There’s Peter, The Fisherman
David, The King
Matthew, The Tax Collector
John, The Baptist
And Chance, The Rapper.
This brother is a modern day apostle. He’s breaking ground with sounds from above. His performance at the 2017 Grammys was quite possibly the most incredible (and necessary) worship experience in that stage.
As Jesse Carey reported, “Hip-hop star Chance the Rapper recently sat down with writer, actor and comedian Jordan Peele for a long interview in Teen Vogue magazine. During their conversation, Chance discussed the somewhat complicated relationship he has with labels, especially as they pertain to his outspoken Christian faith and his at-times explicit music.He told Peele, “One of my biggest fears with Coloring Book was that it would be labeled. I hate labels. I never sought out for people to recognize it as a gospel album.”
Chance also made this distinction: “I don’t make Christian rap, but I am a Christian rapper.”
Watch this for confirmation:
This past Christmas, Chance sang happy birthday to Jesus.
Again, on national television. All while smiling, swinging and giving me at least three Holy Ghost goosebumps experiences.
He’s quite possibly the most honest (and hopeful) representation of a follower of Jesus in Hollywood and mainstream media today.
He might not be the kind of worship leader we invite to our Sunday morning services, but he’s definitely the kind of worship leader Jesus loves to listen to.
“But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” – Jesus in John 4:23
You see, Chance The Rapper is not trying to preach, he’s just doing him. Yet in doing so, he’s quickly becoming the most outspoken gospel singer of this generation.
(Also, he’s not trying to do gospel).
The talented rapper is not pressured to live this perfect cookie-cutter life, he puts no demands on himself fit into any box. Just because he sings worships songs and calls out the name of Jesus, does not mean he stops singing about his struggles and curses.
He’s a man in process, in the journey to discover. And the beautiful thing is that he’s taking us with him through his lyrics, his free albums and his out-of-this-world performances.
I for one, am grateful to see it. And Lord knows Chance the Rapper can get me dancing and singing (but you wouldn’t be grateful to see that).
Let’s call him Chance The Preacher here, because the preaching of the good news of Jesus comes in different forms. And according to Christ himself (even if we don’t like the way they’re preaching it),
“Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us.” – Mark 9:39
Here’s the song that was birth out of that:
I agree with Tomi Obaro in her brilliant article, “Why Chance The Rapper’s Black Christian Joy Matters.” In it she writes, “Chance’s Christianity is one of inestimable joy. It’s buoyant, it’s grandiose, it’s infectious. On Coloring Book, his latest project, faith, and the inspiration he derives from it permeate the album. Even on songs that have nothing to do with Jesus, the gospel imprint is undeniable. Listen to the pitched-up choir singing sotto voce on “No Problem.” Hear the chorus of Chris Tomlin’s Christian Contemporary music standard (now almost listenable) on “How Great.” Note Kirk Franklin’s lush harmonies in the second half of “Finish Line, Drown,” and the interpolation of the Fred Hammond jam “Let the Praise Begin” in “Blessings.”
Yes, there’s still pain, drug references and curse words on his masterpiece Coloring Book (did I already say that his albums are free?)
However, Coloring Book is my favorite album of 2016 (and now into 2017). And not just my favorite music album, but my favorite worship album. It reminds me of a simpler faith, a more honest joy… and I highly recommend you support our brother Chance the Rapper as he teaches us all, how to worship God from wherever we are… because as we know, that’s what He’s looking for.