Zimbabwe: Preaching Gospel Through Hip-Hop

Published On May 10, 2013 | By Greg | News, Zimbabwe

christhood-300x336While combining gospel music with fashion is not an entirely new concept, there are negative connotations which follow fashion and these are mainly associated with indecent forms of dressing and immorality.

Speaking in an interview, group member and rapper Brythreensixty (real name Brighton Wiseman), who is 24, said his group, apart from music, run a clothing line which they used as part of their music brand.

“Christhood is not only about music, but we are also into designer fashion labels. Every member of our group has his own designer label and a group label.

“We believe there is a connection between music and fashion, especially hip-hop music. Most rappers have their own fashion labels., said Brythreensixty.

Among the fashion labels of members of this group include SR (Scorpel) ML (Mashlasy), Brythreesixty and Christhood which is a group label.

“A fashion label strengthens your music brand, and it gives your group identity. We started rapping in 2010 and the idea of designer fashion labels began as just a concept on paper. So me and my friends we drafted our ideas on paper and this year the fashion labels began to be printed,” he said.

Commenting on the general acceptance of hip-hop gospel in Zimbabwe, Brythreensixty said hip-hop gospel was largely misunderstood because of the association of hip-hop music with social ills such as sex, drugs, alcohol and other forms of crime.

He added that hip-hop gospel captured the interest of young believers and that many people had little understanding of what God intended to achieve through hip-hop.

“Many souls are bound by secular hip-hop. It’s commonly used to market sex and drugs, guns and alcohol. So God is using hip-hop gospel to clean up all these perverse practices, attitudes and behaviours associated with hip-hop music in order to save sinners,” he said.

Commenting on how they started, Brythreesixty said he and two members of his group, namely El Deeper, real name Ngoni Last Mashayamombe and Scorpelrollz aka Elliot Ngaisosaid it all started in 2010 when they met at their Celebration Church in Chitungwiza and agreed to form a hip-hop gospel group.

“I was only into freestyle rap for fun. El deeper was the one who suggested that we could form a clique, or a crew. So when we formed our group and named it Christhood,” he said

He said the name Christhood stemmed from the fact that they came from the streets of Chitungwiza and represented Christ through their music.

“We came from the street and streets are called a hood in slang. We are also Christians so we thought of coming up with a name that represented where we came from and our faith. That’s why we named ourselves Christhood. In other words, we are preaching Christ in the hood,” he said.

He said initially they produced singles or “mixtapes” which they distributed in the streets among their peers and other members of the community.

Their breakthrough in music came in 2012 when they released their debut album titled “Love Letters”, which featured songs such as “Get Up” and “All for Love”.

Their second 10-track album released this year, titled “Fresh Manna”, carries tracks such as “Pray”, “Fresh Manna” and “Red Rose”.

Brythreesixty also said his group’s music featured prominently on the local music charts especially their song “Get Up” which occupied third position last year on Power FM’s Breakfast Inspiration Top 50 Gospel song of the year. They were also nominees in the Zim Hip-Hop Awards held last year.

He added that their music enjoyed considerable airplay on international radio stations which included Holyculture Radio (USA), The Hype Radio (US) and 1Africa Radio (SA).

“Without compromise, we take God’s word and make it applicable to a generation that’s in dire need of saving,” reads a statement on the group’s biography.

(from The Herald / Zimbabwe)