Love it or hate it, Trap Gospel is a thing. I for one LOVE it. I’m a big music fan (who isn’t, really?) but particularly gospel, soul, r&b, and anything with really phenomenal vocal arrangements. I’m also a fan of whippin’ work in my head with Migos or Gucci Mane is in my ears while I run analyses at my daytime gig. I mean, I’m whippin’ work in my head when I’m listening to trap gospel too, THE WORK OF THE LORDT! Don’t judge me, you’ll love these too. These are just my personal top of the tops, so don’t be mad if your fave isn’t here.
1. Church Clothes [Tweet This]
Album: Church Clothes
“RIP to Medgar Evers, RIP to Doctor King. I ain’t tryna hate on my own kind, but Al and Jesse don’t speak for me.“
“Straight or gay, drunk or high, they walk through the cold weather with you. No we don’t wanna see that, cuz that might mean a life change. That might mean I’m worth more than money, cars, sex and pipe dreams. Better not be no real Jesus, real forgiveness, for hurt folks. If God gon take me as I am I guess I already got on my church clothes.”
Why I love this song: YOOOOOO ‘Crae goes so hard on this joint, telling all the church business from a perspective that’s been silenced too long. I love every line in this song and rap along with it with the passion of a NY battle rapper while I’m in my fuel efficient car driving to suburbia. Don’t come for my edges, let me prosper with my imagined rap life.
2. I Luhh God [Tweet This]
Artist: Erica Campbell
Favorite Lines: n/a
Why I love this song: Do I really need a reason? YOU ON LUHH DIS SONG, WHATS WRAWNG WITCHUUUU?
3. SavedSexySanctified [Tweet This]
Artist: Tonex/Nureau Ink (currently known as B. Slade)
Album: SavedSexySanctified (1998)
“In my conversation, you know the deal. I know who I am in God and that is real. Just because I’m saved don’t mean I have to forfeit my sex appeal.“
Why I love this song: Okay, I know this is technically not a trap song BUT you cannot deny that this is totally off the beaten path of gospel music just like trap gospel, right? I heard this cut many, many moons ago (think early 2000s) and have loved it soon. First of all, there’s not much room to go wrong when choosing a Tonex or B. Slade (same person, different brand) cut. I love this one in particular because it’s pioneering in its address of acknowledging that one’s sex appeal is not in conflict with salvation. It hasn’t been done since and is still, quite possibly, ahead of its time. I personally love it because it’s a feel-good song that boosts my confidence as a woman and person of faith. Heeeeeyyyy
4. Sinners (Saved by Grace) [Tweet This]
Artist: Deitrick Haddon
“I’ve been a saint, I been a sinner. I’ve been a good boy, I’ve been a n**ga. Son of a preacher, you go and figure: I did all my wrong as a believer…judging someone is like pulling the trigger: you kill ’em before they can meet the redeemer.“
Why I love this song: Because Deitrick only told on himself and was still pouring so much hot tea in my cup with all this truth! And that beat is fyeeeee.
5. Superfriend [Tweet This]
Artist: Mary Mary feat. David Banner
“The devil’s scared to fight us in the light, he hides in the midst of religion. But I know that my God is listening, there for me, there’s a greater mission.“
Why I love this song: My favorite part of this song is actually David Banner. Not only is he fine as all outdoors (hey boo), I loved the transparency in his verse. He snuck a couple lines in there that you actually have to think of outside of the context of religiosity. Some folks weren’t ready for it which only makes me love it even more.
6. Repin’ My God [Tweet This]
Artist: Kierra Sheard feat. Canton Jones
“Who said that I can’t dream bigger? And have Christ that comes with swagger? Not of the world, but yet I’m in it. Sick of the boxes that they try to put us. There’s more to it, going places but I’m far from the basic traditions. It’s more about relation and where my heart stands with God.“
Why I love this song: Honestly, I love just about anything Kierra puts out that her brother produces. I love this song because she takes a bold stance against the box that tradition and family heritage has placed her life in. It’s a relatable song that many young Christians can relate to: the balance of faith and human experience. (Bonus Kierra Sheard trap gospel favorites include Balm (Interlude) and You Don’t Like What You See (Interlude) from the Graceland album)
7. Know That’s Right [Tweet This]
Artist: Andy Mineo
“First off, rap lied to us. Y’all ain’t figured that yet? They got the whole world tryna ball out. How you ball so hard but you still got debt? I don’t respect anybody that’s trying to flex. Y’all lookin’ the weakest, cause I was with a billionaire last week and the boy had Payless sneakers on.“
Why I love this song: I actually listened to Andy’s second album, Unbreakable, on a whim suggestion from Google Play. I was not disappointed. The beat is fye and I love the lyrics. Also, I love Andy’s self-awareness of his privilege as a white-identified person of color. In the album, he addresses how he was taught the whiteness of Jesus and denial of privilege and prejudice against people of color. In other words, he’s not just spreading the gospel but remembering to address very real social issues.