The urban beats and mainstream melodies of gospel music seem to catch the attention of the younger generation. Since the early 1990s after Kirk Franklin’s “Stomp,” gospel artists have been adding rap and up-tempo beats into their music.
Many artists, like Grammy Award winner Mary Mary and platinum-selling artist Yolanda Adams, have incorporated this new style of gospel into their music.
“Back in the James Cleveland era, traditional gospel was based on hymns,” said Claudine Boussicaut, minister of music at Ray of Hope United Methodist Church. “Now it has a more rhythmic feel to it.”
Some gospel music has moved away from the traditionl that the older generation listened to, said Pastor Brian Mc Fadden of Ray of Hope United Methodist Church.
“To me, the message in gospel music remains the same. The only thing that has changed is the tempo and its beat.”
Now, gospel music is a blend of R &B, reggae, hip-hop and a whole lot of soul.
The younger generation can now relate more to gospel because of its connection with the same music that they hear on an everyday basis.
“Gospel music keeps me from doing wrong. It’s a stress reliever,” said Latoya Chin, a 19-year-old school of education student.
“It keeps me thinking of the Lord at all times. I can also relate to it.”
Even the music videos produced by several gospel artists are premiering on BET’s video show, “106 & Park.”
This show is geared toward the younger generation. Obviously up and coming artists are realizing that there is another market that’s listening to them.
“The craziest thing that happened to me is that I was in a club one day and they played Mary Mary,” said Heather Banks, a 21- year-old business student from Miami.
“That was so funny to me because sooner or later gospel music is going to take over the club scene too.”
There’s plenty of evidence that there is a relationship between gospel and Hip-Hop. Especially when very successful artist, Kirk Franklin is often introduced as the “P. Diddy of Gospel”.