It’s no secret that the artistic endeavors of the Christian world are not taken very seriously. And this is not without reason.
For the past few decades, and possibly the last century or more, Christian art has lagged behind the rest of the world. Popular Christian music is most often a copy of something being done outside the church. Christian painting is generally regarded as greeting card faire. And I don’t think I need to explain the problems of Christian film and fiction literature.
This was not always the case however.
There was a time, for centuries in fact, that art emerging from within the church was the cutting edge. It was not until the church began to separate itself from the rest of the world, misunderstanding the call to be in the world but not of the world, that church artistry began to stagnate. And since that time, we have been playing catch-up.
But there are rays of hope. And nowhere does the future of Christian art shine more brightly than in the new generation of Christian Hip-Hop artists. For those of us who love hip-hop but can’t get over the trash bin of content that the world spews out, even from some of the worlds most talented rappers, pickings have been woefully slim. But in the last half a decade, a whole group of artists have arrived who are not only serious about Christ, but are artistically on par with, if not better than, the majority of what the rest of the music world is producing.
Tedashii is one of those artists, and his album, Blacklight, is proof of that.
Blacklight is one of my most played in the last few months. There’s a lot to enjoy about it. Tedashii has a diversity to his style that keeps everything feeling fresh. He’s not the fastest, but I think that speed can be overrated if you don’t have the lyrical creativity to back it up. And Tedashii has lyrical creativity to spare.
I’ve found that a lot hip-hop artists tend to make their songs over-long and too similar. But Tedashii battles against this pretty well. Most of the tracks stand on their own in content and style. The stand out tracks are Last Goodbye, a song about the hardships that our servicemen and women face; Finally featuring Shane and Shane, which looks forward to the day when we see Christ face to face; and the ground thumping Dum Dum, featuring Lecrae, that talks about how foolish the world thinks Christians are.
The one thing I love most about the album is that there is a longing for heaven shining through. In a world full hip-hop that boasts over living large and getting paid, it’s nice to hear lines like “So I passed up rolling on chrome, ‘cuz 26 inches is a pretty low throne.”
It’s a good one. I highly recommend it.