Hip Hop was a very underground and untapped genre. However, there was an innocence about it. It seemed like a naïve, yet spiritually strong movement that we believed would get bigger, better and stronger. West Coast Fiya wanted to be a site that was part of the Christian Hip Hop movement, and wanted to join the other great sites like Dasouth and Holy Culture. We wanted to be the voice of the West Coast for Christian Hip hop, and by the grace of God…We were.
It’s now 2016. Six years later, and wow, has the genre changed. It has changed so much that we no longer want to be a part of it. Now I know many of you will agree with me, and I know even more of you will disagree with me. I’m sure people will say this and that about my decision to shut down the site, but before you crucify me…let me share my heart with you.
What has happened to Christian hip hop? The reason that I ask is because something is missing, something is not right, something feels off….Oh yea, I know what it is…More and more of the Artists today are taking out what Christian hip hop is about….Jesus. Isn’t it bad enough that more and more Artists are no longer “Christian Rappers”. Some pretty big heavy weights of the genre have straight come out and said it. One has said ‘Christian Rapper’ Gives People the Wrong Idea. Oh really? And what type of wrong idea is that my brother? That you spit lyrics for the king? That you keep your music holy and edifying? What’s wrong with that? Another Artist has said “the label is limiting because a lot of people associate “Christian rap” with a bygone era of music that sounds “dated and old and crusty,” So if Christian music is limiting, is God limiting as well? How do people associate Christian Music with a bygone era of music? Is God not the same in ALL eras? Do we have to transform to worldly standards to get a message across?
Look, I know many of you will say that God will use these people in the secular world. Ok, that may be true, and I hope that he does, but why no longer call yourself a “Christian Rapper” When God was allowing you to have gigs, and allowing Christians to buy your music it was OK? It was good enough for you when you were coming up, and no one in the secular record industry knew you, but as soon as you get a taste of the world, and they give you a little shine… you give God the finger, and you’re no longer a Christian Rapper? NO! In my opinion that’s not right, and I along with West Coast Fiya will NOT be a part of promoting your music.
If you don’t want to be known as a “Christian Rapper” then in my opinion, you don’t belong on a “Christian website” promoting your music to “Christian people” and playing venues at “Christian churches”. Go ahead into the world without the God who brought you to where you are. You will quickly see that without him, you are nothing, and to nothing you will return.
West Coast Fiya will be shutting down for good today. We will NOT be coming back. We are tired and sickened by what Christian Hip Hop has become. My flesh wants to put people on blast by name, but that would not edify the body, but cause dissension, and division, so I will not name names, but to those of you who have lied to us, broken agreements, stolen money after services were rendered from us, who have used us to get heard, who only called us when they needed something, who talked about us, judged us,who were fake, who said they didn’t have money to advertise, so we gave you free advertising, but then we see your stuff up on a site that wouldn’t do anything for free…You know who you all are…we forgive you, but we are done.
West Coast Fiya cannot, and will not be a part of a Christian hip hop culture that is in most part, no longer Christian. More and More we hear more of you and less of Jesus in the music, and when that happens, it’s time to go. God has been there for us too many times and has gotten us through too many things for us to settle for what Christian hip hop has become. Thank you to those we’ve met along the way who are true soldiers for Jesus, and that would NEVER sell out to make a buck. To those who did support us, thank you for your support, prayers and help in our ministry.”
Program Director / Co-Owner
West Coast Fiya
I definitely understand the frustration. 6 months ago I nearly shut down the site and told people we were no longer accepting music submissions. A little over a month ago I had a change of heart and posted What my 5 month break up from CHH taught me.
What brought me back and what I hope brings others back is that we don’t need to go along with the crowd.
Instead of trying to adapt to the trends of CHH, we could be the ones to help transform it.
You may think that sounds outrageous. You could say West Coast Fiya or New H2O isn’t big enough to transform an industry. You could also say that we would lose listeners or readers since we decided to go a different way than everyone else.
I disagree. If you trust in God and your beliefs, you need to go the route that is most ethical to you. You have to go the route that was chosen for you. If you attempt to go along with something that isn’t you, you will end up angry and disgusted. I believe things like this will become more common within CHH as the genre becomes more blended with mainstream music.
I want to encourage others who read this to pray for those in CHH and those who contribute to the genre. This is bigger than one person or one website. Also pray that instead of shutting down, others would adapt and change to further spread the Gospel. You don’t need to go against your beliefs to continue contributing to CHH.