Even to Christian hip-hop fans, the phrase “my pastor raps” is cringeworthy — evoking the image of a middle-aged minister exploiting hip hop to attract youth.
While that may be the case in some churches, quite a few emcees defy this stereotype. Actually, numerous established Christian hip-hop artists have doubled as pastors over the years. Here are the 10 most notable who are active both as artists and pastors.
10. God’s Servant
Former Lamp Mode Recordings artist God’s Servant — better to known to his congregation as Brian Davis — pastors at a new church plant in Philadelphia, Risen Christ Fellowship. He serves alongside another name on this list. (But RCF isn’t a “hip-hop church”).
God’s Servant sounds like a preacher on his new EP, All Glory Goes, which dropped Nov. 4 and features S.O.
Tory Starks is a member of a new St. Louis-based collective called Dead Heroes, which also includes Json, Word and Nico Wells. All four artists attend the same church, The Gate, and Starks pastors there.
Dead Heroes released a self-titled debut EP in October, and its available for free download onRapzilla.com.
Taelor Gray is an associate pastor in Westerville, Ohio at Cornerstone Community Church.
Under the same name, he dropped his most recent solo effort, The Mocker and the Monarch, to rave reviews in Sept. 2015. Gray also came out with his Layup Line EP earlier this year with producer Wes Pendleton as as group called Middle Clash, which was a teaser for their debut LP.