In 2015, I attended Lecrae’s concert in Houston, TX and I was impressed by his passion, energy, and rawness. I knew he was a special artist who would have a huge impact on the music industry and beyond.
In 2016, his album, Anomaly, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts and Gospel Albums. This was the first time ever in Billboard chart history that an artist occupied both spots simultaneously. Since then, Lecrae has added more accolades to his impressive resume: Platinum-selling and Multi-Grammy and Dove award-winning artist, New York Times best-selling author, entrepreneur, speaker, thought leader, and philanthropist and Co-Owner/President of Reach Records.
Through it all, Lecrae has remained true to himself and to his purpose: to use his platform to speak truth and transform lives.
I spoke to Lecrae while he was at home during the COVID-19 lockdown. During our interview, he talked about his latest album and book and gave us some insight into creativity, hip-hop, and healing.
Mocha Man Style: How are you and your family coping during this COVID-19 lockdown?
Lecrae: We’ve been doing well. It’s been somewhat of a blessing because it got me off the road. Now we can spend more time together.
MMS: You’ve been doing a lot more live broadcasts on Instagram. What do you hope to accomplish with these?
Lecrae: I want to stay connected with people and give them some encouragement during this period. The response has been great. People recognize when you genuinely care.
MMS: How are you maintaining your creativity during this lockdown?
Lecrae: This lockdown has been quite interesting. Before I was a creative fighting to be a family man and now I’m a family man trying to be creative. I try to maintain a regular habit of writing and doing things to keep my creative juices flowing.
MMS: What inspires you?
Lecrae: Spending time with people inspires me. I love people.
MMS: You’ve been labeled as a Christian hip-hop artist, however, you’ve received criticism from both sides. Christians don’t feel as if you’re Christian enough and the mainstream hip-hop community shuns you because you invoke the name of Jesus. How do you feel about this?
Lecrae: At first, it bothered me and it became detrimental to my mental health. God’s given me a unique perspective and that’s the story I tell. I wasn’t raised in the church. I come from a world filled with chaos, but God has allowed me to overcome my past and use my experience to help others. I may not fit perfectly into how people expect me to be, but I’ve learned to run in my lane.
MMS: What is your lane?
Lecrae: My lane is being authentic. I don’t try to be someone I’m not. I came from the culture of hip-hop and had a spiritual transformation. This perspective allows me to tell authentic stories that people can relate to.
MMS: You’ve been in the rap game for a long time. How has it changed?
Lecrae: It’s changed dramatically. When I first started, rap was used as a tool to teach and change society. Now it’s more about self-expression. Hip-Hop culture is youth culture. As the culture changes, so will the music.
MMS: How has hip-hop changed you?
Lecrae: It’s given me a culture to identify with. Everything from my style of dress to the way I speak and think about things.
MMS: Who are some of your favorite rappers right now?
Lecrae: Of course, I love all of my label mates a Reach Records. I’m really impressed by Wande. She is doing some amazing things. I also like Kendrick, J Cole, Chance the Rapper. They are awesome.
MMS: Now let’s talk about Lecrae the author. In your first book, Unashamed, you covered topics that are often taboo such as sexual assault, drug use, alcoholism, and abortion. Why did you think it was important to address these topics?
Lecrae: I didn’t think they were taboo because they were my reality. I show my scars to show people that healing is real.
MMS: Tell me about your new book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith.
Lecrae: It’s a memoir that covers my crazy life experiences. It is about my journey toward healing. I hope it helps people to learn how to navigate difficult situations and show them it’s possible to overcome the anxiety, doubt, and fear that is pervasive in many people’s lives.
MMS: Tell me about your new album Restoration
Lecrae: I’m excited about this album. It’s my 9th. There are collaborations with John Legend, Kirk Franklin, and others. This album is intended to show people that healing and hope are possible regardless of what you’ve gone through in your life.