Lecrae tends to be labelled as a Christian hip-hop artist. He is indeed a Christian and a hip-hop artist, but he doesn't particularly care to box his music or artistry in such a way. He has continuously proven that his music is an authentic testament to who he is as a person while still relating to listeners.
We had the opportunity to chat with Lecrae about his forthcoming album, his thoughts on Christian undertones becoming more prevalent in rap music, and more. See what he had to say below.
EARMILK: Hi Lecrae! How's it going?
Lecrae: Good McKenzii! Thank you for your patience and your kindness.
EARMILK: No problem. Glad we can set this up for today.
Lecrae: Yeah, absolutely.
EARMILK: But just to kind of kick things off. does the comic kick things off. You know I know you've mentioned in previous interviews that you don’t necessarily like to use Christian as an adjective to describe your music but just wanted to kind of get your thoughts on what you think about kind of the more fluid route that I guess you could say secular rap and rap with more Christian undertones are taking on a mainstream level. For instance, you know artists like Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar are using more Christian themes in their music. How do you how do you feel about the direction of mainstream rap?
Lecrae: I’m actually all for it. You know, as long as the perspective is right and what is being articulated is consistent with what’s true, I’m an advocate of it. I think Chance is very sincere. I know Kendrick and know he’s sincere. I welcome it. I think a lot of times we have to remember that these are people and people are creating art as an expression of themselves. You know they’re not writing a dissertations or their music isn’t like a doctrinal statement. It’s them as human beings expressing their perspectives in art.
EARMILK: Absolutely. And I actually you just heard. You’re featured on the soundtrack for the movie The Shack, which is an awesome book and looks to be a great movie. But specifically, one of the lines I think on the second verse, you said “lost my religion but I found God.” Was that a reference to the main character Mac, or was it more of a personal kind of reference?
Lecrae: You know it’s a little bit of both. It relates to the character of Mac pretty strongly just after watching the movie and just seeing what he was wrestling with, I kind of went in and tried to pen that. I also can relate because there comes a point and time when you realize it’s not about a bunch of rules it’s about a relationship. There are no rules; it’s about you having an authentic relationship with God and creating music based off of that. I’m not trying to follow a bunch of rules that other people put on you. That’s what it comes down to; that’s what religion is to me – just a bunch of man-made rules. Versus having a real relationship with God.
EARMILK: How did the Ty Dolla $ign feature come about for your most recent single “Blessings”? You all complement each other very well.
Lecrae: Yeah, I actually met Ty probably in 2011 at SXSW. I think the creative community just respects each other’s gifts and artistic abilities. You know we may not all share the same philosophies and everything but we respect each other’s gifts. I sent a couple of records, and this was the one he connected with the most. I’m a fan of what he does and his skill-set.
EARMILK: What can we expect to hear on your upcoming album slated to release later this year?
Lecrae: Yeah, this is probably one of my most personal albums I’ve ever made. Also sonically, hands down, sonically the best album I’ve ever made. Production quality much higher and I’m more confident in my capabilities. Just very tedious. I’ve rewrote songs seven some times on here. If it didn’t make sense, I rewrote it or if I just didn’t like it. I’ve never done that before. A lot of perfecting. From a content standpoint, it’s really just authentic to me. When I'm learning things, they come out in the music.
EARMILK: That's awesome. I look forward to hearing the new album, and thank you again for taking time to talk.
Look for more new music from Lecrae soon.