Christian music has been popular for a while, but the 1970s is when Christian Hip Hop Artists made a big scene in the music industry. Commercially, it was 1985 when the first rap album that was considered gospel was released. Stephen Wiley and the album named Bible Break was the artist with this honor. Reverend Rap or Reverend DeWayne GoLightly was another pioneer, but his music was never released commercially.
David Guzman began a group called the JC and the Boys which began the music careers of T-Bone, The Dynamic Twins, SFC, and MC Peace. They appeared on the 700 Club and TBN which were some of the first live performances of Christian music that was televised.
The later 1980s showed an increase in this type of musician with the legendary group DC Talk. This group not only was inspiring and successful, but they were also business savvy. They formed a record company named Gotee Records in 1994 that was influential in beginning other Christian musicians careers. Toby McKeehan or Toby Mac is one of the founding fathers of DC Talk.
The history of DC Talk began at Liberty University in Virginia where Toby McKeehan and Michael Tait met and began writing songs and singing together. Some time later they had Kevin Max join the group when he left his own secular rock band. Once the three were united, then DC Talk was established. They released five albums which helped to name them as one of them most influential and popular Christian acts of all time.
DC Talk’s success spawned other groups. GRITS was a group that started as DC Talk dancers. Teron Carter and Stacey Jones, originally from Nashville, came up with the group name GRITS because it stood for ‘a grammatical revolution in the spirit’. GRITS was one of the first acts to sign a contact with Gotee Records and one of the first to cross over into mainstream music along with the Christian music stations.
The Gospel Gangstaz are another interesting group in this genre. This group was formed by four members from Compton and South Central in Los Angeles. The interesting part about this group is that they are former members of Crips and Bloods gangs. Having been transformed by Jesus they are able to go into the dark parts of their city to shine his light.
Kirk Franklin is another popular artist from today. He now is a solo artist, but in 1992 he began his music career with his group Kirk Franklin and the Family. He has been featured on many Christian artists albums and songs. Read more about: christian hip hop artists.