Every genre of music is accompanied by its own set of stereotypes. Classical is for the intellectual, country for rednecks, and so on. Rap and hip-hop are genres surrounded by negative stereotypes, particularly from the point of view of Christians, who might be eager to call it a genre of vulgarity and self-obsession. But one group of ACU students and graduates is proving that hip-hop’s intricate rhymes can glorify the Lord.
E5 Krew was the brainchild of founding members Brandon Bolden, Vinc (“Vince”) Green and Joshua Bonnett-Dingle, best friends committed to glorifying God with their every lyric. Brady Robinson and Demarco Howard joined shortly after. Though every member is involved in stage performances, each takes a different approach: Bolden and Bonnett-Dingle have a passion for singing, rapping and creative lyrics, while Green and Robinson strive for expression, and Howard focuses on E5’s visual design and artwork. So far, the Krew has released three albums:Â H.O.P.P.E.Â (Humility, Obedience, Prayer, Purity, Expectancy),Â Bear With MeÂ and The Rising. When creating albums, individual members take the creative lead, supported by honest feedback and contributions from the others. All members are currently pursuing their own album work for the group to develop in the future.
Robinson and Green explained the origin of E5’s name: everyone in the group strives to live up to the fifth chapter of Ephesians, which commands us to “imitate God like dearly loved children” and “test everything to see what’s pleasing to the Lord” (Eph. 5:1, 5:10, Common English Bible). Robinson summed up E5 Krew’s philosophy: “Even if nobody would listen to our music, the thing that is most important to us is not pleasing people, but bringing honor and glory to our creator and sharing God’s love with the world.”
“I believe that we show what godly brotherhood looks like and how God intends for it to happen in the Kingdom,” Green said. “How can we challenge you?”
He, Bolden and Howard are recent graduates, with Robinson finishing his senior year and Bonnett-Dingle graduating in December. E5 Krew can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/e5krew. For more information, you can also find Robinson at facebook.com/iamfromthedust.