Grammy Award-winning hip hop artist Lecrae took to Instagram this week to address a question posed to him by a young woman, who wanted to know if he has “succumbed to ‘wokeness,’ or whatever that means,” he said.
“To be honest with you,” said Lecrae. “In 2023, I hate that word, one, because it’s been co-opted like so many other things for political agendas and ideologies. A lot of times people think I’m very political. The truth of the matter is, I am not. I’m not married to a political party, I’m married to the Scriptures.”
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Lecrae: ‘I’m Kingdom Over Empire’
Lecrae is a Christian hip hop artist who has been nominated for seven Grammys and who has won two, one for Best Gospel Album (“Gravity”) and one for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song (“Messengers”). He released his latest album, “Church Clothes 4,” last November, and on March 17 will begin “The Final Church Clothes Tour.”
Over the past several years, Lecrae has been outspoken about his journey deconstructing from a “western, political, evangelical version of Christianity.” “Church Clothes 4” even has a track titled, “Deconstruction,” in which he mentions various Christian leaders including Judah Smith, John Piper, Tim Keller, Tony Evans, and Voddie Baucham.
“I’m a hip hop kid who found the Lord,” Lecrae said in March 2021, “but I found America’s version of Christianity, which was detrimental to my psyche, and it was drenched in white supremacy. So I had to deconstruct my faith, come to grips with who God is, and strip away the nationalist mindsets that were drenched in it.”
Regarding his view of the term “woke,” the hip hop artist rejected the political connotations some now associate with the word, saying, “Oftentimes, biblical agendas are hijacked by political campaigns and political pundits, and you are forced to look like you’ve chosen a side.”
Lecrae is not the only one who has voiced frustration with the way some are using the term “woke.” In August 2022, former NFL player and Christian Benjamin Watson published a blog explaining that the word “woke” has been co-opted, redefined and weaponized against the Black community. Whereas some now use the term entirely negatively, “woke,” said Watson, “was always rooted in an awareness of racialized violence against black people by white America, whether by individuals or institutions, carried out intentionally or in innocence.”
Watson said that “woke” came to the forefront of public awareness in the U.S. within the past decade with the growing public outcry against racial violence following the deaths of Michael Brown and many others. It subsequently became associated with the Black Lives Matter movement and gradually with a “smorgasbord of ideals from sexuality to social justice.” Watson denounced ignorant uses of the word as “reckless.”
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