Thursday, May 10, 2012

Review: "Hip Hop Redemption" by Watkins

Admittedly at first glance at the title of this book I had two very different reactions almost simultaneously. The first was from my present as youth pastor and other was from my past as a teen listening to secular hip hop and rap.  Either way I was intrigued and ready for the content of this book.

The book tells the author’s personal story of becoming a fan of hip hop as an adult, explains the history of true hip hop with connection to its blues roots, and makes a case for the theology and redemptive qualities of hip hop.  The first half of the book sets the stage well for “the what” of hip hop leading to the second half presenting “the why & how”.

Dr. Watkins has done his research and addresses the topic personally and intellectually. He tackles the normal concerns of the American church and its reactionary views to the music, the lifestyle, and the scene. His rationale and defense is well thought, while I admit I may not agree at every point.  I however appreciate and love this raw & real book. With so much of rap and hip hop culture influencing our students no matter your context, this is a true resource.    It may not be a book you hand to a student or parent, but it is a book that should be read by any youth pastor seeking to be more culturally aware and informed. 

Check out more at BAKER BOOKS

A little bonus video about "discipleship's hip hop face ...