Finding God in the Music and Message of Hip-Hop
"From Gil-Scott Herron, Ice-T, DMX, Lil Kim, Mos Def, and Lauryn Hill to Christology, soteriology, and the role of the church, Hip-Hop Redemption
is a brilliant read! Watkins's gifts as a socio-theologian and hip-hop devotee come together in a way that redeems an essential dialogue for engaging realities of the church and today's urbanized and global society."
--Ronald E. Peters
, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta
"Hip-hop deserves the theological interpretation that Watkins provides. This book should have a wide readership."
--James H. Cone
, Union Theological Seminary
"Watkins remixes hip-hop history from the inside--as a DJ and a scholar--with deep love and respect for the music. He engages in dual listening, connecting the plaintive raps of DMX and Common with the biblical tradition. Watkins also hears women calling hip-hop to a higher standard in the music of Lauryn Hill. Hip-Hop Redemption
refreshed my playlist and my spirit. Like Grandmaster Flash, Watkins delivers 'The Message.'"
, Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture, Pepperdine University
"Watkins takes the reader on an allegorical theological journey into the heart of hip-hop culture and challenges us to examine the culture not just from the surface--with all its seemingly blasphemous aesthetics--but from a deeper theological vantage point asking this question: Where does God show up and speak within and through hip-hop culture? This read is for anyone wanting to gain a deeper understanding of not only theology and culture but also how hip-hop's redemptive value is shown in its style, prose, syntax, and spirituality. A valuable addition to the growing scholarship in the field of hip-hop theological study."
--Daniel White Hodge
, California State University, Northridge; author, The Soul of Hip-Hop: Rims, Timbs, and a Cultural Theology
"American Christians easily find redemptive themes in the music of Bob Dylan and U2. What Watkins provides are the resources for Christians to understand that if all truth is God's truth, then God can also be found in the world of hip-hop. I hope Hip-Hop Redemption
will ignite needed conversations about the ways in which this music and movement can be used to understand the complex urban narratives in America so that the gospel can reach all communities for Christ."
--Anthony B. Bradley
, The King's College
Ralph Basui Watkins (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) is associate professor of evangelism and church growth at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, and the author of several books, including From Jay Z to Jesus and The Gospel Remix. He previously was assistant dean of the African American church studies program and associate professor of society, religion, and Africana studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.