Savvy marketing and a wholesome image are turning religious rappers into mainstream players

"Hip-hop is an expression of what is dearest to you," says Christian rapper KB. "It's coming from who I love. And who I love is Jesus."

The religious artist's passion was rewarded earlier this month when his most recent EP, "100," became a minor crossover success -- in part because of a special promotion that involved free devotions for fans through the YouVersion Bible app. 100 went on to hit No. 1 on Billboard's Christian Albums chart, No. 4 on Rap Albums and No. 22 on the Billboard 200, selling more than 14,000 the first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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