What happened to Christian rock and rap?

If you turn on your local Christian radio station these days, you won’t hear much rock or rap, which are the most popular formats elsewhere.  What you’ll get are  folksy acoustic songs or worship.

Lots of slow, boring and depressing worship music.

You might hear the one occasional “rock” song (more like soft rock) which they will play over and over again for two months so they can check that off their list.  I like Skillet, but playing their one song over and over again isn’t enough.  You will hardly hear any rap or R&B if it’s not by TobyMac.  Even popular Gospel artists like Israel Houghton won’t be found on most Christian radio.


Christian radio is programmed for white, suburban Moms.  The slogan for The Fish is “safe for the whole family.”  (I’ve often said I want to start a Christian radio station that is NOT safe for the whole family, ha ha).  It’s good to not have the foul talk and subject matter of many secular stations but they don’t even play Christian rock or rap.  It’s more vanilla and bland than The Osmonds.

I don’t know what happened.  In the lat 90s there seemed to be good Christian rock bands everywhere.  I know you can find bands online through MySpace or their Facebook pages.  And I had a lot of bands recommended by kids in my youth group that I would have otherwise not heard of.  But even radio show hosts that talk about being edgy in their faith will play songs that sound like they should be played at a funeral.  Everything is sappy, moody and slow.  Record labels and radio stations would have listeners’ attention if they produced and played more music that people other than soccer Moms like.

When I listen to older bands on my iPod, I lament those days.  Note:  I became a Christian in 1997 and missed the “good ole days” of early dc Talk, Stryper, Petra, etc.  Feel free to share about your favorite bands from growing up.  My experience was with the late 90s and early 2000s.

Which ones do you miss?  Who do you like now that we will probably only find on their MySpace page?

Here are some of my favorites.


About Scott Phillips

Topics may include faith, relationships, marriage, being a Dad, movies, whisky & bourbon, beards, career, movies, fall weather, being independent politically, travel and anything random. View all posts by Scott Phillips

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