They looked at me and the main dude said, You like those guys?” I didn’t know I had done something wrong. Lecrae is probably the hottest Christian artist alive right now,” said Atlanta megachurch pastor Louie Giglio in his sermon on Sunday (Sept.
lecrae songs christian – Lecrae (@lecrae) On Twitter
While there’s no sure route to carving out a significant presence in the music industry, there’s always something to be said for remaining true to one’s self. Look at music as a whole. Other genres don’t do this to Christians who are in their circle. Rock fans don’t berate Switchfoot, Mutemath, OneRepublic, 21 Pilots, Johnnyswim or Paramore the way believers attack everyone on Reach Records. CHH looks petty and juvenile when this happens especially since all of the artists explained the reason for the change over and over again.
Reach is the biggest (in terms of impact, sales, charts, media attention etc.) CHH label out right now and the whole squad tours heavily. Like I said before, they all hit the CCM circuits (Fishfest, Big Church Night Out, Passion, Harvest Crusades and more) plus big venues like the Hollywood Palladium or The Wiltern. They do it all! When Lampmode and other camps are critical of Reach we have to pray that it’s not coming from a place of jealousy disguised as righteousness — I haven’t seen their shows (aside from Json) in venues like I have Reach artists and I also haven’t seen any Lampmode artists at the CCM festival circuit either (they might I just haven’t seen it…but if they do it’s not consistent like Reach).
But we may see progress if we are honest about the deep wounds and unhealed scars that exist in America and in the church. We may inch toward unity if we are slower to speak and quicker to listen when confronted with the pain and frustrations of our siblings, like Lecrae, in the family of God.
Lecrae has always gone against the grain for the sake of other people. Despite building a comfortable niche for himself within the Christian music world – a genre that often suffers from a blindness to the actual needs of the society around it – Lecrae has been bold about speaking truth to power. In a time that’s seen cultural Christianity turn inward in an effort to preserve the idea that equality has been achieved, Lecrae has not been shy about speaking out about the systemic oppression that plagues the United States. It’s cost him fans, but Lecrae knows that his ceiling is the next generation’s floor, and he’s determined to push it up as high as he can.
But it’s not just talk and rapping; Lecrae uses his talents to aim at the hearts of men, even when people don’t understand his message. He also released five albums as a member of the Christian hip hop group 116 Clique.
Anomaly is a complicated album to analyze and listen to, because it’s difficult to think about it in a vacuum, purely as a piece of music. Before you hit play, chances are you understand you’re about to listen to Christian rap. And whether that’s a plus or a minus, it’s most likely a something.
Reach Records isn’t the juggernaut record label CHH pretends it is, people forget they’re the underdogs in the music industry. Reach is doing some amazing things by diversifying their roster, ministering to prisons, youth camps, performing in large venues and the Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) circuit as well as large secular” venues, but they’re really not that big. They’re an independent label with now 7 artists (Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Andy Mineo, KB, Aha Gazelle and Gawvii).
He’s also the man behind ReachLife Ministries , a resource that helps bridge the gap between biblical truth and the urban context” that tries to solve some of these problems His Twitter account describes him this way: Living to know God, dying to make Him known.
Walk into a room – no, no, no. Walk on stage at the BET Hip Hop Awards and ask the rappers in attendance if they consider themselves Christians. A staggering amount will undoubtedly raise their hands. Most will thank God when they win the award for that song that casually mentions committing a felony and delves into some blasé misogyny.
Do your research. BoomBox gives this song-by-song breakdown of the album Gravity, but suffice it to say, the music contains rock, strings, lots of collaboration, and of course, rapid-fire lyrics and rhymes. You can check out some of Lecrae’s newest music on YouTube, for instance, Lord Have Mercy The music video for Church Clothes also drew a big following and is available for viewing online, as well. Plus, Focus on the Family’s Plugged In offers this review of Gravity. In other words, there’s plenty of data available to help you make an informed decision. Take advantage of it.
He’s been known in Christian circles for several years, but became a household name last month when his 6th album Gravity was released on September 4th and two of his songs immediately captured the #1 and #2 spots on iTunes’ Top Singles He’s the co-founder of Reach Records, a musical conglomerate that includes a long list of Christian rappers , and he’s attracted the attention of high profile Christian celebrities, including athletes such as Bubba Watson, Jeremy Lin…and God’s favorite quarterback, Tim Tebow.
