#Meek Mill_Thumbnail

Four Cases of Influential Church Figures Voicing Against Hip-Hop


It seems the dispute between church and hip-hop is never ending. Just recently, MMG artist Meek Mill received a scolding from a local Philadelphia pastor Jomo K. Johnson, who criticized the rapper’s newest single “Amen.” The pastor embarked on a full-fledged campaign against the Drake-assisted hit, riling up supporters from the streets, unleashing a diss record, and even arguing with Meek Mill on the radio.

While Meek's situation is noteworthy, the battle between the holier than thou and the hoes and cars have been going on for years. XXL looks back at some of the most memorable clashes. —Camylle Rita Dooley

Pastor Calvin O. Butts Attempts to Run a Steamroller Over Boxes of Rap Recordings


In 1993, pastor Calvin O. Butts of the influential Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem, delivered a speech against what he deemed as “negative” rap music. O. Butts stated, “If the rappers think that they can raise the standards of their music and unite with our community for our redemption, then we are willing to hear. But I want you to know that we will not stand for vile, ugly, low, abusive, and rough music.” His attempt at steamrolling boxes of rap CDs were halted as rap fans decried the pastor. Nevertheless, what could-have-been a symbolic protest against rap music received national media coverage. Eventually, O. Butts settled on dumping cartons of “offensive” records on the doorstep of Sony Music in Manhattan, criticizing corporate moneymakers for distributing offensive music targeting the youths.


Minister G. Craige Lewis Castigates Hip-Hop, While Christian Rapper Lecrae Defends the Genre

G. Craige Lewis

On March, Ex Ministries founder and creator of the DVD The Truth Behind Hip Hop, G. Craige Lewis, and popular Christian rap star, Lecrae Moore, engaged in a heated Twitter dispute. Lewis, who teaches that hip-hop is demonic, suggested that Christians shouldn’t embrace it at all. To Lecrae, Lewis tweeted, “Because you publicly defended hip hop, we must publicly defend Christ against it…you have yet to denounce the founders of hip hop”. Lecrae snapped back tweeting, “Hip-hop has no founders. It has prominent figures, as does any culture. The prominent historic figures were very likely Satanic but they don't account for what God intends and calls good. 1 Tim 4:4.” Despite getting owned by Lecrae, G. Graige Lewis (who has somewhat of a rapper-sounding name) continues to bash secular music of all genres.

Pastor Jomo K. Johnson Calls for a Boycott of Meek Mill’s “Amen”


Philadelphia pastor Jomo K. Johnson scolded Meek Mill for his Drake-assisted single “Amen,” off his Dreamchaser 2. Johnson claims, “I have respect for Meek Mill as an artist and fellow Philadelphia native. North Philadelphia is a highly religious community [with] Christian[s] and Muslim[s]. And for him to make a song like this is disrespect to every believer in Christ…I want him to know, that if he comes back to Philly to perform…[my church] will be there to meet him and hold him accountable. Christ is a forgiving Lord, but he will not be mocked. And neither will his Church.” Can we get a hallelujah?