Hip Hop’s God Complex.

Is this what rap has done to religion?
Is this what rap has done to religion?
When did Hip Hop become so sacrilegious? Historically rappers have always infused references from the Bible albeit scriptures, prayers, or God himself in their lyrics. Ja Rule even went as far as to make up his own Bible passage, with the title of his 2000 album, Rule 3:36. Even two of the best emcees Nas and Jay-Z likened themselves to god’s of rap by proclaiming themselves the God-Emcee, with Jay-Z choosing Jayhova as one of his many nicknames, Nas’s depiction of hisself similar to Jesus Christ being strung up on the cross wearing a crown of thorns in the “Hate Me Now” video.

But lately hip hop has seemed to gone beyond its referencing or reverence of God and religion to comparing itself to God. Rappers are now placing themselves in equal stead as the Lord declaring themselves to be God. From Kanye West comparing his self to Jesus Christ with his latest album titled Yeezus and declaring himself to be a God with the song “I am a God“. Jay-z referencing his self to be God in the flesh on the song “Heaven” off his latest album Magna Carta… Holy Grail

So the question is when did Hip Hop loses its mind along with its soul? When and why did it become popular for rappers to declare themselves to be living gods? Last year’s Jesus Piece album The Game depicted a “blooded out” Jesus on the cover, wearing a red bandana around his face, marijuana plants painted on both sides of him, while wearing a diamond encrusted Jesus Piece. That’s not to talk about the contradictory lyrics that make up the album, from comparing the strip club to church as a place to pick up bad b*tches, to leaving the church to knowingly commit sin and even disrespecting Hallelujah the Lord’s highest form of praise.

These are just some recent examples; the list could go on and on. Hip Hop artists just like those that love it or hate it are no more than human; hypocrites even, whether we want to admit it. A lot of us do things that we know we shouldn’t while believing and accepting Jesus Christ and attending church, this makes hip hop artists no different from any other Christians, so there is not judgment here. Plus those that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The problem is just like any other disrespectful lyric or phrase no one seems to care. There are children that buy theses albums and don’t any better. They see and hear rappers lying about the money they have, drugs they’ve sold and b*tches they’ve f*cked and think it’s cool and something that should be admired. So imagine a child that already doesn’t like going to church hear a Jay-Z a man of flesh and bone call himself God in the flesh. You’ll definitely have a hard time trying to convince him/her to go to church, read the bible or believe in Jesus Christ, if Hova is God.

This is not to say that I am perfect, I admit I am a hypocrite myself. I smoke, I drink (I’m supposed to stop but I can’t) and knowingly fornicate (just to name a few of my sins), but even with all of that I do have a belief in the Lord and strive to be better. And because of my belief in the Lord I cannot support nor stand behind certain things. I already didn’t like the Yeezus album, simply because of the title. And after I heard about the “I am a God” song I instantly didn’t like the song neither. My spirit and belief in the Lord just won’t allow me to “buy into” those notions. On the other hand the Hip Hop fan in me wanted to at least hear the album before completely writing it off. And I can tell you after hearing it I still don’t like it because of what it stands for but as a listener of Hip Hop I just don’t like it because it is an incoherent attempt to be different but with no direction.

That’s it, this is me hoping off of my soapbox about what I feel is Hip Hop’s God Complex. I know I am not perfect but that doesn’t mean that I cannot have certain beliefs. Do you agree, or do you think I am reading too much into this? Is there even a thing as A God complex in Hip Hop? What are your thoughts?

Talk to me, I’ll talk back.

Breazy Jackson.

23 thoughts on “Hip Hop’s God Complex.

  1. Breazy, your post is right on point. Rappers these days have gotten so popular that they believe now that they are not just royalty, but a diety. And not just a diety, but the only Diety. This is nothing more than a slap in the face of Christians and just another reason I will not support either Kanye or Jay-Z. These people have really let fame and money go to their heads and hearts.

      1. As a master musician (multi-instrumenalist) and a person of color, who was born into and raised on hood music (jazz, soul, funk, R&B, hip-hop). Your post was right on point, Hip Hop has lost sight of whats important and has take the god-like comparisons too far.

        Im the same way as you bruh. I drink, smoke cigarettes, and act immoral sometimes but I strive to be better and I pray everyday for God to change my life because I know the power is not inside me, it is only in Him that my life will be made brand new. right on point, I needed to read this, God bless and may the Lord of Host, the Most High, Rock of Ages, the true one God who sent His son to die for our sins; continue to work in your life. Amen

    1. I agree. I also admit I have a lot of work to do myself. But because of where I am in my belief right now, I cannot and will not support anything I feel is Sacrilegious.

  2. Gods don’t declare themselves as Gods. The universe declares it for them so for hiphop artists to nominate themselves, is interesting… I don’t think I ever thought of it before! Why do you insist on making me even nerdier??!!!???
    Great article, now I’m thinking… You smell the smolke?