I grew up in Baptist churches and grew up thinking of baptism as simply a public declaration of my faith. I was baptized as an adult under that understanding. But as I’ve gone into theology, is I’ve learned from other traditions, and I love the variety. I love my Catholic friends’ spirituality because they have so much to teach me. Likewise, I take my students to another Greek Orthodox church every year, where they still baptized three times as the early church did—baptizing in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. I have my Pentecostal students who focus more on baptism in the Spirit rather than water baptism and prefer talking in that kind of area.
Neither his ends nor spins were negatively impacted by this song — it became a staple in his catalogue. But while overtly religious, both in terms of the music that shaped it and the man who sung it, Jesus Walks” isn’t widely thought of as religious music. In fact, those in the religious community often shunned its existence, pleading to be dissociated with the song (as was the case when Jesus Walks” was de-nominated for a Stellar Gospel Music Award due to a backlash).
By the time he was a teenager, Lecrae was a survivor of sexual abuse, poverty, and a culture that had embraced the stigma hoisted onto them by the mainstream, one that claimed that they were all junkies, gangstas and thugs- irresponsible men who had chosen crime instead of work. Fine, the men of this culture said, men impoverished by a toxic brew of trauma, systemic discrimination and the deprivation of education and opportunity- call us thugs, then we’ll be in your face thugs.
Beverly Hills, CA – A year has passed since Lecrae dropped the Zaytoven-assisted album Let The Trap Say Amen and speaking with HipHopDX at the 4th Annual Culture Creators Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch in Beverly Hills, he has more plans under his sleeve as well outside of music.
Understanding the influence music has over children who are as enamored with hip-hop as he was in his grandmother’s home, Lecrae not only accepts his position as a role model, he embraces it. He feels a karmic obligation to pay the teachings of golden era rap forward, imparting wisdom to the next generation.
CHH reminds me a little of an old church. Leadership is wondering why they aren’t getting more young people in the doors while they simultaneously refused to adapt…not compromise, adapt. There’s a difference. In marketing the best tactics involve optimization, meaning reviewing your metrics from your marketing campaigns, seeing if you reached your goals and making adjustments and course corrections for the next move so you’re constantly adapting. CHH seems to be stuck on the way things have been done and have trained their fans to be the same way, causing fear and reluctance to grow.
LECRAE: I started rapping at like 8 or 9 years old. A teenager I met at a halfway house gave me a mixtape when I was in 2nd grade and I was hooked. When I was younger I was heavily influenced by rappers like: Tupac, Nas, Dj Quik and Scarface. I pretty much listened to anything Hip Hop related. When I became a Christian, I found out about Crossmovement who really influenced me as a Christian and a rap artist.
Early in my music career, I was labeled a Christian rapper” or Christian hip-hop artist.” Growing up, I went to church occasionally with my grandma but would never have called myself a Christian. I was raised around guns, drugs, gangs, and by a single mother.
Remaining true to his beliefs, Lecrae is an artist that redefines mainstream popular culture. Thematically, one can find inspiration, faith and honesty in his music. But it’s more than that and yet it is quite transparent. If Oscar Wilde was correct when he said, “Most people are other people, their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation,” it’s simple to understand the easy attraction to Lecrae. In a sea of indulgent music, he’s swimming against the tide embracing all the things that make him the man he is, including his faith. And at the heart of it all, Lecrae is pleased to share the secret to his success. He explains, “I just have to have integrity and be true to who I am and what I believe in. Music doesn’t need to be categorized. It just needs to be good.” Indeed Lecrae is at the climactic crossroad of his career.
In a polarized world (and church), with both sides telling us our faith must fit into this or that box, many Christians probably resonate with Lecrae. We are indeed living in a disorientating moment. Sometimes it can be hard to see just how all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
WHO?: It’s new album week, everybody! Christian rapper Lecrae, who’s sold 1.4 million album sales and has 2.9 million track downloads, winds up at Number One with his 88,000-selling Anomaly. (His Christian rapper background may explain why he appears to have arrived on the charts out of nowhere — such things happen in the gospel business.) Other new and poor-selling titles in the Top 10 include: Singer-songwriter Jhene Aiko‘s Souled Out (Number Three, 70,000); veteran rocker Ryan Adams’ self-titled album (Number Four, 45,000); indie-rock fixture Interpol’s El Pintor (Number Seven, 31,000); and Robert Plant’s Lullaby And The Ceaseless Roar (Number 10, 29,000).
I had to get back to the rainforest, out of the greenhouse, to be around the hip-hop culture and the people in the mainstream world. Initially, a lot of people from the Christian rap community were hurt because they felt like I was abandoning them when I was really just trying to expand.
