Christian hip-hop group offers rap alternative

Nick Smith says God spoke to him in prayer in 2003.”The Lord spoke to me in prayer to start a Christian rap group,” Smith says. “He made it clear to me that I was to go after the people who listen to the pretty-boy rappers, and provide them with an alternative that’s not preaching sex, drugs and alcohol, and replacing it with the message of the Gospel.”The result is Mobsters of Light, a six-member, Oklahoma City-based group that plays Saturday at Victory Bible Church, 1942 Mass.The band’s two sets are part of a family outreach event that runs from 1:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. It also will include Christian hip-hop groups Maximum Melody of Kenya and Forty5, also from Oklahoma City.Smith – who goes by the rapper name Hit-Man – admits it usually takes awhile for people to warm up to the idea of Christian hip-hop.!“Whenever people listen to it at first, they don’t realize it’s Christian lyrics,” Smith says. “When they finally listen to it, they’re like, ‘Wow – it’s about God.’ We don’t hide God in our lyrics. We’re up front with it.”(CD Baby has several songs by Mobsters of Light available for listening.)Smith says most fans of Mobsters of Light already listen Christian music.”We want to encourage the ones that are saved,” Smith says, “and put a seed in those who are not saved, and lead them to Lord.”The group has come to realize that it’s tough to break through to a big audience when you’re preaching religion. Its only song to get airplay in Oklahoma City and Tulsa was “On the Grind” – which Smith says has Christian themes but doesn’t mention God or Jesus specifically.”They’re just trying to promote, partying, sex, drugs and beer,” Smith says of most hip-hop stations.The father of two – a former church worship leader who currently is a supervisor for an oxygen-supply company – says it’ll be up to hip-hop artists and their audiences to clean up the music genre’s reputation.”I used to listen to a lot of gangster rap when I was younger,” he admits, “before I gave my heart to God.”_ – Faith Files, which examines issues of faith, spirituality, morals and ethics, is updated by features/faith reporter Terry Rombeck. Have an idea for the blog? Contact Terry at, or 832-7145._ e/m/o/mobstersoflight.jpg