HHBMedia | Is There Room for Trap-Music in the Gospel Genre

Can I be honest with you guys? I didn't know what I was going to write about until Saturday morning. And seeing as my posts are due Sunday's, that's considered heavy procrastination.

I was sitting at my dining table eating breakfast with my son and FaceTiming my best friend Nikk when she asked me if I've heard Erica Campbell's new track. I said "no,” with a hint of excitement because I love Erica Campbell / Mary Mary. I just knew the song was going to be bomb.

So I asked, "what is it called?"

Nikk then replied, "I Luh God. Erica calls it trap-gospel.”

I almost fell out of the chair. I had to ask her to repeat herself. What did she mean trap-gospel? I was ever so intrigued to hear what this new genre was all about.  

So I downloaded the song.

And hit play.

My. Goodness.

My first reaction, you ask? Well, for one it definitely sounds like something Tamar Braxton would "twerk to Jesus" to. Like, I didn't even know if I was supposed to twerk or give it a churchy 2-step.

It made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Confused, even.

A part of me expected Weird Al Yankovich to begin rapping at any time.

It felt like a parody.

Like, K. Michelle would put this type of track on the album as a bonus, just to remind her fans that she's still "holy.”

Oh, Erica.

To give you a little background, Mary Mary has been known to drop the more contemporary gospel tracks. And with gospel artists like Lecrae, Mali Music, Tye Tribbet and Jackie Hill Perry bringing a more hip-hop feel into the gospel genre, an urban sound with a gospel message is no longer as far-fetched of an idea as it once was. There's room for gospel artists to experiment with their sound, but is there a space for trap music in the genre?

As far as I'm concerned trap and gospel should never be in the same sentence. And as a new-aged, liberal Christian, I just think trap-gospel is a little too mainstream.

I can totally picture a D.J. mistakenly playing this at a nightclub.

Is that Erica’s goal?

Now, I absolutely get where Erica was going with this. She'll be able to use this new sound to witness to the younger generation. Making Christianity more attainable for the "not so traditional" Christian.

I just don’t think it’s appropriate to blur the lines of what’s Christian-like and what’s secular. With artists like K. Michelle sporting formfitting, deep v-neck one pieces in her gospel-inspired music videos, temptation is higher than ever. Young people see these images and get a misconstrued message of what Christianity is all about. Not to say that we should all wear garbage-bag cloaks wherever we go, but flirting with the secular world shouldn’t be your way of witnessing. I shouldn’t have to “almost cuss” to prove to you that I’m “down.”

Erica may have pushed the envelope a little too far with this one. In fact, I’m sure Rich Homie Quan is working on his verse for the remix as we speak.

What are your thoughts?


*** This post was originally published on HHBMedia.com in April 2015