Top 10 Rap Songs for Catholics

By Jennifer Fulwiler, warning some songs contain profanity and discussion of R rated subjects like the reality of drug abuse and gang violence.

  1. Changes by Tupac

I’ll start the list with a song that was included on the official Vatican playlist, alongside the work of Mozart and Dame Shirley Bassey. I may have been the only person in the world not surprised to see it on there, since I’ve long found Tupac’s heartfelt lament about life in the ghetto to be a powerful, if raw, call to reflect on the realities of the human condition.

  1. Description of a Fool by Tribe Called Quest

This little hip-hop number from People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm has all the playful funkiness you’d expect from a good Tribe song, with a message that speaks out against social ills like the physical abuse of women and dealing drugs.

  1. Shallow Days by Blackalicious

In this smooth, mellow song from indie hip-hop group Blackalicious, Gift of Gab and Chief Xcel speak out about kids “who at the young age of four / be seeing more drama than war veterans / instead of learning God’s laws” and implore their fellow rappers to “find a way to break the devil’s master plan.”

  1. Sweetest Girl by Wyclef Jean

This track is from an album with the subtitle Reflections of an Immigrant, and thus is a look at American culture from the perspective of someone from a different country (Haiti, in Jean’s case). Playing off of Wu-Tang Clan’s classic line “cash rules everything around me / dolla dolla bill, y’all,” Jean chronicles the tragic lives of women who are sexually exploited, weaving in reflections about how greed fuels some of their heartbreaking decisions.

  1. King Without a Crown by Matisyahu

This one is cheating a bit since it’s by a religious artist, but devout Jew Matisyahu has managed to infuse his music with enough raw authenticity that it appeals to secular markets, even getting some play on MTV. I listened to this song all the time during my conversion process, and have fond memories of driving around with the music blasting in my minivan, shouting “Thank you to my God that I finally got it right!” along with Matisyahu.

  1. She Watch Channel Zero by Public Enemy

I can’t believe I could actually find a Public Enemy song to include on the list. I read and re-read the lyrics, making sure that I wasn’t missing some reference to drugs or violence, but as far as I can tell it’s just a hard-jamming rant against the mind-numbing effects of television. It has a kind of angry edge, so I wouldn’t listen to it often; I mainly include it for the novelty of finding a Public Enemy song with nothing particularly offensive in it.

  1. Airplanes by B.o.B.

I just adore this song from the relatively new artist B.o.B., which features super-cute singer Hayley Williams (who openly identifies herself as a Christian), and talks about the fickle nature of show business, and how success doesn’t always bring the happiness you think it will. Sometimes I have to snicker at a 23-year-old writing such a world-weary song, but it really is very well done.

  1. Coming Home by Diddy

If you’ve turned on the radio in the past five minutes, you’ve probably heard the new song from Diddy (a.k.a. Puff Daddy, a.k.a. Sean Combs). I have to say, I’m touched by the honest self-reflection in this piece, with lines like, “What am I supposed to do when the club lights come on? / It’s easy to be Puff but it’s harder to be Sean” and “What if my twins ask why I ain’t married their mom? / How do I respond?” He also references his lingering pain at witnessing his friend Notorious B.I.G.‘s murder, saying “You know you woulda took the bullet if you saw it / But you felt it, and still feel it / And money can’t make up for it, or conceal it.” A nice little song about making wrongs right.

  1. The Ave. by Run D.M.C.

In this old-school song from hip-hop royalty Run D.M.C., Run, Jam-Master Jay and D.M.C. chronicle the chaos and destruction on an inner city avenue (“Ave”). I have a special place in my heart for Run D.M.C., and not just for their contributions to the genre. Run is now a practicing minister, and D.M.C. recently recorded a hard-hitting pro-adoption song with fellow adoptee Sarah McLachlan.

  1. The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five

If The Message isn’t the very epitome of old-school hip-hop goodness, I don’t know what is. The 1982 song speaking out against the problems of the ghetto was also the first hip-hop song ever to be added to the United States Archive of Historic Recordings.

