10. Jesus Freak by DC Talk
In the world of Nu-Metal fandom, one was either a Korn guy or a Linkin Park guy and I definitely fit in the latter group as a huge fan of Nu-Metal back in the late 1990s. I believe one of the reasons I liked Linkin Park and other similar bands was the song Jesus Freak by DC Talk. This song is probably the first time I had ever heard rap music and rock music combined into one cohesive song and what a song it is. In my opinion, Jesus Freak is one of the most important songs in all of Christian Rock as it was a song that showed Christian artists could think outside of the box. Simply put, not many songs in the middle nineties had this kind of sound and I believe the sound of this song was a big influence on many Christian artists who would come after such as Thousand Foot Krutch, Kutless, 12 Stones, and many others.
Lyrical wise, the song is very strong. The line, “I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus Freak,” is an anthem cry of not being ashamed of Christ. I remember seeing DC Talk in concert and this one line seemed to be screamed the loudest by the crowd. The rest of the song is no slacker in the lyrical department either. One word you will probably read in this series more than anything else is “Epic.” Epicness in Christian Rock and Metal is important because we follow an epic God and an epic belief that Jesus Christ has saved mankind from the snare of the devil. Thus, how epic a song is in the lyrics and musical arrangement will score big points with me. The lyrics of the song fit into this epic framework because it paints beautifully the spiritual struggle we face every day as Christians in a world that hates us. Also, something that has always stuck out for me is the shout out to John the Baptist in the second rap bridge.
The lyrics are great and all, but without the music, the words just make up a poem. The music, in this case, grabs you from the opening riff and doesn’t let go. It is extremely catchy and you will find yourself inadvertently humming and singing it later in your head or in the shower. The song starts out in the key of E minor which was definitely a favorite key of the alternative rock scene very popular at the time.