If you’re new to the world of Christian rap, then welcome! It’s easy to assume the subgenre of rap is lame and preachy, but the best Christian rappers easily put that notion to shame. If you’re looking for rhymes that aren’t the same old money this and clubs that, Christian hip hop might just be the perfect remedy for you. Every one of these Christian hip hop artists are talented enough that you don’t even need to be a believer to enjoy their music, but if you are, it makes it that much more relateable and special to you.
So who are the best Christian rappers? LeCrae, Andy Mineo, and Trip Lee are often mentioned, but you can’t forget about guys like Bizzle, NF, FLAME, and Da’ T.R.U.T.H. Although many rappers rap about God in their music, they are not considered Gospel rappers like the men on this list. These rappers rap about Bible verses, finding Christ, and just the struggles of life in general. Some Christian rappers, like Mr. Solo, found Christianity after being involved in a life of gangs and selling drugs. It just goes to show that God can have a positive impact on anyone’s life.
If you don’t know a thing about Christian rap, LeCrae is the name you’re most likely to be familiar with. The modern day face of Gospel rap, LeCrae’s 2008 album Rebel was the first Christian rap album to reach the No. 1 position on the Billboard Gospel chart. He is a founding member of the popular group 116 Clique, along with various other artists on Reach Records. Some of his better known songs include “Sidelines” and “All I Need Is You.”
2. Trip Lee
Another founding member of 116 Clique, Trip Lee also has a prolific solo career that dates back to 2006, when he released his first studio album If They Only Knew. Lee is an Evangelical Christian who is currently signed to LeCrae’s record label, Reach Records. Popular songs include “Sweet Victory” and “Manolo.”
3. Andy Mineo
Andy Mineo is another dude you might be familiar with even if you are new to Christian hip hop. Another member of the 116 Clique, Andy Mineo formerly performed under the name C-Lite, but abandoned the moniker after signing with Reach Records. His two studio records are Heroes for Sale (2013) and Uncomfortable (2015). Mineo definitely has an amazing flow- check out him killing the 5 fingers of death on Sway’s show if you don’t believe me.
Tedashii has been putting out Christian rap albums for over a decade, starting with Kingdom People in 2006. In March 2013, Tedashii’s one year old son tragically passed away, leading him to record much of his spiritual struggle on his 2014 album Below Paradise.
If you’re unfamiliar with NF, think of him as the Christian rap version of Eminem. His music can be very intense, but there’s no denying that this man was born with God-given talent. Some people have been sleeping on him, but he definitely should be considered one of the best modern Christian rappers in the game today.
6. Derek Minor
Formerly known by the moniker PRo, Derek Minor is a former 116 Clique member and founding member of R.M.G. His most recent album, Reflection, debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Christian Albums chart.
Born Kevin Elijah Burgess, KB hails from St. Petersburg, FL, and is the leader of the hip-hop group HGA. He is also signed to Reach Records, where he is a member of 116 Clique.
Formerly known as Playboy and Lavyss, Bizzle is a dude who has really improved his flow over the last few years. He’s perhaps best known for calling out Jay-Z in 2010 on his song “You Got Some Explaining to Do,” where he criticized the icon for his negative depiction of Jesus and Christianity in his songs.
9. Da’ T.R.U.T.H
Although he doesn’t get as much credit as some of the other Gospel rappers on this list, Da’ T.R.U.T.H is a fantastic rapper with powerful lyrics and a good flow. His most successful album was 2009’s The Big Picture, but really all of this guy’s stuff is gold.
Hailing from Chicago, Canon was introduced to the Christian hip hop scene after LeCrae took him under his wing and made him his hype man on tour. His career was put on hold for a few years starting in 2014, when a near-death experience due to a nasty fall left Canon with a broken jaw and shattered ankle.
A Grammy-nominated Gospel rapper, FLAME has eight fantastic studio albums under his belt dating all the way back to 2004. Fun fact- professional baseball player Albert Pujols uses a FLAME song as his walk-up song with the Angels.
12. Japhia Life
This Philadelphia native has been putting out Christian rap albums since 2000, when his Pages of Life album caught the attention of many hip-hop fans and writers. His most recent album, The Profit, came out in 2014.
Although he’s young, Swoope is a gospel rapper that definitely shouldn’t be overlooked. Many praise his ability to rap about bible verses without making it sound boring or preachy.
14. Playdough (Krum)
He goes by the name Krum now, but if you have been a fan of Christian rappers for a while now, you definitely know him as Playdough. He was discovered as a teen while he was with Ill Harmonics, after the group appeared on MTV’s The Cut.
15. Jurny Big
Jurny Big is best known as a member of Tunnel Rats, LPG, and The Battery, but has always released very solid solo tracks throughout his long career.
When you talk about a prolific Christian rapper, Braille is who comes to mind. This Portland native has been releasing music since he was 13 years old, starting with LifeFirst: Half The Battle in 1999. He is the co-founder of the Humble Beast record label along with Odd Thomas.
17. Odd Thomas
Since we just mentioned Odd Thomas in our last blurb, let’s showcase him right now. If you’re looking for spoken word Christian rap, Odd Thomas is your guy. Even if you are a non-believer, you can appreciate the points that OT makes in his rhymes.
18. Sup the Chemist
Sup the Chemist, formerly known as Super C, is a true pioneer of Christian rap He is best known for his involvement in the group Soldiers for Christ (S.F.C) but he’s very respected as a solo artist as well.
19. Shai Linne
It’s fair to say that Shai Linne has some of the most intricate rhymes out of all the Christian rappers on this list. He made waves in 2013 when he released the single “Fal$e Teacher$” where he called out people like Joel Osteen and Paula White.
One half of the Atlanta based hip-hop duo known as Mars Ill, Manchild is widely regarded as one of the best Christian rappers of all time. In 2009, him and Sean P released Move Merchants, a collaborative album that includes many tracks that are specifically Catholic hip hop. Be warned that some of his songs are a bit explicit.
21. Gospel Gangstaz
Gospel Gangstaz, made up of Mr. Solo and Chillie’ Baby, are an old school Christian hip hop group that date back to the early ’90s. Mr. Solo is proof that God can really change a person’s life for the better, as he turned to Christianity after almost dying in a gang-related shooting.
22. The Ambassador
When it comes to dropping some Christian knowledge, Ambassador doesn’t mess around. The dude has a Master’s Degree in Theology, and graduated with honors to boot. His work with The Cross Movement inspired many of the biggest names in Christian hip hop today, including LeCrae and Andy Mineo.