  1. Lowkey- Rise and Fall

Lowkey, a British artist of iraqi origin, talks about his struggles of the music business, most of his work is political in nature (criticising Israel for the war in Palestine, Obama, for well pretty much everything, and others) he has collaborated with Klashnekoff (another London born artist) and Immortal Technique (a USA Political activist and Hip Hop artist).

A rap song I sometimes listen to is Kanye West's Jesus Walks. I heisitate to add it here because of the profanity and stuff, but I personally find it kinda inspirational. Love, love, love Matisyahu's King Without A Crown and One Day.

Awe. flashbacks I love Tupac.

'Hail Mary'

And God said he should send his one begotten son
to lead the wild into the ways of the man
Follow me; eat my flesh, flesh of my flesh

[Chorus: Makaveli]

Come with me, Hail Mary

I was not tremendously impressed with the list being a conniseur of the earlier era.
Here's my own humble contribution to albums I'd recommend that are on the more wholesome side of hip hop (rare and hard as that is to be), i was a dj for sveral years which is how i came across these. The music industry was much better in the early 90s whereas by the late 90's it ruined the quality of music much more so to bring us where we are today.

they're all rather old, but classics..
most of them are on youtube , youll have to do that part yourself though.

Johnny Osbourne - Buddy Bye, 1985 Jammy's 7'' (Jamaica)

Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full, (originally 1986 Zakia Records 14B) (standout, My Melody & Eric B is President)

Eric B. & Rakim - Follow The Leader - 01 - Follow The Leader, ©1988 UNI Records CD MCA 6031, 109.3 BPM

Dreamhouse - Jump & Prance, White Label Recordings 1990 (produced by Pal Joey aka Joey Longo)
DMC World DJ Mixing Championships 1995 Finals - Qbert & Mixmaster Mike.avi
DMC World DJ Mixing Championships 1993 Finals - The Dream Team.avi
Deskee - No. 1 Is The Number - 4 - Lost In Groove, ©1990 RCA CD 2429-2-R (Germany) (produced by Westbam) (also track: "Let There Be House")

Street Sounds Electro 01-12 , a series of LP's from the UK which had the best electric funk and early hiphop tracks of the era on them, a very collectable, valuable series. (standouts are too many to name, but a few would be: [B2] - The Fearless Four - Dedication 1985, Imperial Brothers - We Come To Rock, 1983, DJ Born Supreme Allah - Two, Three, Break, 1984)

Intelligent Hoodlum - (self-titled debut), ©1990 A&M CD 75021-5311-2 (standouts: the title track and Arrest the President)

No Rights Given Or Implied, The Original Samplers (album) - 01 - Double Dee & Steinski - Lesson 1 - The Payoff Mix, 1983 Tommy Boy 12''

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - Mecca And The Soul Brother, ©1992 Elektra-Asylum CD 60948 (especially track "06 - Straighten It Out and "Ghetto"

P.M. Dawn - Of The Heart, Of The Soul..., The Utopian Experience, ©August 6, 1991 Gee Street CD

Biz Markie - Goin' Off, February 23, 1988 Cold Chillin' LP 9001 (I always loved "Albee Square Mall") (Biz Markie has released as I recall many relatively wholesome "family friendly" albums, often has been called the Clown Prince of Hip Hop, he is a very unusual figure and playful sound)

Royal House - Can You Party - 06 - Yeah Buddy, ©1988 Champion CHAMP-CD-1017 (UK)


[quote="Chris_McAvoy, post:5, topic:238099"]


As in DJ Qbert????

Served with a side of Tiesto!!

[quote="Charlotte408, post:6, topic:238099"]
As in DJ Qbert????

yes, DJ Qbert.

Tiesto I always thought kind of boring. It's the funk type of basslines that move me. the 4/4 kick is ok, but I take more from the jazz and soul tradition, such as that found in "garage house" music. (Todd Edwards, Masters at Work, Frankie Knuckles, David Morales) To each their own.


Oh well I have never really looked at music that way… 4/4 kick?? :confused:

I just like whatever was best to dance too :smiley:

It’s been so long I can’t even remember all the DJ’s from back then…DJ Dan ? I used to be really into jungle & house… ‘House music all night long’ :smiley:

If your into hip hop, check these white guys out. Language Arts Crew. Mad skills :cool:

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