Re: Kirk Franklin
First off, please know that this piece is not an attack on Kirk Franklin’s character, career or something directed to him personally in a malicious way. This is simply constructive criticism and a response to words he said.
Kirk Franklin whom is a widely recognized gospel artist had the pleasure to be interviewed by Rapzilla.com, a christian hip hop online magazine. In a short clip in 2011, Kirk Franklin stated that the production quality should match the hip hop genre as a whole to the likeness of a Jay-Z or Wacka Flocka. In a recent clip by Rapzilla, Kirk stated that the production can still improve but should be more fearless.
As a fan of the genre, on a surface level, I would have to agree with Mr. Franklin’s statements. I would say 60% of the genre is comprised of beats that have loud thumping 808’s, hi hats going a thousand miles per hour and hooks including auto-tune. The other 40% is the rest of the genre trying to do something different including production. However, to say or imply that the production hasn’t improved or has not seen any growth is a great discourtesy. Here are 10 christian hip hop albums (Past/Present) that have pushed the production envelope, displayed an incredible quality of music in a daring way or have matched the hip hop genre as a whole…
(In no Particular Order)
1)Rhema Soul-Fingerprints (2010)
2)D-Maub-The Missing Piece (2013)
3)Swoope-Wake Up (2012)
4)Mark J-An Everyday World (2009)
5)Derek Minor-Minorville (2014)
6)Tragic Hero-My Own Worst Enemy (2015)
7)Taelor Gray-The Mocker and the Monarch (2015)
8)Theory Hazit-Thr3e (2012)
9)Beleaf-Red Pills + Black Sugar (2014)
10)Da’ T.R.U.T.H.-The Faith (2005)
…If were looking at straight beats, I believe these albums can go head to head with anything in the genre as a whole. I also believe that we have an array of incredible producers on the front line within the christian hip hop genre pushing the envelope and displaying excellence and creativity! A question I pose is…in this climate of click, drag, drop, microwave kind of society and or audience…do we take the time to seek music? What the listener likes is what they like…to examine the quality of what they like is subjective or up for debate. Another question I pose is…quality production is out there…do the artists want to exercise what they have to do to get that quality?
The consumer logic is the cheaper the better (for my wallet) and that may be reflected in the quality of the product. Applying that to the many individuals out there who work in this field providing certain services could be a result of what we see in the genre for quality. That is a bigger issue but is quite relevant but it is not to say that quality isn’t out there! Every year, we have albums that deliver DOPE BEATS and GOOD NEWS!