Propaganda: An Indigenous Missionary

The body of Christ is an organism of diverse parts that all play a significant role in giving God the glory he deserves. All members of the body are used by the Father, but some fall under the radar due to being misunderstood or neglected. Historically, urban brothers and sisters in Christ have sometimes been underappreciated or not celebrated in Christendom, but things have slowly but surely been changing.

One of the most influential cultures in our world is undeniably that of hip-hop. Today, hip-hop has a significant platform in the Christian community. Commercials, radio, TV and movies all cater to the interests of those who are a part of the growing demographic. Hip-hop is a culture that affects lingo, wardrobe and more. It has four major elements – emceeing/rapping, deejaying, breakdancing and graffiti art.

Positive roots
The grass roots movement was birthed in the late 70’s and was initially led by pioneers like Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc, Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow and others. These inner city icons would spark the culture, but the purpose behind why hip-hop came into existence has at some point become less relevant to mainstream media.
Originally, those involved were disenfranchised youth that found an avenue to express themselves in a positive way. They used hip-hop instead of violence to express their frustrations. Most of the first released records were party songs or had an encouraging message. Hip-hop started off as a movement that was, for the most part, positive. As urban art became extremely popular, it was exploited for financial gain. Most of the songs you hear on the radio now glorify sex, money and drugs, but that seems to be changing.

Redeeming the genre
Despite the negatives that have arisen from the expanded exposure, there are many who maintain a platform and refuse to compromise their morals. Positive lyricism is making a strong return to the forefront and many of the emcees are believers in Christ. These faith-based urban poets have recently impacted their genre at levels never seen before. Some disagree with the approach, and some love it, but the fact remains that authentic followers of Christ are infiltrating society with truth. One of those brave souls is a poetic mastermind that goes by the name of Jason Petty, aka Propaganda. He is both authentically Christian and authentically hip-hop. Some might call him an indigenous missionary to the hip-hop culture.

Propaganda is a writer, poet and emcee from California that has been creating quality music for over a decade. He has been quite successful through his time as a battle rapper, contributing to mega crew Tunnel Rats and associating with well-known labels like Syntax Records and Humble Beast. His resume includes rocking stages alongside heavyweights like De La Soul, The Visionaries, Lightheaded, Ahmad & 4th Avenue Jones, LA Symphony, The Pharcyde, Lecrae (Reach Records) and the legendary KRS ONE. Propaganda just wrapped up the Unashamed Tour, a national concert that included award-winning rappers Lecrae and Trip Lee.

A unique emcee
But Petty’s sound is not the status quo. He uses eclectic backdrops that are not the norm. Lyrically, Petty is on another level and his poetry incorporates all of the literary elements that constitute a quality piece. As an underground emcee, he has been able to impact people who have never stepped into a church building with the gospel. His music is faith-based, but has the potential to relate to anyone. He has an uncanny ability to shine light in places many believers would not be able to. Recently his brand has developed a bigger audience. His poem “G.O.S.P.E.L” has gone viral on YouTube. His album Excellent moved 27,000 units in week one, charted #4 on the iTunes Hip-Hop Chart and even cracked the Billboard Top 200. What makes the success of the Excellent project intriguing is that no one had to buy it. Excellent was a free album but it still sold thousands. The music that Propaganda has been releasing is so good that people are willing to spend money on something that is available for free! On the album he deals with topics that are controversial like God, manhood and racism. Propaganda knows how to express how he feels and he executes the process with excellence (no pun intended!). His label, Humble Beast, has been promoting several artists that bring a similar style to the table like Braille, Theory Hazit, Odd Thomas, Courtland Urbano and more.

Artists like Propaganda are conveying the message of Christ in a way that is relevant to today’s culture, and are sharing the gospel with people that a mainstream ministry can never reach. Download Excellent today, and check out Propaganda’s excellence for yourself.

For more information on Propaganda visit HumbleBeast.com.

Paul Martinez can be reached at [email protected]

Tags:

Leave a Reply