Subculture?

Originally posted on my MySpace blog.

I’m always excited when I hear a Christian artist getting some radio play on a secular station. I was especially excited on my way to work this morning though because I hear two underground Christian artists getting some play on my favorite radio station, 90.3 WUTK, the University of Tennessee’s college radio station. College radio is great because you never know what you’ll hear. They’re willing to take risk and play stuff you’re definitely never going to hear on top 40 corporate radio.

When I flipped over to the station, I heard a hip hop song that I thought was pretty awesome and then midway through the song the guy gave shout outs to Deepspace5 and Lightheaded. I love these groups, soI called the station and found out the song was by Ohmega Watts, a member of the Lightheaded crew that I just discovered a few weeks ago. A couple of songs later, I heard the unmistakable sound of Danielson. If you’ve never experienced the Danielson Famile, well, it’s definitely an experience. To hear such great music by Christian artists stuck in next to a song with the F-bomb bleeped out at least once every 30 seconds was a pretty cool experience. Maybe someone hears that song and, just like me, calls to find out who the artist is. Maybe that artist then influences their life in someway through the message of the music. That’s what Christian music should be all about. Listen to good Christian artists. Listen to college radio (and don’t let corporate radio tell you what songs you should like.) Request good Christian music on their request line.

Anyway, all this to say, these artists wouldn’t be getting any play if they weren’t putting out music that’s up to par with what secular artists are putting out. Christian music has come a long way since I was in highschool. I remember when dcTalk released Supernatural on Forefront (Christian label) and Virgin (secular label) at the same time. The way some people talked about it, you would have thought they’d made a deal with Satan. But, the music got out into the secular world. “Just Between You and Me” got a lot of play and paved the way for Mercy Me to hit the top of the secular chart with a praise song. People were slow dancing at their high school proms to a song about heaven and what it will be like to be face to face with the One who created us. It blows me away.

As Christians, we’re called to do everything for the glory of God. To me, that means that we should strive to be excellent in all that we do, including making music. The stereotype is that Christian music is usually just a crappy knock-off what’s popular, but some really unique, excellent artists are changing that perception. I love it. We’re also called to be salt and light in a dark world. Christian artists on the college station is pretty dang salty.