Our Top 10 Kirk Franklin Songs list takes a look at one of music’s successful gospel singers. Franklin is also a choir director, songwriter and author. He combines gospel with r&b and hip-hop music. His goal is to educate people about God’s power. He worked with a few gospel choirs during his career. He led The Family, Nu Nation and One Nation Crew. Kirk Franklin has won numerous awards for his work in gospel music. He has won multiple Grammys, Dove Awards, Stellar Awards, etc. He has sold over 12 million albums. Franklin has 20 number one gospel hits. Some of his hits include “Love Theory,” “Why We Sing,” “Smile,” “Stomp,” “Looking For You” and “Just For Me.”
Kirk Dewayne Franklin was born January 26, 1970. He had a rough beginning. His mother abandoned him when he was a baby. His aunt raised him. He took piano lessons at a young age. Growing up, he was able to read and write music. He can play music by ear. He witnessed the death of a friend when he was a teenager. The scene inspired Franklin to become more involved in the church. He organized the Family in 1992. The Family consists of 17 people. Kirk Franklin & the Family released three albums together. Franklin went on to start another choir when he gathered Nu Nation together. They recorded two albums together. He organized the One Nation Crew after he worked with Nu Nation. They recorded one album together. Franklin decided to pursue a solo career.
Kirk Franklin & the Family released their eponymous album in 1993. The album peaked at number one on the Gospel charts, number six on the r&b charts and number 58 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Why We Sing,” “Real Love,” “A Letter from My Friend” and “You Can Handle It.” The album sold over one million copies. Whatcha Lookin’ 4 was released in 1996. It peaked at number one on the Christian albums charts, number 3 on the r&b charts and number 23 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Whatcha Lookin’ 4,” “Don’t Take Your Joy Away,” “Melodies from Heaven,” When I Think About Jesus” and “Mama’s Song.”
Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation released God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation in 1997. It peaked at number one on the gospel and r&b charts and number three on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Stomp,” “More Than I Can Bear,” “Love Up Above My Head” and “The Storm Is Over Now.” The album sold over three million copies. The Nu Nation Project was released in 1998. It peaked at number one on the gospel and Christian album charts, number four on the r&b charts and number seven on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Revolution,” “Lean on Me,” “Gonna Be a Lovely Day,” “You Are” and “Hold Me Now.” The album sold over two million copies.
Kirk Franklin and One Nation Crew released Kirk Franklin Presents: 1NC in 2000. It features the singles “Movin’ On,” “Be Like Him,” “Breath Away,” “Could’ve Been Me” and “Hands Up.” Franklin released solo projects in addition to his work with the choirs. He released The Rebirth of Kirk Franklin in 2002. It peaked at number one on the Christian, gospel and r&b charts. It peaked at number four on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “When I Get There,” “Caught Up,” “Brighter Day,” “My Life, My Love, My All,” “The Blood Song,” “Always” and “When I Get There,” The album sold over one million copies. Hero came out in 2005. It peaked at number four the r&b charts and number 13 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Looking for You,” “Imagine Me,” “Hero,” “The Process,” “Keep Your Head,” “Why” and “First Love.” The album sold over one million copies.
The Fight of My Life came out in 2007. The album peaked at number one on the gospel and Christian charts, number seven on the r&b charts and number 33 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Declaration (This is It),” “Help Me Believe,” “I Like Me,” “He Will Supply” and “Chains.” Hello Fear came out in 2010. It peaked at number one on the gospel charts, number three on the r&b charts and number five on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “I Smile,” “Hello Fear,” “The Altar,” “Give Me” “Everyone Hurts.” The album sold over 500,000 copies.
Losing My Religion was released in 2015. It peaked at number one on the gospel charts, number three on the r&b charts and number 10 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Losing My Religion,” “Miracles,” “Wanna Be Happy,” “When” and “My World Needs You.” Long, Live, Love was released in 2019. It peaked at number one on the gospel charts, number 12 on the r&b charts and number 20 on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “Love Theory,” “Just For Me,” “Father Knows Best” and “Idols.”
Kirk Franklin has had a long and successful career in gospel music. His music touches fans of different genres. He decided to create a sound that was different from traditional gospel music and it paid off for him. He’s become one of the most successful gospel singers in music. He has dealt with a lot of personal issues, but they helped him create the sound he has today. Our Top 10 Kirk Franklin Songs list will feature his best songs throughout his career.
# 10 – Stomp ft. Cheryl “Salt” James
The first song on our Top 10 Kirk Franklin Songs list is “Stomp” from the God’s Property from Kirk Franklin’s Nu Nation album. It has a Gospel and Christian rap sound. The popular song is about demanding that people’s spirits be lifted. It’s a song that was created to get young people interested in Christian faith. The lyrics send a positive message to young people to believe in faith. It’s not just a message for younger people. Anyone can appreciate the lyrics to this Christian jam. This song is appropriate to hear because of the things that are going on in the world today. It might have made people lose faith in God because of the problems we are facing today. Here is some trivia about the song.
