Urban contemporary music in today’s Church

file[/caption] There is an undercurrent flowing through the river of our church culture that has not yet received much coverage. The undercurrent is the integration of urban music into modern praise and worship. A short video of a praise and worship session at the Royal House Chapel International, World Movers’ Generation service, which has flooded or taken center stage on our social media platforms in the country depicts this kind of urban music. Pastor Nana Yaw a songwriter and the fore bearer, of the praise and worship ministry, has given DJ Khalid’s 2010 hit song “All I Do Is Win” a unique but spiritual affirmation. The song composed in anticipation of the upcoming World Movers’ Generation (WMG) conference  at legon, themed, “I change my language”, which is scheduled to run from the 27th through to the 30th of July, 2017 has got a lot of people talking. Is urban music becoming an integral part of Ghana’s music history? Are our churches adopting wrongly especially when they take bits and pieces from the secular music out there in as much as they make changes to suit the gospel trend? Or, are they not being creative enough with their craft? These are but a few of the many questions on the minds of gospel music lovers. But urban contemporary music to many is a modern form of Christian music that expresses either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life giving alternatives to mainstream secular music. This then transcends to say that, rhythms, beats and sound really are irrelevant rather the lyrics that make the song which mostly takes on a religious subject is most important. The lyrics very often have an explicitly Christian nature, although “inspirational” songs feature lyrics that can be construed as secular in meaning.

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With the tempo faster, emphasis on the performer and an emotional connection to the audience and a highly valued lyrical content, I get where most eyebrows will be raised against the new Christian hip hop. But would you say it boils down to the soloist, intentions which are mostly defined by personal testimonies and communal experiences or a farsighted belief in the faith they partake and represent? The likes of Kirk Franklin, Donnie Mcclurkin, Yolanda Adams have featured “sizzling beats and bass- heavy” contemporary accompaniment. Akesse Brempong, Cwesi Oteng, Chosen Yesuba and preachers are equally in that trail and have, if not, gained an appreciable level of recognition. It so happens that, a lot more people identify and are pleased with this new craze, or would you say, they haven’t enough option to choose from, maybe  a typical depiction of the father-son bond that the word of God elaborates and a realization of the position a Christian hold defines their way of expression. All the same its praise and thanks giving, praise and worship that the almighty deserves and to that, there are no boundaries if you should say. Your relationship with GOD will definitely come to play when addressing him. As it is best said of us not to judge. By Sonia Moffatt Email: [email protected]]]>