With every release, Lecrae pushes the boundaries of what’s possible for an artist who is known equally for his faith as he is for his work. On Let the Trap Say Amen, he looks at a shifting America and world through fresh eyes and emerges with a manifesto of sorts. These are trap-psalms created to expose the more inglorious aspects of life with evocative detail. That he still manages to make it fun, thanks in large part to Zaytoven’s instrumentation and haunting atmospherics, is a feat unto itself.
The new Los Angeles Lakers guard said, as someone who isn’t a franchise or max contract player, he won’t be able to orchestrate for Lecrae’s music to sound throughout the Staples Center during warm-ups this season.
Who said mainstream rappers like Jay-Z, Kanye West and T.I. are the only ones who can land at the top of the charts and captivate a legion of fans with the quick spit of a hot sixteen! Just take a look at Holy Hip Hop artist Lecrae and you’ll quickly realize he’s blazing a trail all his own.
Lecrae is the co-founder of Reach Records and unashamedly shares his Christian faith through his music. In September 2012, his latest album, Gravity,” became the No. 1 Rap, Independent, Christian, and Gospel album in its first week, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Lecrae is also the co-founder of ReachLife Ministries , which seeks to equip leaders for discipleship, evangelism, and leadership in the urban context.
Without saying it — because it wouldn’t be very Christian of him — the Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” is a cleverly devout middle finger to all of his haters. He’s directing it toward everyone who’s criticized him — for being too spiritual and for not being spiritual enough. This is what happens when you’re caught between genres. It’s this middle ground that makes Lecrae different. And that feeling different — not Christianity — is what this album is truly about.
Part of this is due to CHH making themselves separated completely from the music scene. Propaganda broke it down pretty well in his interview with 247HH (I highly encourage you to listen to the whole interview). He’s describing how on the West Coast hip-hop didn’t exclude Christian artists.
If Lecrae’s music didn’t give Lin enough motivation to participate in the hip-hop artist’s social media campaign this summer about Anomaly, that did. #Anomaly trended worldwide on Twitter after Lecrae tweeted a picture of what he wrote in a notebook about why he’s an anomaly, and his fans followed.
Jesus deeply invested in His circle of 12 disciples, and those disciples in turn invested in more disciples throughout the world. In a similar way, Lecrae has looked to mentor other young men with a gift for hip hop so that they can also reach the youth for Christ. Examples of these men are Trip Lee, Andy Mineo, KB, and the aforementioned No Malice and Thi’sl. As FOCUS missionaries, we seek to mentor student leaders on the college campus who can then reach out to other students for Christ, teaching them how to live and share the Gospel in all that they do on campus and after graduation as well.
At the end of the day, people will say I’m trying to sell out, but what they don’t understand is that there’s an audience of over five million Christian listeners around the world who will buy my albums and will buy Christian music. It’s comfortable, and it’s cushy, and I’m heralded, and I get flown around and catered to in different ways in that world. So for me it’s not about selling out or trying to get more fame. I’m very comfortable existing there. As a revolutionary, I don’t just want to sit by and say, “Oh this feels good, let’s just do it.” I’m going to die for what I believe in and stand for it.
The song, while heavily influenced by gospel music, never touched the gospel charts. And Kanye has never been, and will never be, thought of as a Christian rapper. A rapper who is a Christian, perhaps. But not a Christian rapper.
As a child, hip hop artist Lecrae’s world was void of good role models. Growing up with a single mom, he would watch rap videos at his grandmother’s house and developed an ability to rap himself. Yet he wrestled with insignificance, having never met his father and enduring a life of abuse and neglect. He sought to fill that void by surrounding himself with gangsters.
In middle school, kids would start impromptu rap battles in the hall, which Lecrae would regularly get pulled into. After obliterating most of the kids in his class, Lecrae started entering local talent shows – most of which he won. His first real taste of what would become a career came at 13 when producer friend of his mom’s gifted Lecrae with studio time to come in and lay down some of his rhymes to tape.
But that isn’t true of this album, which reflects a noticeable musical shift for Lecrae. Some songs (I’ll Find You” and 8:28”) reflect a familiar style, but others signal a totally new direction. Consider the funky bass line from Come and Get Me,” which sounds like a sample from an old Roots album; or even Lecrae’s use of producer Metro Boomin—who has worked with Kanye West and Drake—on Hammer Time.” This isn’t Jesus Muzik” Lecrae anymore.