The song received backlash because it wasn’t considered gospel music. Some critics felt the song wasn’t genuine because it featured a rap artist. The critics were wrong because the song was a smash hit. It may have an r&b/hip-hop sound, but it still maintains its gospel essence. The message is crystal clear. The bouncy beat will have you out of your seat. It features the sample from “One Nation Under a Groove” by Funkadelic. The sample works well with the message. The drums and keyboards drive the beat of this monster jam. Franklin is at his best directing his choir.
He as well as the choir are taking everyone to church. They do an excellent job supporting him. Cheryl “Salt” James returned to her hip-hop roots with her guest appearance. She took a break from rapping to become a Gospel singer. She lent her rhymes to Franklin’s track. Her rhymes were on point. They definitely made you miss her time with Salt-N-Pepa. Franklin and Salt were an unlikely pairing that created an innovative song.
# 9 – Revolution ft. Rodney Jerkins
The next song on our Top 10 Kirk Franklin Songs list is “Revolution” from the Nu Nation Project. The song has a Christian, hip-hop, contemporary gospel and r&b beat. The social song is about racism, premarital sex, politicians and people who struggle to survive. Franklin covered a plethora of topics for this track. He wanted to talk about subjects that weren’t mentioned in other gospel songs.
The lyrics are relevant today. The song was done in the 90s, but the message is still relevant today. We have to change the way we treat each other. His goal is to have everyone love each other. The message will touch your heart. He managed to create a message about change without being too preachy. His music will educate you in a way that you won’t forget. His message will get you spiritually.
Rodney Jerkins created an infectious beat for this “revolution.” Jerkins isn’t known for writing and producing gospel music, but he perfected this song. The choir raps the verses and that wasn’t something you would expect from a gospel song. Franklin recites bible verses which will remind you that it’s a gospel song. He commands your attention as he talks about the various subjects in the song. Jerkins takes his hand at rapping. He isn’t known for rapping so it was strange to hear him do it. He managed to do a good job with his verse. We dare you to sit still listening to this jam. It’s definitely not your typical Christian song.
# 8 – Looking for You
The innovative song is from the Hero album. It has a gospel, disco and r&b beat to it. The uplifting song is about dealing with the ups and downs of life. It’s a love song about God. He wants to offer people who are losing faith some “gospel” medicine. The lyrics are riveting and will touch your spirit. He wants you to know that you can always turn to God when you are feeling down and out. You don’t have to be a fan of gospel music to enjoy this song.
The song features the sample “Haven’t You Heard” from Patrice Rushen. The sample gives the song a retro feel. The feel-good song has crossover appeal. The track is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. The piano and the string section sizzle on this track. The thumping drumbeat sets the song on fire. The handclaps will have you clapping along with Franklin. Franklin’s message is clear and to the point as he tries to inspire people not to give up on their faith. He cleverly lets the listener know that God is always there for you.
The female vocalists sound superb. They reach for the stars as they sing along with Franklin. They were there to do a job and they perfected it. They want you to sing along with them and you have to do it.
# 7 – September
The revolutionary track is from the Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire. The song has a gospel and r&b sound. The exciting song is about the joy of salvation. Franklin uses the calendar months to represent the seasons in your life. He wants you to appreciate your history as well as your future. Franklin rewrote the lyrics to “September” by Earth, Wind, & Fire to make it more gospel friendly. He sticks to the formula of the music. The sample consists of the same music and style as Earth, Wind, & Fire’s version.
In fact, if you take out Franklin’s lyrics they would be the same song. The sample works for the song. The energetic music is perfect for the message. If you loved Earth, Wind, & Fire’s version of the song, you will love this one as well. The music will get you on the dance floor. The music is slightly updated from the original version, but the essence remains the same. The choir belts the lyrics and takes you to church. They sing some of the lyrics from Earth, Wind, & Fire’s track while singing the new lyrics that Franklin rewrote. Franklin shines once again as he tells us about finding joy in our lives. Everything about the song works from the sample to the lyrics.
# 6 -Help Me Believe
The introspective song is from the Fight of My Life album. The song has a Christian and gospel beat. The emotional song is about the tough times he faced in life. Franklin was dealing with a lot of issues when he wrote this song. He questioned his faith in God because of his issues. He wrote this song so he could realize that God is there for him no matter what. This song is relatable to anyone who feels like they are losing their faith. He wants you to know that you shouldn’t give up.
His message is moving and therapeutic. His goal is to uplift the youth and let them know that God is there for you. Franklin wants you to know that you’re not alone and that God will help you. This tender ballad touches your heart especially when you feel that you are at the end of your rope. The choir asks for God to help them. Franklin took a different route with this track. He created a ballad instead of an r&b, gospel and hip-hop track. The music is soft and melodic.
This track is closer to traditional gospel music than his upbeat songs. The ballad gives you a chance to listen to the powerful lyrics. It’s hard to believe this wasn’t a big radio hit because the song is outstanding. The choir does such a magnificent job singing the song. Franklin’s lingering vocals are comforting. He gets emotional as he begs for Jesus to help him believe. The choir sounds emotional too.
