Troy Evans preaches at Edge Urban Fellowship in a rundown Grand Rapids, Mich., neighborhood known for prostitution. Inside what looks like an abandoned office building are walls covered by graffiti. There are tattooed people wearing baseball caps and jeans. Three 20-year-old men holding mics get ready to bust out some elaborate dance moves.
It may seem like a hip-hop show, but it’s actually church.
Hip-hop churches started emerging in the late ’90s.
Emmett Price, a professor of music and African-American studies at Northeastern University in Boston, says the churches are on the rise in the U.S. and that they appeal to the latchkey generation.
“Hip-hop culture comes out of the moans and the cries of young people who felt ostracized and disenfranchised from society,” Price says.