Before I knew anything of hip-hop, I knew the gospel. Growing up in a southern Baptist home can be an insular experience. God and Christianity were a serious affair, and a conservative, largely unquestioned way of life tended to follow. Dresses and suits were required to step into church, profanity and promiscuity were considered sinful. That pretty much made hip-hop the devil. Still, maybe ironically, it was a gospel song that first ushered rap into my household: Kirk Franklin’s 1997 “Stomp (Remix)” was an unprecedented megahit, slyly blending Christian messages with secular sounds. It featured a new jack swing beat built around the funky disco of Funkadelic’s “One Nation Under A Groove,” as well as a little hip-hop courtesy of Salt of Salt-N-Pepa. Anchored by “Stomp,”God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation, the songwriter and producer’s fourth album, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Both feats were a first for a gospel album.
Franklin had stirred interest after the breakout success of “Why We Sing,” a 1993 single released with his original ensemble The Family. But it was his collaboration with God’s Property, a youth choir comprised mostly of students and alumni of a Dallas performing arts high school, that set things off. The members of God’s Property were significantly younger and more culturally aligned with Franklin than The Family had been, and he found his voice by giving praise music a shiny veneer.
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source: Fader Magazine/BNCC1