News: Does Christian Music Have A Segregation Problem?

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Does Christian music suffer from a racial
divide when it comes to categorizing music?
In a recent interview with Da’ T.R.U.T.H., he
and the interviewer spoke about how music
gets labeled in the Christian sphere.

A self-admitted “old guy,” Tony Cummings
of Cross Rhythms in the U.K., may have
asked an often overlooked but very
important question concerning Christian
music – Is Christian music segregated?

“I don’t know whether it is the fault of
Billboard magazine or the fault of the
Church leaders or whatever but we’ve got
‘gospel’ meaning black artists and we’ve
got ‘CCM’ meaning white artists and I’ve
never been able to figure it,” said Cummings to the emcee. “And strangely, Christian
radio is more divided on racial lines than
non-Christian radio, which again is a
scandal.”

Da’ T.R.U.T.H. replied, “You are preaching
one of my sermons.”

He continued, “I started a company two
years ago that was intended to focus on
what I call hybrid artists; not CCM, not
gospel, maybe a little bit of everything –
eclectic artists. On one level, who needs
another label? Except that there is a need that has to be met. The thing that inspired
the label was exactly what you’re saying.
Just kind of looking at how polarized the
gospel music industry is.”

The rapper said Gospel Music has no top 40,
which makes it harder to really get
exposure to a variety of listeners. This in
turn, affects how well their festivals coming,
which are “dying” T.R.U.T.H. says.

“There’s CCM radio, there’s quote unquote
“Black Gospel” radio. There’s the Dove
Awards which is 99.9% white, and the
Stellar Awards which is 100% black,” he
said. “So we look at our industry and how
polarized it is, and like you say, to me it all starts with radio. There are CCM stations;
they don’t play the K-Love stations, not just
music from African Americans, just different
music. It’s not a black and white thing; it’s a
cultural thing as well. And gospel radio
stations are not playing any white music or any other music. But to me, that is the recipe
for death because if genres don’t evolve,
they die.”

The Complicated rapper says this divide is a
“detriment” and “un-kingdom-like” and
ultimately that makes the whole thing
“sinful.”

“It’s rooted in prejudice, it’s rooted in
biases, we could call it format, we could
name it whatever we want. But at the end of
the day, as Christians we have a greater
responsibility to rise above the status quo
and determine what needs to happen rather than trying to determine, ‘Well, if the
white soccer mom is 35-50 and listening
then we have to play Casting Crowns only’. I
just think it’s sad, but that’s why I started
my company, and I really hope to be able to
be one of the leaders in that kind of creative outlet and a platform for artists who don’t fit
into those paradigms.”

Also, what do you think of the discussion
from Cross Rhythm? Do you see this as a
major problem? Do you think it’s irrelevant?
Discuss in the comments and we’ll revisit
this soon

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