Hip Hop is a unique form of music developed in US by inner-city African and Latino youths who were bringing up listening to rap music. Rap music is often characterized by a repetitive drum beat, which is then introduced by a singer usually rapping in a low voice about something like “rave mans” or “bodied by the moon”. Rap songs are often sung by teenagers who feel they have a hit song and they can make a lot of money from recording it. The beats are made using samples from a wide range of popular songs that are commonly played at rap jam sessions but they can also be made from recordings of underground music that cannot get played on mainstream radio stations.
The popularity of rap music has led to its being used in a wide variety of settings both in the public and private congregations. One of the most obvious places where hip hop is a popular presence is in the church, especially in a young adult and teenage setting.
A recent study by the Howard Hughes Medical Center found that hip-hop songs played at a church service was a more effective way in which to draw people into a church because it was “an upbeat and rhythmic introduction to spiritual conversation with peers”.
It should not be forgotten that the bible itself contains references to music is often used as part of the ceremony in both Jewish and Christianity. The hymn “Ode to Mary”, which is one of the most popular songs in Christian worship, speaks of the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, and she is described as a temple built by her son Joseph. In the gospel story, Matthew refers to Jesus’ mother, Mary, as a temple built by her son. The music of this hymn, “Ode to Mary”, by The Beatles has been used at least fifty times at church services and is still a popular and traditional gospel tune used at most Catholic and Protestant services.
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