Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”

From his 2015 masterpiece To Pimp A Butterfly comes this truly stunning music video.

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Mark DeYoung – “11/24 (RIP Michael Brown)”

Written on the night it was announced that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. I finally got a chance to make something of it…

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Ras Kass & Apollo Brown – “How to Kill God”

From the producer-MC duo’s 2014 release Blasphemy this jam hits hard and heavy. The song and the album may seem to be idolatrous and provocative and that is fully intended; but if you listen closely there’s much much more going on. Ask yourself, is it really Ras Kass who is killing God? Is it he who is being idolatrous or rather is he the one exposing the idolatry and hypocrisy that is already rampant in the history of white Christendom, Zionist Judaism and jihaddist Islam?

The following snippet of lyrics is revealing:

Exodus, chapter 20, verse 3

Thou shalt have no other gods before me

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

But worship a white man on the cross, put your faith in it?

I’m not anti-Christ

Not anti-Islamic, anti-Semite


Razzy be like Neo in The Matrix

They made us slaves and changed our names

Now it’s our lineage they tryin’ to claim

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Free Online Course: Religion & Hip Hop with rapper Bun B and Dr. Anthony B. Pinn. Register Now!

Religion and Hip Hop Culture

This course explores Hip Hop culture’s religious dimensions through its musical language-rap music.

About this Course

What is religion? What is Hip-Hop? Are they the same thing? Do they overlap? Over six weeks we’ll get a sense of how some individuals answer these questions, and you’ll get the tools you need to explore these questions for yourselves.

We will start our time together with some basic assumptions, the most important being a willingness to think about Hip Hop and religion as cultures that wrestle with the huge questions of our existence:  Who are we?  Why are we?  Where are we? You will also need to be open to the possibility of Hip Hop as a language through which these complex and religious questions are presented, explored, and interpreted.

As this course unfolds, we’ll look closely into the relationship between Hip Hop culture and religion. We will explore the ways in which Hip Hop culture discusses and provides life meaning in complex ways through  (1) a discussion of the history and content of rap music; (2) an examination of religion in rap music; (3) an exploration of the religious sensibilities of rap artists; and (4) a discussion of the implications of the connection between rap and religion.

We will accomplish this through a unique mix of videos, readings, music, images, stories and behind-the scenes insider perspectives.

All required readings are available within the courseware and complete texts are also available for purchase.

Join this course to enhance your understanding of the intersections between religion and Hip Hop culture in the United States. No prior knowledge is required. All lectures will be in English.

Before your course starts, try the new edX Demo where you can explore the fun, interactive learning environment and virtual labs. Learn more.


Pursue a Verified Certificate

Plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, career advancement, or school applications? Then work toward a Verified Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment. A minimum fee applies.


Audit This Course

Audit this course for free and have complete access to all the course material, activities, tests, and forums. If your work is satisfactory and you abide by the Honor Code, you’ll receive a personalized Honor Code Certificate to showcase your achievement.

Watch the Course Intro Video

Course Code:RELI157x
Classes Start:24 Mar 2015
Course Length:6 weeks
Estimated effort:2 – 5 hours per week



  • Anthony Pinn

    Anthony Pinn

    Anthony Pinn is Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University, where he is also the founding director of the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning.  Pinn is also the director of research for the Institute for Humanist Studies, a Washington DC think tank.  His interests include the intersections of popular culture and religious identity and non-theistic trends in American public life.  He is the author/editor of over thirty books including, Noise and Spirit:  The Religious and Spiritual Sensibilities of Rap Music (2003) and The Hip Hop and Religion Reader (2014).
  • Bernard “Bun B” Freeman

    Bernard Freeman

    Bernard “Bun B” Freeman, better known by his stage name Bun B who rose to fame in the influential rap duo UGK, has won numerous awards and has been nominated for a Grammy. Bun B has also been featured on albums with several other notable artists. His most notable guest appearances were on the Jay- Z hit single “Big Pimpin” and Beyonce’s chart-topper “Check On It.”. Bun B’s solo projects include, Trill (which opened at #6 on the Billboard Hot 200, and also peaked at #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart) and Trill O.G.,which was released in 2010.
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