Leonard Cohen's ballad "Hallelujah" is one of modern music’s most-covered and reinvented songs, and this version, from a cappella group Pentatonix is the latest stellar addition to the pop catalog. The tune is one of several new covers featured on A Pentatonix Christmas.
Cohen’s classic song is steeped in biblical references, poetic musings about love and loss and has one of the most haunting choruses in rock ’n roll. Discuss
Hip-hop star Chance the Rapper has just released new music video for his song “How Great" from his Coloring Book mixtape, based on the Chris Tomlin worship hit “How Great Is Our God.” The video opens with a women’s choir, and then transitions into a worship hip-hop remix.
The Chicago rapper is known for his spiritually-inspired music that often deals with Christian themes.
The video is meant to be watched on mobile devices (so if you’re on a desktop it will be sideways), but it’s a powerful song, and another interesting turn for Chance. Discuss
The two-time Grammy-winning rapper, who recently appeared on the cover of RELEVANT, published a testimony of sorts over at Huffington Post. Lecrae writes, clearly from a place of exasperation with American (Christian) culture, about why he outspokenly mission the black lives matter movement.
He explains how, since about 2012—when he shifted his art from a preachier, almost didactic posture to a more reflective, emotionally place—he’s had to constantly defended himself. He says that following the killing of Michael Brown in 2014, he’s received even more pushback.
You can’t miss the exasperation with which he writes:
I was once told you shouldn’t waste time explaining yourself to people bent on misunderstanding you. So, I won’t anymore. I can’t anymore. I’m a mess ...
As I shared my heart, my supporters turned on me even more—fans and friends. There was no empathy. Though some comments were just evil and hurtful, others were steeped in ignorance and lack of perspective. They didn’t get it.
Lecrae also expresses his support for the mission of Black Live Matter:
[Black Lives Matter] encapsulates our societal woes as a people. I don’t condone violence or rioting for which BLM is so often blamed, and I don’t believe these isolated acts express the values of the BLM organization or the sentiment either. Yet, some people still think we are just “whining about the past.” But we’re not. We are trying to expose how the past has affected the present and threatens the future.
In the end, Lecrae explains that when he’s found himself at these low points, it’s the teaching of Jesus that challenges him to move forward: "I am disturbed at the supremacy and disparities that still exist. And what’s ironic is that I’m so bothered because Jesus actually challenges me to not only care for the souls of all humanity, but to feed the hungry, aid the sick, regard the stranger, visit the prisoner, and love my neighbor in tangible ways."
He concludes: “I’m working on me. Well, God is. And as He is, I hope for grace and mercy and prayers from all those who really care.”
You can—and should—read the whole testimony here. Discuss
Songs from one of the most important eras of modern music may soon be re-released. As part of his “Bootleg” series of live, previously unreleased recordings, Bob Dylan is reportedly planning on releasing a collection of songs from his gospel era. Between 1979 and 1981, the legendary singer/songwriter released songs inspired by faith.
In the late ‘70s, Dylan famously converted to Christianity, and began writing religious songs. Many of the songs on the albums Slow Train Coming and Saved have deeply Christian themes with titles like “In the Garden,” “Solid Rock,” “Precious Angel” and "Gotta Serve Somebody.”
In “Saving Grace,” he sings,
Well, the death of life, then come the resurrection / Wherever I am welcome is where I’ll be / I put all my confidence in Him, my sole protection / Is the saving grace that’s over me
The wicked know no peace and you just can’t fake it / There’s only one road and it leads to Calvary / It gets discouraging at times, but I know I’ll make it / By the saving grace that’s over me.
As a source explained to Rolling Stone, “The gospel is a lot of stuff that people ignored. Bob continued to tweak the gospel stuff on the road for a couple of years. It kept mutating." Discuss
This week, we talk with musician Chris Thile, the Nickel Creek member who’s taking the reins of the iconic public radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" this weekend. We discuss what it’s like filling the shoes left by Garrison Keillor, why he thinks Radiohead would be a great fit on the show and how the weekly broadcast is like a church service. We also meet two new members of the RELEVANT team, have a special sequel to the Town Hall debate (The Reckoning!), see what Nic Cage is up to, discuss the possibility of aliens and a lot more! Read More