# 5 – Smile
The next song on our Top 10 Kirk Franklin Songs List is “Smile” from the Hello Fear album. It has a gospel and Christian beat. The meaningful song is about not taking things for granted. You should be thankful for what you have. He doesn’t want you to live your life based on the way you feel. Despite what’s going on, you should still find a reason to smile. It may be hard, but you should still find a reason to do it. This message is appropriate because of what’s going on in the world today.
Many people have problems and need to know that they should smile to despite them. Franklin included an interpolation of S.O.S band’s “Tell Me If You Still Care.” The sample is noticeable when they get to the bridge of the song. Franklin has a gift of knowing which samples to use for his songs. The samples always work for the songs. They help make the songs relatable to younger people who may not appreciate the message through traditional gospel music.
The vocalists do a marvelous job with their lyrics. They allow their vocals to simmer and then they built up to the climatic finale. Franklin sounds good leading the choir. He has an impressive ability of leading the choir to do a phenomenal job on their vocals. They sing the track wit a lot of passion and soul.
# 4 – Just For Me
The soothing song is from the Long, Live, Love album. It has a gospel and Christian sound to it. The touching song is a message about God’s love. He reminds us that things will be okay. We should walk with God to help guide us through the tough times. Life may not seem fair, but God will help change things. This is another ballad on our list. He proved that he could get his message across without getting you on the dance floor. He wants to target your soul and he does an excellent job.
The music is soft and sweet. It doesn’t dominate the track so it allows you a chance to soak up the vocals. Franklin tends to shout his lyrics when he directs the choir for his bouncy tracks. He lowered his voice for this ballad. His performance is subdued and it was a wise choice since the music is soft. The choir does a fantastic job with their vocals. They start the song off softly and then they soar into the stratosphere. They command you to sing along with them especially in the chorus and towards the end of song.
# 3- Why We Sing
The celebratory song is from the Kirk Franklin & the Family album. It has a gospel and Christian beat. The expressive song is about telling the world why they sing to the Lord even when people don’t understand why they cry and lift their hands. They do it because they are happy and free in the lord’s presence.
The song brings joy to people who need it. This is the single that introduced the world to Kirk Franklin. This ballad became a hit for him. It crossed over to different genres because he didn’t just focus on gospel music. This particular track has more of a gospel feel to it, but there are r&b elements included in it. The music is soft and has a hypnotic feel to it. The music features the piano and the drums. The drums are banging and provide the tempo. Franklin’s vocals are smooth and velvety. They are easy on the ear.
The choir backs him up throughout the song. They sing their hearts out. When he says each line they are there to support him. They never miss a beat. Their vocals are like a rocket that is ready to soar. They make you believe that the Lord is on your side and will be there for you. They sell the song convincingly. They hold notes towards the end of the song that are pretty good. It could have been a little longer, but it doesn’t hurt the song.
# 2 – Declaration (This Is It)
The motivational song is from the Fight of My Life album. It has a gospel beat to it. The stirring song rebukes the challenges in life. He is declaring that your troubles will be over if you leave them in the hands of God. God will find a way to help you. The lyrics are powerful and will make you think about life. Franklin has a gift to make you feel emotional with his deep lyrics. He samples Kenny Loggins hit “This Is It” for the track.
The energetic and bouncy beat will get you out of your seat. The sample is the perfect marriage. It’s just as good as the lyrics. He borrows the chorus from Kenny Loggins‘ hit song which makes it sound even more captivating. The original song is already a masterpiece so that was a smart move on Franklin’s part to incorporate it into the song. The music is infectious and will please all of his listeners. Franklin is back to shouting the lyrics, but it works fine here. The music gives him the room he needs to belt out his choir directions.
The vocalists are refreshing. Their harmonies are fire. You could get lost listening to their powerful vocals. The vocalists sang the hook from Kenny Loggins hit and made it sound just as good as the original. We dare you to get through this track without singing along with them. This song could have taken the top spot on our list if it weren’t for the one we chose.
# 1 – Love Theory
The number one song on our Top 10 Kirk Franklin Songs list is “Love Theory” from the Long, Live, Love album. It has a gospel sound. The inspirational song is about God’s unconditional love and how He loves through everything. The groove is so infectious. Everything about the music works. The music combines gospel and r&b music. It will command your attention until the last beat drops.
The piano chords and drums are out of this world. The musicians are maestros when it concerns music. The track is a bop and has an infectious melody. Like with “Declaration (This Is It),” the music is just as good as the lyrics. He cleverly has the choir singing back and forth between the chorus and verses while explaining God’s journey of unconditional love.
Franklin recites his parts of the song and the choir is right there to back him. He sings his verses and they repeat them right on time. They sing in time with all of the beat changes. They take everyone to church during the show-stopping finale of the song. Kirk Franklin was in the music business for years, but he was at the top of his game with this song. This track is absolutely flawless. It deserves to have the top spot on our list.