Christian themes have long proliferated hip-hop. There have been a slew of rappers over the years who have either directly proclaimed to be or implied that they are the Son of God. Whether it be through Christian imagery, like Kendrick Lamar wearing a crown of thorns, or downright proclamation when Kanye West compared himself to Jesus, Jesus Christ has remained a steadfast presence in rap music since its inception.

Lil Nas X was the most recent rapper in 2024 to embody himself as Jesus Christ. On Jan. 8, the Montero rapper announced his new Christian-themed single "J Christ" would drop on Jan. 12. The cover art for the song caused a ruckus online as Lil Nas X could be seen getting crucified on the cross, not to mention the song in question has also caused some issues with Christian listeners because of Lil Nas X's sexuality as a gay man. The music video itself shows Nas X nalied to a cross and battling the Devil in a game of basketball.

The martyrdom imagery used by Lil Nas X is far from new in rap. Tupac Shakur appeared on the cross back in 1996, on the cover of his first posthumous album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. Nas was also crucified in his "Hate Me Now" music video in 1999. These artists haven't shied away from what could be viewed as offensive by fans or critics when it comes to these religious themes.

Here's a look at 12 rappers who have uniquely pictured themselves as Jesus over the years.

See 12 Rappers Who've Portrayed Jesus Christ

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