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Kirk Franklin On 'Trap Gospel' And Taking Heat From The Church

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Kirk Franklin On 'Trap Gospel' And Taking Heat From The Church

Music

Kirk Franklin On 'Trap Gospel' And Taking Heat From The Church

Kirk Franklin On 'Trap Gospel' And Taking Heat From The Church

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/401978156/402413163" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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"I am very, very good friends with Erica, and she has a great heart for God, she has a great heart for ministry, and I just believe that the heart always wins," says Kirk Franklin of Erica Campbell. Darnel Williams/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Darnel Williams/Courtesy of the artist

If you're into the gospel music scene, you know Erica Campbell as half of the duo Mary Mary. Last month she released a solo album called Help 2.0. There's one track, "I Luh God," that has made Campbell take some heat for venturing into a branch of Southern hip-hop known as "trap gospel." It resembles secular club music a little too closely for gospel purists.

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The controversy around the song is similar to that experienced by another gospel artist who stirred the pot in the '90s — Kirk Franklin. He shook up the gospel scene with hits like "Stomp" and got strong reactions to his style of music.

"It's very hard when you hear churches talk about you," Franklin says. "And some people start to question your heart, and when some people start to question your motives, it could be very hard for you because you're in your early 20s and you don't really understand what all the fuss is about, because you're doing just what's real to you."

Hear more about Franklin's experience with backlash in the church at the audio link with NPR's Arun Ruth.

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