Rap vs. Rapture

Christian hip-hop is on the march, but some say it's the Devil's music

The rapper/ministers, who were ordained in May, get down on their knees and dole out blessings to as many as three people at a time, all of them balancing atop roller skates. Jackson entwines his hands with the blessees, while Rodgers prefers a gentle palm atop the head.

From the sidelines, Bishop Johnson watches. Though he hasn't laced up, he's brought along his Nikon digital camera and proudly shot a few rolls of film. As far as he's concerned, parties like this have been going on in one form or another since Jesus walked.

"It was a success, a tool of outreach for young people," he says afterwards. "People need to realize that music did not come from the secular world and creep into the church. Music came from God and migrated to the secular world.

Cho'zyn is Tanisha Foxworth and Dawndia Crump. They aren't afraid to get rich and famous, so long as it's OK with the Big Guy.
Jennifer Silverberg
Cho'zyn is Tanisha Foxworth and Dawndia Crump. They aren't afraid to get rich and famous, so long as it's OK with the Big Guy.
Flame's song "When Everybody Screaming Jesus" blasts at Busch Stadium before Albert Pujols bats.
Jennifer Silverberg
Flame's song "When Everybody Screaming Jesus" blasts at Busch Stadium before Albert Pujols bats.

"I have a sister-in-law in her later 40s," he goes on, "and when the younger people go forth in hip-hop gospel, she says, 'I can't understand what they're saying. They're talking too fast.'

"And I tell her, 'You can't understand what they're saying because they're not talking to you.'"

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