Hip Hop with a specific focus on promoting Christ likely started not too long after Hip Hop did, however the first commercially released album in this fashion was Stephen Wiley's 1985 album 'Bible Break.' Now, 25 years later there is a viable niche carved out in the music industry. The niche has been called by several names including Christian Hip Hop, Christian Rap, Holy Hip Hop, Gospel Hip Hop, etc. Like many humble beginnings, this niche was not documented well. Up until a few years ago with the introduction of social networks MySpace and Facebook, communication wasn't always an easy task, making it difficult to stay in touch with pioneers in this niche.
There have been efforts by many over the years to maintain community and push this niche into the mainstream, essentially utilizing Hip Hop to reach a demographic that is influenced by that culture. In the early years of the internet, circa 1994, one of the very first communities dedicated to this niche launched called TruHipHop. TruHipHop was launched by Timothy Trudeau, known to most as owner of Syntax Records. TruHipHop was a newsgroup or listserv where people would subscribe their email and dialogue. Then came chat rooms and message boards which acted as channels for artists and fans all across the world to connect and interact like never before. A few years following, websites began to spring forth that began to provide artists and labels a media outlet for the niche. Some of those websites were HipHopZone.com, HipHopGateway.com, SphereOfHipHop.com, HipHopForTheSoul.com, WTWmagazine.com, and later HolyCulture.net, DaSouth.com, and IllSpot.net. Add a comment