I had taken a hiatus from Christian Hip Hop. I appreciated that guys were trying to use the genre in a positive way, but I just couldn’t get into it. The glitz of high production quality, ingenious (if depraved) lyrics, and the massive popularity of secular artists was too strong. I didn’t think that hip hop with a Christian message could compete in those areas. Then someone told me about Lecrae.
The most important moment of Lecrae Moore’s life came at the age of 19 when he became a Christian. He immediately began spreading the good news about Jesus to friends and even detention center inmates. Already interested in hip hop music, he began using rhymes to tell about his Redeemer.
At the age of 25 he founded Reach Records and began producing solo albums as well as signing other artists. His first solo album was called “Real Talk” which was well received in Christian circles. He followed up that album with several more such as “After the Music Stops”, “Rebel”, “Rehab”, and “Rehab the Overdose”.
Moving to the Mainstream
Up until this time Lecrae had mostly been known in Christian circles, but he made a shift to the mainstream music scene in 2012. That year he released his first mixtape, “Church Clothes”, hosted by Don Cannon. His lyrics, while still faith-filled and positive, were less overtly Christian prompting criticism by some. But the mixtape proved immensely popular and was downloaded over 100,000 times in less than 48 hours. He followed up with the album “Gravity” and reached even higher levels of mainstream notoriety. With this album, Lecrae climbed to the pinnacle of success for any music artist. He garnered a Grammy for “Best Gospel Album”.
Yet Lecrae continues to break the laws of Christian music physics. He released his latest album, “Anomaly” on September 9, 2014. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200, another first for Lecrae. While he is not a household name, the 34 year old lyricist sits in rare air as an accomplished music artist who has been outspoken about his Christianity while producing excellence in his craft.
“The Tonight Show” Starring Jimmy Fallon
As one sign of this recognition the popular late night host, Jimmy Fallon, will have Lecrae appear as a guest on The Tonight Show. Tune in on Thursday (9/18/2014) at 11:35/10:35pm CST to watch the interview and performances. But before you do that, listen to some of Lecrae’s music and see for yourself what it sounds like to be a hip hop artist who is making inroads into secular outlets while being unashamed about his Christian faith.
Single: “Nuthin'” on Soundcloud
Album: “Anomaly” on iTunes
Update: Here’s a segment from The Tonight Show on how Lecrae wrote the song “Nuthin”