Propaganda (real name Jason Emmanuel Petty) hails from Los Angeles, California and has been in the Christian Hip-Hop industry since 2002. Propaganda is talented in many areas, not only is he a successful rapper, but he is also a spoken word artist, poet, and was once a youth pastor. Growing up, he was often teased for the color of his skin – first when his family moved to a predominantly violent Mexican neighborhood, then again when they were known as the “poor black family” by their neighbors after having moved to the suburbs.
With five albums to his name, Propaganda has had quite the journey since his debut with the underground hip-hop collective, Tunnel Rats in 2002. Other than Tunnel Rats, he has also been signed to other labels such as UpRok Records, End of Earth, and Humble Beast Records.
Propaganda’s songs challenges the listener to question society around them. He himself even encourages this. When asked about what he hopes his listeners would get from listening to his new album in an interview with Relevant Magazine, Propaganda says “I would hope that they (listeners) receive a new lens, that they would start asking questions of their leaders around them to think through some of the stuff I’m talking about.” His 2014 song Bored of Education is an example of one of his songs that challenges the listener to think for themselves. In this song, he calls out the education system that seems to value tests and regurgitation of information more than creativity and practical learning.
As a Christian rapper, Propaganda boldly shares Christ through his music. He openly talks about Christian beliefs, values and truths in his songs, hoping that the message of Christ will be heard by all. In Lofty, that features other artists such as Joel Davis, Braille, and Beautiful Eulogy, the message of how God created the earth and how mighty He is is highlighted throughout.
Although I’ve only recently been exposed to the CCM hip-hop genre, Propaganda is easily one of my top favourite Christian rappers. I like how he opens up my eyes to see the truths of society and how broken it is, yet reminding me of how much more we need God due to the brokenness.