Implicit Religion, Vol 17, No 1 (2014)

Bigger Than Religion: Hip Hop’s Post-Modern Prophetic Challenge

Mark Deyoung
Issued Date: 22 Jul 2014

Abstract


Biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann describes prophetic religion as the poetic, counter-imperial acts of an alternative consciousness that empowers marginalized sub-communities standing in tension with the dominant culture. Hip hop culture is argued to constitute an implicit contemporary example of such a subcommunity, both in its origin in African-American culture and in its connection to other marginalized groups throughout the world who have appropriated hip hop culture. After developing hip hop as an implicit paradigm for prophetic religion and distinguishing between prophetic and non-prophetic forms of hip hop, specific examples are given from hip hop lyrics which illustrate prophetic criticisms of dominant religious consciousness while energizing the people in their community to move in an alternative direction. First is the critique of religion as pacification to justify and maintain an oppressive status quo. Second will be the critique of religious exclusivism and the otherworldly concept of heaven and hell, and finally, the critique of religion as institutional and authoritarian. Each of these is complemented by models of empowerment for the disenfranchised, an emphasis on inclusivity which embraces the concrete struggles of real people in the present, and the mobilization of democratic grassroots movements as a source of power and authority.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/imre.v17i1.63

References


Badu, E. “The Healer,” New Amerykah Part One (4th World War). Universal Motown B0010800-02, 2007, compact disc.
Brueggemann, W. 2011. The Prophetic Imagination. 2nd edition. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Brueggemann, W. 2010. Out of Babylon. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press.
Fiasco, L. “Muhammad Walks,” Fahrenheit 1/15 Part I: The Truth is Among Us. 1st & 15th, 2006, mp3 mixture download.
Fiasco, L. “Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free),” Food and Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album, Atlantic 531683-2, 2012, compact disc.
Hill, L. “Final Hour,” The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Columbia/Ruffhouse Records CK 69035, 1998, compact disc.
Horsley, R. A. 2003. Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New WorldDisorder. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Ivy, J. In Kanye West, “Never Let Me Down,” The College Dropout, Roc-A-Fella B0002030-02, 2004, compact disc.
Keyes, C. L. 2009. “Sound, Voice, and Spirit: Teaching in the Black Music Vernacular.” Black Music Research Journal 29(1): 11–24.
Kinnerman, D. 2011. You Lost Me: Why Young Christians are Leaving the Church and Rethinking Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.
Kirk-Duggan, C. and V. Bridgeman, eds. 2010. The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. Edited by H. R. Page Jr. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Kweli, T. “Give ‘Em Hell.” Ear Drum. Blacksmith Music/Warner Bros. 277244-2, 2007, compact disc.
Lischer, R. 1999. “The Music of Martin Luther King, Jr.” In This Is How We Flow:Rhythm in Black Cultures, edited by A. M. S. Nelson, 54–62. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Marley, N. and D. Marley. 2010. “In His Own Words,” Distant Relatives. Universal Republic/Def Jam B0014298-02, compact disc.
Nelson, A. M.S. 1999. “Rhythm and Rhyme in Rap.” In This Is How We Flow: Rhythm in Black Cultures, 46–53. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.
Ogbar, J. O.G. 1999. “Slouching Toward Bork: The Culture Wars and Self-Criticism in Hip-Hop Music.” Journal of Black Studies 30(2): 164–183. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/002193479903000202
Osumare, H. 2001. “Beat Streets in the Global Hood: Connective Marginalities of the Hip Hop Globe.” Journal of American & Comparative Cultures 24(1–2): 171–181.
Rahner, K. 1963. Visions and Prophecies. London: Burns and Oates.
Reed, Teresa L. 2003. The Holy Profane: Religion in Black Popular Music. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.
Sulaiman, A. “Like A Thief in the Night.” Uprising Records 63733900532, 2007, compact disc.
Watkins, R. B. 2011. Hip-Hop Redemption: Finding God in the Rhythm and the Rhyme. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
West, C. 2002. Prophesy Deliverance!: An Afro-American Revolutionary Christianity. Anniversary edition. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press.
West, K. and J. Ivy. “Never Let Me Down,” The College Dropout. Roc-A-Fella B0002030-02, 2004, compact disc.
Wright, N. T. 2009. Paul: In Fresh Perspective. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy