The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
His music is available free of charge. Although he talks a lot about God, he does not fit into what traditionally has been described as “Christian music.”
He is an emergent figure of the rap scene in the United States, and has won three Grammy awards: Best new artist, Best rap album and Best rap performance.
The 23-year-old artist was joined by well-known gospel figures such as Tamela Mann and Kirk Franklin, along with a choir and an orchestra.
Afterwards, when he received his prizes, he expressed with emotion: "Glory be to God, I claim this victory in the name of the Lord! I want to thank God for my father and my mother, who supported me since I was young [...] and for all in Chicago."
— Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) 13 de febrero de 2017
Chance The Rapper's music has been having a big impact in the United States in recent months. He represents a new wave of artists who love to blend styles.
Chance finds inspiration in the traditional and contemporary music that is heard in evangelical churches.
"His music has a strong gospel influence, harmonically and rhythmically", explains Andrés Pérez, a member of the Spanish Hip-Hop band Praxiz.
BACK TO THE ROOTS
"The atmosphere, the 'noise', the type of timbres and rhythmic patterns could come out of any worship service of a Brooklyn church. It is obvious that this kind of sound is becoming a trend again”, Droi says.
“Kanye West's latest album; Kendrick Lamar's song, Alright; The 1975 theme If I believe you; or Beyonce's Freedom... Al of them are a clear return to the roots. My guess is that we will have more of this in the following years”, Droi adds.
But with Chance The Rapper, the spiritual influence goes beyond the music. The lyrics of his last album talk about his relationship with God. The MC quotes verses, and, at the same time, he is very honest about the "fight" against sin.
HONEST ABOUT HIS FAITH
"It is hard to pinpoint exactly where he currently stands with Jesus", Faf Driscoll says in a Gospel Coalition review of the award-winning "Coloring Book" album.
"Throughout the album there are honest, and at times lyrically confronting, nods to a life ruled more by the flesh than by the Spirit [...] It is clear that Chance has come face to face with the reality of sin in his life: addiction, lust, pride. He clearly continues to struggle with the consequences of these sins, yet in a very real way, he has come to rejoice at the freedom of being found in Christ."
FREE MUSIC FOR MILLENIALS
According to the cultural critic Nick Pitts, the way Chance deals with his faith, connects with the millennial culture, because he undestands the urgency of now, and has a way with words and his words have their way with his audience.
"He doesn't extend invitations to join him at church, but rather brings the message of the church into the culture", Pitts pointed out in an article at The Christian Post.
Chance The Rapper made history by becoming the first artist to win a Grammy without selling physical copies of his music and without belonging to any record label. His music is available free of charge on the internet.