Why Religion Is Inspiring Rap

The Guardian analyzes: ‘The video for Kendrick Lamar’s latest single, Humble, opens with the seven-time Grammy winner bedecked in papal robes. Later he pontificates about his supremacy in a scene reminiscent of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. It is not the only rap imagery inspired by the 15th-century painting to be released this year; the cover of Stormzy’s February

debut Gang Signs & Prayer sees the Croydon MC hovering over another ominous feast, his fellow diners’ faces hidden behind balaclavas. Meanwhile, Freddie Gibbs’s latest record, You Only Live 2wice, hammers home the implications of its title with a painting depicting the Indiana rapper as a Christ-like figure, floating above his camera phone-wielding followers. On one level, Kendrick and co are positioning themselves as modern-day deities – a stance that aligns neatly with society’s belated recognition of rappers as cultural giants. Yet the slew of religious imagery in modern hip-hop goes beyond bravado.’

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