Hip Hop from the Heart
Christian Rapper HillaryJane Transforms Genre
By Sarah Komisky
While the hip-hop culture has sometimes been known for glorifying the negatives of suburban life, demeaning women, or celebrating rebellious attitudes, female Christian artist HillaryJane is seeking to change the unhealthy stigma with her music. Submerged in the culture early on and launching her career as a rapper with a friend’s mixtape, Jane’s musical transformation began with a heart transformation. Desiring to use her talents for the Lord, she became adamant about making music that would build up verses tear down.
“We need Christ to shine through any and every avenue we can to reach people. This (hip-hop) is a great avenue with plenty of listeners,” explains Jane. “When I put the mic down and I’m doing interviews or just talking with people- whether that be other artists, fans, or non believers, I’m not afraid to touch on deep or hard issues pertaining to the Word of God. Music is a great way to share truth but its my means not my ends – its how I get to people to listen.”
A good alternative to Niki Minaj, Jessie J, Rihanna, and Janelle Monae, Jane is able to bridge genres with her EP’s Stix and Stones and Stix and Stones Unplugged. Mixing Hip-Hop, Pop, and R&B, Jane sings with a confidence that she hopes would translate to her audience. The goal – to empower confidence in individuals in faith, love for Christ, and the ability to live life with a biblical perspective.
According to a “Get to Know You” HillaryJane video, Jane states, “I write all my music on guitar so at first it sounds very soft, very girly, but in my head, I want that hard sound. I want that hip-hop sound and maybe go to that level that females are afraid to go to because we’re kind of put in a box that you have to do this very quiet, this very chill pop song and I like more of an edgy sound to it.”
Desiring to break the mold, Jane takes risk with anthems that depict the grit of real life expressing, “I like to speak about biblical things in a way that makes people actually stop and think. My music is Christian but it doesn’t sound Christian – you just have to use your mind and really listen to what I’m saying as the listener. It’s against all evil/bad/sinful things in general.” Yet, Jane’s music also tells the story of purity. In her song, “Chimneys”, the artist declares, “The Devil is a liar, and I’m not going to listen him. The common term ‘blowing smoke’ means someone is lying so I just say, ‘hey, you’re blowing smoke but I’m going to surrender to my King, Jesus.’”
Encouraging young women, Jane also commented on her song, “Shotgun” that is about desiring to “ride shotgun” in a relationship saying, “Let him lead you the way God has made the male role to be – ladies, we ride shotgun.” Jane also noted the reality of the struggle when it comes to purity saying, “Purity is one of the hardest sins in my opinion and I have failed at it many times. God made sex to be good and to be acted out in a marriage between a man and woman. It’s not bad to desire to be sexual – just when we use it outside of its context and intent we distort sex and make it sin. No one is going to be able to be pure for themselves. Do it for the Lord – we stay pure for Him because He has called us to be untainted and Holy as He is Holy. Romans 12 is great for this.”
When it comes to sin, Jane also encourages readers to cut it off at the root or it will grow back again commenting, “Do you idolize men? Or do you struggle with lust? Get into your Word. Find out who God says He is and what He says about sin. As you fall more in love with Him you’ll fall into hate with your compromise of sin. Plainly, just run. Sin is tempting – don’t even put yourself in a place to be tempted.”
Along with going on an all female tour with fellow hip hoppers V Rose and Jazmine LeShea entitled the “Queens United Tour” in the Fall, readers can also support the end of sex trafficking with Rapzilla’s “Stop The Traffic Compilation” that has a track by Jane. Through this song she hopes to empower women to remember they’re not for sale.
Find out more about HillaryJane at: http://www.itshillaryjane.com