Self-professed “hip-hop theologian” Sho Baraka recently released his new album, The Narrative, and says his desire to speak out on the nation’s political climate as an African-American Christian has caused a great stir.
The 14-track project was released on Oct. 21 and is an eclectic hip-hop album loaded with a heavy influences from jazz and soul.
The Narrative “addresses hot topics including social consciousness, issues people encounter in everyday life and the struggles we all face as humans,” according to the album’s description. The Canadian-born artist also shows a softer side in this album, with songs about being a father and the challenges that come with raising children, two of whom are autistic.
Baraka’s public opposition to both nominees for president in the 2016 elections, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, made headlines earlier this year. “As an African-American, I’m marginalized by the lack of compassion on the Right. As a Christian, I’m ostracized by the secularism of the Left,” he wrote in an op-ed in Christianity Today.
But now that the election is over and President-elect Trump has won, the Christian emcee is hopeful that his own positive message will help lead a generation to seek truth in God.
The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Baraka in which he talks about the powerful message behind his album and the negative affect political correctness has had on the U.S.
CP: Can you share your testimony with us?
Baraka: I grew up in a loving household that taught me how to respect others and love God. We were not a Christian household by any Orthodox standards. I grew up having great awareness of who I was in regards to racial identity and socio-economic status. This caused me great frustration until I was about 19 years old at Tuskegee University. My brother became a Christian along with my father and they shared the Gospel with me on occasion.
My sophomore year I went to a Christmas conference in Atlanta called “Impact.” I was exposed to the message of Christ in a way that was never communicated to me before. I understood my personal responsibility in putting Christ on the cross and the implications of how the Gospel impacts every area of life. It informs my identity as a human, as an artist, and as a citizen of this country.
CP: What is your heart behind your latest album, ‘The Narrative’?
Baraka: I wanted to create a project that told a sophisticated but complex story about identity. I wanted to create an album that spoke all the musical languages I loved. I wanted it to live in all the diverse neighborhoods I’ve lived in. I wanted it to speak to all my friends. I wanted to create a story that would address America’s history, successes, and problems while pointing to a hopeful resolution. I wanted it to be told from the perspective of an “Everyman” point of view.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post