Christian artists are catapulting to the highest points of mainstream charts, and now, the secular press is taking notice.
This week, Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae was featured in Time magazine as Gravity, his three-week-old album, continues to sit at the top of the iTunes Top 10 Hip-Hop chart. The Jesus-centered rap record debuted at No. 3 on Billboard's Top 200 chart and is currently No. 2 on Billboard's Top 100 hip-hop albums, beating out popular secular artists such as DMX, Prestige and Flo Rida, whose albums debuted this week.
Lecrae's rise to the top is abnormal in the rap industry, which has increasingly become known for violence, degradation of women and selfish ambition. Lecrae's message of "walking with Christ" and "helping the homeless" is quite different as he infuses Christ-focused rhymes and biblically founded lyrics with head-nodding, body-swaying beats.
“I’m passionate about my faith and want to create great music that provides an alternative perspective,” he told Time. “I'm a Christian. Hip-hop is a culture. I can be a Christian within a culture, doing hip-hop music.”
Rock/pop/hip-hop Christian musician TobyMac broke records this month as well, when Eye On It became the first Christian album to reach the No. 1 position on Billboard charts since Bob Carlisle's Butterfly Kisses 15 years ago. The former DC Talk member says he doesn't like the label “Christian music” because it can alienate certain people. Instead, he says, he writes music about life from a Christian perspective.
“Art is about expressing what is in your heart, what you love and what you struggle with. The things I’m going through can’t be that different from anyone else,” TobyMac says. “But faith plays a big role in my life—big enough to sing about it.”