Lecrae’s first album “Real Talk” was released in 2004. Since then, he has gone on to release nine more albums, including his most recent, titled “Restoration.” That album included an appearance by “EGOT” [Emmy-Grammy-Oscar-Tony] winner John Legend.
The 42-year-old rapper sees himself as someone who can help pave the way for the next generation of Christian hip-hop artists, in order to create something even greater than what the genre has been.
“Is Christian Hip-Hop Dead?”
“I come from a time period where Christian hip-hop was kind of like this ground swell,” Lecrae said, explaining that the movement included many tours and award shows, but not a lot of money.
“But it was very popular — like bubbling underground,” Lecrae said. Lecrae further explained that the excitement about Christian hip-hop created the demand for more tours and catapulted the popularity of young artists. Observing that the same thing doesn’t appear to be happening today, Lecrae questioned whether that means that the movement is dying.
Lecrae said that he may have contributed to the “ambiguity” of Christian hip-hop, because he didn’t want anyone to box him into a specific genre.
“I just was trying to stretch my arms and go further than I’d gone before,” said Lecrae. In doing so, Lecrae said he caused a lot of confusion, alluding to his collaborations with non-Christian artists on some of his recent albums.
The “Don’t Waste Your Life” artist pointed out that there are two different categories of Christian rap music: Christian hip-hop and gospel rap. “Oftentimes, they’re really the same thing, it’s just that two different cultures of people are encountering it and that’s the titles that they’re given,” Lecrae said.
“I don’t think Christian hip-hop is dead,” Lecrae said. “I think it’s vibrant, and I think the artists are gonna have to embrace the origins and the roots…I think it’s helpful for the younger generation to understand what the older generation contributed toward what has been established — so that they can follow in those footsteps.”