On September 22, Lecrae is slated to drop his eighth solo album titled All Things Work Together.
Now, some people may not know of Lecrae. Although he’s a veteran in the industry — winning two Grammys and going gold his last album — the 37-year-old rapper from Houston definitely has a niche following.
You see, Lecrae is considered a Christian rapper. He became the first hip-hop artist to win the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album and in 2015 became the first rapper to win the BET Award for Best Gospel Artist.
Yet, with this kind of success — between the critical acclaim and record sales — one could ask why more people don’t know about Lecrae or why he’s considered a gospel rapper when he’s won multiple times classified as such?
Well, it’s not that simple.
The label of being a “Christian” artist can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, you’re unashamedly putting on for your beliefs and doing it in a way that relates to you and people like you, which is important in its own right. But it also detracts.
Music that’s filed under the Christian genre doesn’t do as well in the mainstream. It’s possible to have a career as a Christian artist, but there are realistic hindrances to anyone with sights at the top of the charts.
And while Lecrae has seen chart success before, topping the Billboard 200 back in 2014 with his album Anomaly, proving himself in the Christian music world in the process, he’s looking for that crossover success.
That’s why you may see him with new singles featuring familiar names like Ty Dolla $ign and Tori Kelly. It’s also why you’ve seen him struggle with how he’s labeled in interviews.
In the interview, he’s asked if he’s okay with being labeled a Christian rapper and he responds:
“At the end of the day it’s good music it’s good lyrics, [and] you can find whatever you’re looking for inside of it. I don’t call myself that. I don’t go by any of those genres/titles.”
And he’s right. At the end of the day, it comes down to if you got bars or not. And as Lecrae gears up for his newest album, it’s a good time to see if he has them or not. Here are ten times he brought it.
“Manolo” | Trip Lee
“I flip that page on em my trigga finga stay workin (pop pop pop)
I got plenty ammo got old and new they both testify, my Lord”
“That’s backwards, and I lack words
For these actors called pastors
All these folks is hypocrites
And that’s why I ain’t at church”
“I ain’t popping, rolling and I ain’t burnt
So tell Mary and Molly I don’t need ’em to party
Someone woke up in the lobby trying to locate they wallet
While I’m nine holes in trying to work on my hobby”
“Blessings” feat. Ty Dolla $ign
“I’ve been punchin’ in the clock
Tryna keep the kitchen stocked
Man it’s a blessin’ ’cause we ain’t ever had a lot
But all we need is all we got”
“I’ll Find You” feat. Tori Kelly
“They say ‘Don’t get bitter, get better’
I’m working on switching them letters
But tell God I’ma need a whole lotta hope keeping it together”
“All I Need Is You”
“And I’m all or nothing cause (all I need is you)
To hold me down like bed straps to the psych ward
It’s killing me but you still with me when I fight hard
And (all I need is you)”
“And everybody watching thinking that you made it
The truth is for a few designer labels and a little bit of paper now you 12 years slaving
Hey but you ain’t Lupita
So why you beat up and pushing people to lean on a double cup
And a seizure”
“Tell The World” feat. Mali Music
“I got the old me in the rearview
Now the new me got a clear view
And I was so dead, I couldn’t hear you
Too deep in sin to come near you”
“Don’t Waste Your Life”
“People think they livin’ for a job
Make a lil money start living for a car
Get em a wife, a house, kids and a dog
When they retire they living high on the hog”