The Daily Gamecock

Lecrae talks about career, South Carolina

Lecrae backstage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Lecrae backstage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. (Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Grammy-winning Christian rapper Lecrae is coming to perform at the Music Farm today at 7 p.m.

Growing up, the Houston-born rapper struggled with drugs and gangs, but hip-hop served as his outlet to a bright future. His conversion to Christianity in his teens led him on a path towards starting his own label called Reach Records, which, in an interview with The Daily Gamecock, he called "a beautiful dance of awesome and stressful." Lecrae released his debut album “Real Talk” in 2004.

The rampant dichotomy of rap and religion has not fazed Lecrae, though.

“I think whenever you are honest you risk success," Lecrae said. "People are afraid of things being shaken up too much. Our personal lives are already complicated so when you tie in the complexities of the world on a larger level people are hesitant to take in that stress. But I think that is what makes me me. People loved my boldness. It hasn't stopped.”

In 2014, Lecrae released “Anomaly," the first No. 1 album on both the Billboard 200 and the Top Gospel Albums chart. When asked about his desire to make music and not just Christian music, he said that it proves his desire to transcend.

"Transcend genre, label, boxes," Lecrae said. "I walk in different cultures daily. Its who I am. I transcend.”

With all his success, Lecrae has used his fame to start vocally addressing race relations in America. He even spoke about the changes that have happened to Columbia and Charleston over the past year.

“I think people haven't come together really to dialog and heal from all the tension thats happened in South Carolina," he said. "Some may feel its easier to just to move on, but healing happens when you go thru the tunnel of chaos together.”

In 2005, Lecrae co-founded ReachLife Ministries, an organization whose mission statement says they “Bridge the gap between biblical truth and the urban context.”

Even with all his success, Lecrae has been able to stay grounded. The ringing endorsements from Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow has left him “humbled by it all.” The touring, however, does not hinder his ability to be there for his family.

“I make every effort I can to fly home and use technology to stay connected," he said.

Lecrae is always looking at the future. Earlier this year, he signed with Columbia Records but doesn’t seem too fazed.

“They knew when we decided to work together that we wanted creative control and they've done nothing but help that,” he said.

Topics for his next album include “Faith, family, addiction, struggle, pain, joy, love,...all the things that make us human.” Lecrae’s environment has changed over time to where he has seen both extremes of the success-failure spectrum, but that hasn’t hurt his mindset in creating the music that helped him so much.

“Im not as idealistic. I realize its a process that won't happen easily," he said.


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