  3. i was just speaking about this yesterday… i don’t know what’s going on but it’s making me very uncomfortable, stick to sex, money, hoes, drugs and how your the best rapper alive and the obligatory conscious song and i am straight… now between being “God’ or disrespecting any belief system to extremely i do not know what to think… i am disgusted and choose to abstain from this type of music and those artists.. i got enough problems

  4. Amen. Breazy I probably have to do the same and take a break from the sacrilegious-ness of hip hop because it is messing with my spirit. It is difficult because Hip Hop is such a part of my life, but so is Jesus lol. It is getting out of hand though and I feel sorry for weak minded individuals. I sin daily, but I always strive to be a better women.

    1. I am a hip hop fan but like you a christian first. I grew up on Hip Hop, I’m apart of the Hip Hop generation. But as I get older the two sides start to colide. I still like Hip Hop but I can’t cosign all of it anymore.

  5. Why do you believe in a God, that white slavemasters FORCED our ancestors to “believe in” (for threat of death and injury if refused) and revere? I certainly hope that you do not go to a church/have iconography where your Jesus is depicted with blond hair and blue eyes and white skin.

    I’m more offended by the wholesale acceptance and parroting of a forced religion on a subjugated people, than any music designed for make believe does.

    Let’s talk about THAT.

  6. When hip hop first came on the scene, they were more storytellers than anything else. They shed light on life in the “hood”. Gave reasons why kids joined gangs. Next thing we knew,they were rapping about how much “bling” they have. Each rapper trying to outdo the other .
    They have just tired me out!

    1. I agree that Hip Hop has change since its party and storytelling beginnings. I’m not even mad at those that have grown tired of what Hip Hop has become. I myself gravitate towards the late 80’s early 90’s Hip Hop for the feel good vibe, diversity and originality. There are a couple of newer artists that I like, none that heard on mainstream radio, with the exception of Kendrick Lamar. If you noticed most of the links that I posted were late 80’s – early 90’s Hip Hop which to me represented Hip Hop’s golden era. While I cannot give up on Hip Hop I do take breaks from it every now and again.

  7. Breazy, there isn’t anything new about this is Hip Hop. Back in the day most of the individuals that were involved in the early development of the culture were part of either the Nation of Islam, The Nation of Gods and Earths, or the Ansar Community, just to name of few. These groups taught it’s members that they were essentially physical manifestations of the Supreme Being, gods in the flesh. (it’s more in depth than i’ve explained it, but do some research if you’re interested) They taught this as a means of empowerment for the youth growing up in poverty in inner cities by attempting to instill some type of self worth where tradition religious avenues had failed them, i.e. the Church, Catholicism, etc. Groups like Boogie Down Productions, Poor Righteous Teachers, Rakim, Brand Nubian, KMD, Wu Tang Clan and many more. Go and listen to “Build and Destroy” by Boogie Down Productions or “Sunshine (Wake Up)” by Brand Nubian. Now, is anything “wrong” with a mortal proclaiming to be a god? I honestly don’t think so. But that’s another conversation we can have later. Peace.

  8. It’s tough being a fan of mainstream hip hop, and professed follower of Christ. DJ Wade-O had an article on his site that was a rebuttal to XXL’s article “New God Flow”. It looked at hip hop from the aspect of a secular artist, and one from the CHH (Christian Hip Hop) genre.

    The best I can say is that hip hop today is a microcosm of society as a whole. Society has lost it’s collective mind, so it would only make sense that hip hop did as well.

    1. Yeah I sometimes have inner conflict within myself because I am Christian albeit not perfect. So a lot of hip hop that I listened to once upon a time, I don’t know, especially if I feel it is in contrast with my soul.

  9. Shawn hit it right on the head. Although an air of self-confidence is what a great hip-hop artist is all about, some have taken it too far (aka yeezus… really?)

  10. its so bad.. it has gotten so bad in rap.. guys r wearing skirts, naming their album “i’m gay,” and every rapper is saying blasphemous things.. and they’re all illuminati/masons.. i mean i can’t go 5 seconds without hearing something blasphemous anymore.. i literally turned on an album the other day and within 30 seconds i heard something blasphemous and i sat there thinking “there’s no one i can listen to anymore”

    i really thought hard.. and there’s no one.. even kendrick lamar who is everyone’s current favorite is always saying something that makes me be like “what the f*ck did he just say?” and that’s not even including all the taking God’s name in vain that happens

    the stuff these people are making is just straight up garbage

    its time for us Christian people to draw a line in the sand and say “that’s not for us, that’s for them” because its just getting worse and worse.. i mean seriously i’m ashamed of the things i’ve listened to but lately i only listen to movie scores because its the only thing i can listen to without feeling dirty

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