Excerpt: "In the context of the Soviet period and the huge effectiveness of Christian gospel rock as a vehicle of evangelization, however, these innovations’ proximity to “worldly” music, and the notion of protest and/or renewal that came along, provided the necessary attraction for Christians, converts, and people interested in contemporary Western music. Christian rap in Latvia, on the other hand, has developed in a context where popular culture including rap music was readily available to the audiences, and rap acquired the notion of protest that to most rappers and listeners, religious or not, is incompatible or even in conflict with Christianity. It is also important to note that Latvian rappers may employ religious references and explore existential topics in their work, thus fulfilling the hermeneutical function of religion and responding to the demand for this function among the audience. In this situation, Christian rap is a marginal phenomenon both to the Latvian rap industry and to Christian circles—too worldly for many believers and too Christian for many in the general audience."



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