Anglican Vicar Raps Story of Jesus' Birth in 'The Beatbox Nativity'

A Church of England reverend is gaining some notoriety on the Web after he created a video of himself rapping and beatboxing to the story of Jesus' birth for a U.K. competition.

The Rev. Gavin Tyte, part-time vicar of Uplyme and Axmouth churches, created a video in which he raps and beatboxes – creation of percussion and other instrumental sounds using only one’s mouth – to share the Nativity story.

In the video, which is set on a digital drum machine that is reminiscent of the 1980s, Tyte appears at the top of the screen in three separate boxes dressed as an angel, a shepherd and a narrator who each help in telling his variation of the account told in Luke 2:1-21.

As he tells the story, his lyrics and related Bible verses are shown below the screen of the three characters.

“Part of the reason for the ‘beatbox’ idea was I wanted a format in which the lyrics could be displayed like subtitles for the hearing impaired,” he said, according to the Uplyme Church's website.

The rap lyrics used in the video came from Tyte's Beatbox Bible, a version of the Gospel of Luke which he wrote down in rhyming form.

In one section of the rap he says, “[Joseph] went down from the town of Nazareth in Galilee/Taking his fiancée, Mary near delivery/And during their stay, nature had its way/Put the date in the diary for the King's birthday/While out in the ballpark she hit a home run/Mary gave birth to her first-born son/No hotel, motel, custom baby-changer/She wrapped the baby up and laid him in a manger."

Tyte, who has been beatboxing since he was eight years old, formerly served as the editor of and has regularly served as a judge for the U.K. beatboxing championships, according to the church's website.

His video performance has gained some popularity on YouTube, where it accumulated 4,000 views in just one day and has been viewed over 16,000 times since the end of November.

Tyte actually released his Nativity rap on Christmas Eve last year, but decided to re-record it and enter it into this year's The Nativity Factor competition in the U.K.

The Nativity Factor is a short film competition that asks U.K. residents to submit their own creative version of the Nativity story. If Tyte wins the competition – which is being judged by film producers, a local TV news presenter, and a former member of Destiny's Child, Michelle Williams – he will receive £5,000 (approximately $7,800 USD), free publicity for his film and an opportunity to spend a day at a broadcast studio.

The winner of the competition is to be announced sometime Wednesday.