Nominated among the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and Childish Gambino for “Best Rap Performance” at the Grammys, Lecrae is no stranger to the rap world.
Despite his success, Lecrae described not being fully accepted in the inner circle of celebrities in an excerpt he released on Medium from his book “Unashamed.”
“As I’ve said in songs and speeches, if you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection. This belief has made it possible to keep doing what I do and keep being who I am, unashamed,” Lecrae wrote in his chapter “Red Carpet Treatment.”
Lecrae does not like the label of Christian rapper, as it often creates a barrier between him and potential listeners of his music and constantly gives him an “outsider” status.
With albums like “Church Clothes” and “Anomaly,” Lecrae challenges the label, focusing more on inclusivity to those outside of the church.
“It’s just that when people want a song that can double over as as a sermon that won’t be the case,” he said. “I want the music to reach as far and wide as it possibly can, and I want people to hear the music and the messages in it.”
Lecrae’s music mantra of “Unashamed” is fittingly the title of his book.
Unashamed of his flaws and mistakes, Lecrae feels freed to live life and be true to his faith and himself.
Evident in the honest core of his music in songs like “The Good, Bad and the Ugly” in “Anomaly,” Lecrae does not shy away from sharing his personal stories of dealing with sexual abuse and abortion.
“The first step in the healing process is acknowledgment. If you don’t acknowledge that you’re wounded, you can’t get any treatment for it, you can’t get help. It won’t heal, it will get infected,” he said. “You don’t have to talk to the world about it like I do, but you should talk to somebody about whatever mental or emotional trauma you have been exposed to.”
Unashamed in leading the way in hard conversations, Lecrae became involved in educating others in wake of the Ferguson protests.
“A unique voice from the faith-based community is needed that is not just fighting for equality but for unity among all people,” Lecrae said. “God does call us to be unified. Though I’m not an outright supporter of the #blacklivesmatter movement, I do appreciate some of what they’re trying to do.”
The book promises to be no different in Lecrae’s style of combatting issues head on, unashamed, and he hopes to elaborate on themes and messages from his music, he said.
“It’s been a great process. It’s a lot easier to make than an album. You have more room to be expressive. I’m excited to see how people respond to it after putting all hard work in it,” he said.
Readers can pre-order “Unashamed” before its release on May 3 here.
Crowds can expect the same expressiveness at his Higher Learning tour in Allen Arena at Lipscomb on Thursday.
“The crowd speaks for themselves. It’s a force to be reckoned with as to just being in the crowd and experiencing the event. Some artists just get on the stage and rap, I really put on a show and have production and have an experience that people can walk away from,” he said.
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