In the current landscape of Christian hip-hop, few artists loom quite as large as rapper, poet, and political activist Propaganda. A Los Angeles native, “Prop” (as he’s called by those close to him) developed a passion for rap early on, then he added poetry to his repertoire as a college student after attending a friend’s spoken word performance. Now, with five albums, a poetry collection, and a host of performance recordings (available on YouTube) under his belt, his rise to prominance as one of the most provocative and compelling Christian voices speaking on racial injustice shows no signs of slowing down.
Even a quick glance at Prop’s lyrics and poetry reveals a man who knows his theology well—he admits that he loves “nerding out about Spurgeon” as much as anyone. As poems like his “Precious Puritans” make clear, though, he recalls feeling like his early encounters with even his most favorite thinkers and formulators of the faith were often complicated by evangelicalism’s history of racism:
The biggest challenge [I face] is the white evangelical church. I think there was a bit of disillusionment on my end. I grew up in a very multi-cultural environment, a very socially aware environment. My father was a Panther. I didn’t know anything of this sort of “God-and-country” kind of patriotism. The “religious right,” or the “Christian conservative”—I didn’t know anything about that.Once I started studying theology and getting my chops up, that’s where I started being considerably surprised at some of the walls we were hitting—especially when systemic injustice and racism issues started popping up. ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more