Department or Program

Religious Studies


In 2016, popular Hip Hop artist Chance the Rapper released his third mixtape, Coloring Book, after publicly identifying himself as a “Christian Rapper”. Coloring Book received critical acclaim and earned Chance a Grammy Award. This led many listeners—music critics and Hip Hop fans—to question what Christian rap might be, and to speculate in which way religion and/or religious discourse had or might shape the message and medium of Hip Hop. This thesis offers a critical and scholarly examination of the new community of listeners of Christian Hip Hop that Chance was able to create through his creation of a new religious discourse. First, it will examine existing scholarly literature concerning religious discourse both in Christian and secular Hip Hop; through this, different methodologies will emerge for interpretive analysis. Next, it will examine key thematic trends in the history of Christian Hip Hop—including artists, sounds, and messages. In addition, it will examine the Chance’s background in order to better understand the motivations behind the mixtape. Finally, it will explore the religious discourse of Christian Hip Hop through an analysis of Chance the Rapper’s “Finish Line/Drown”—the most interpretively rewarding song on Coloring Book. Although the past several decades’ Christian themes in Hip Hop have been analyzed by scholars, Christian Hip Hop genre has largely been overlooked, Chance the Rapper's revitalization of the genre provides an opportunity to provide new scholarship; the goal of this thesis is to demonstrate how and why this artist has expanded the genre’s community.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Bruce, Marcus

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 .docx

Open Access

Available to all.