Chris Mackness, known as C-DOT, performs at RECHARGE Festival in Celina, Ohio, last June where he performed with other Christian artists. Photo courtesy Chris Mackness

Rapper C-DOT drops a Christian vibe

  • February 16, 2024

A Canadian Christian musician is doing his part to change the game for the better, bringing back carefully crafted, deliberate and fruitful songs to the hip-hop genre, all for the glory of God. 

Chris Mackness, known by the stage name C-DOT, is a rapper/musician from Hamilton, Ont. While listening to rap music as a child built his love of the genre, it wasn’t until high school that Mackness started to toy with the idea of combining it with his Christian faith.

“I grew up listening to artists like Eminem and that was a big inspiration for me, just because I thought it was cool to be able to rap,” he said. “Later on I discovered NF, a Christian hip-hop artist. There was no cursing, no talk about subject matter that isn’t fruitful and hearing that cinematic style of music that’s genuinely aimed at helping people inspired me.” 

Despite his love of the craft, Mackness didn’t burst onto the scene as you might expect. After running a fan page dedicated to NF, he slowly started creating music that aligned with his goal of inspiring and helping the public during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. After revealing himself publicly and making the jump to a full-fledged artist, Mackness saw the effect his music could have on those in need.

“After my first project was released, I had messages from people saying, ‘Hey, I was depressed or going to commit suicide, but I heard this song and it gave me hope,’ ” he recalled. “I think it flipped a switch in my brain where it went from, ‘this is something that can help me’ to ‘wow, I never realized how something I do in my room can deeply and profoundly impact other people’ and it’s been beautiful to witness.”

With his mindset shifted toward sparking change through music, Mackness began working on his second album DICHOTOMY, which features a track titled “The Cry.” A combination of clever song structure and emotionally profound lyricism, the song tells the story of a possible abortion from the perspective of an unborn child. 

The idea stemmed from his sister’s third-place submission in the Father Ted Colleton Scholarship Program, a contest where writers of the three best pro-life essays receive prizes and awards.

Mackness spoke to the difficulty of approaching a sensitive issue as an artist with a public image to uphold.

“My goal was not to be controversial and not to try and prove anyone wrong,” he said. “My thought was that everyone seems to have a voice on this issue except for the people who it affects the most, so that’s when I knew it had to be delivered this way.” 

Once again, the Hamilton native did not immediately take to the booth and start delivering lyrics over pre-made beats. In fact, the song took much longer than expected due to its heavy and often convoluted subject matter.

“It took me roughly six months to write it, and the first day that I started working on it, I wrote that chorus and I broke down in tears,” Mackness recollected. “It was like I could spiritually feel the presence of all of the unborn children who have been killed by abortion which was completely overwhelming and I knew at that moment that the song was going to have an impact.” 

In his very deliberately meaningful and justifiable purpose to humanize the unborn through the song, Mackness completed the writing process of “The Cry” with the help of his vision of continuing to help people going through similar experiences with his music. 

“My goal was if there is a woman who is contemplating abortion or she's on her way there, that this song might make her break down in tears and reconsider for the sake of herself and for the sake of her child,” Mackness said.”

Further, Mackness touched on a personal note that makes the song so meaningful to him.

“If my Grandma had decided to have an abortion in a situation that today’s world would deem as completely justifiable, me and my whole family wouldn’t exist, so it really is a matter of life and death.”

Mackness would go on to perform “The Cry” at the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s Slam Poetry Championship last month for both a form of on-stage practice and a test of his faith. He recalled the stressful lead-up to the event which involved friends suggesting he perform another song, hours of prayer with his team, family and girlfriend and even facing anxiety that left him bedridden for hours leading up to the event.

“I gave it all to God,” Mackness said. “I said ‘God, no matter what happens tonight, thank you.  I will praise you and and be grateful to you no matter what happens.’ ”

His performance was met with resounding applause accompanied by scores of 9s or higher, despite one judge’s ruling of a 0/10, going back to the controversial nature of performing in an increasingly secular society. The song has also received thousands of views on the rapper’s YouTube channel, with his other tracks eclipsing as much as one million views. 

“The positive feedback has been unbelievable despite knowing there may be some more negative feedback out there,” he said. “I used to have this perspective of wanting to be the hero and save the world from all this negativity… Jesus Christ already did that so I don't need to fill those shoes, I can just be a humble servant."

On the back of what may go down as his pro-life magnum opus, Mackness is continuing to work at breaking out of the mould of what a traditional hip-hop artist is known as. Even while planning the release of his next musical project in June, Mackness reacted to the idea that ‘The Cry’ might be as emotional as a love song can get.

“We all want to be loved. Whether it’s me, you, an elderly person, a newborn baby or even an unborn baby in the womb, it is hardwired in us to crave that love,” he said. 

“So does that make ‘The Cry’ a love song in an untraditional sense?” he is asked. 

“I guess it does, I just got chills when you said that,” Mackness replied.

C-DOT’s platforms from music to merch can be found at: and “The Cry” can be heard on YouTube.

Last modified on February 23, 2024

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