“I could play the background/I could play the background/Cause I know sometimes I get in the way/So won’t you take lead and I can play the background/And you can take the LEAD!” “Background” was the first song that I had heard of by hip-hop, Christian artist, Lecrae, a very thoughtful but yet slow lyrical melody that took me on a journey into my own life.
I was never that much into hip-hop, not even in the secular world and dismissed any forms of it – no matter who was busting the rhyme. I grew up in the church community where all forms of hip-hop including the Gospel/Christian versions were forbidden – for some reason or another the church world felt that if you listened to such caious, you would surely go to…well…you know. Everyone was condemned there especially if you had anything other than James Cleveland or the Mighty Clouds of Joy playing in the background.
But it was something about Lecrae’s lyrics that got my head to nodding and my feet to patting, it wasn’t the beat but the lyrics; he was speaking truth in his lyrics and the most amazing part about the whole thing is that he was speaking about God. His lyrics got me at “I could play the background” which made me interested in his background.
Lecrae is a two-time Grammy-award winning, rap artist who’s had his share of abuse, adversity, pain and acceptance. He’s a songwriter, record producer and actor. He’s the president, co-owner and founder of Reach Records. And he’s also the co-founder and president of a non-profit organization called ReachLife Ministries.
Aside from his many nominations from the GMA Dove Awards in which he later won and being nominated for Best Gospel Artist at the 2015 BET Awards in which he won as well, Lecrae slowed down long enough to write a book. The book chronicles an unwavering faith and affirmation in Jesus, overcoming many tragedies, complications and finally coming to terms and making peace with his God given lyrical talent and skills. According to Barnes and Nobles Editorial reviews, Lecrae holds nothing back in this book, he shares the intimacies of his life – answers many critics whom thought his version of hip-hop was too street to be labeled as Christian music – he chronicles how to live Christian in a very secular world and be UNASHAMED about it.
Snippet from the book UNASHAMED:
“This is one of the reasons I don’t fully embrace the “Christian rapper” label. It isn’t that I’m ashamed of being a Christian. I’m not. If someone asked me to renounce my faith or take a bullet in the brain, I’m dying that day. But labeling the music that way creates hurdles and is loaded down with baggage. Plus, it just isn’t a true expression of the music I’m making. I try to produce music that is life-giving and inspires people to hope, but it isn’t just for the super-religious. I want to address themes that people who aren’t Christian can appreciate.”
Lecrae may be labeled as a Christian rapper but his lyrics go far beyond the gospel genre. His lyrics are for anyone that may be hurting, fatherless, motherless, a christian, not a christian – the lyrics hit you from whatever background you may have come from and if this hyped lyricist grabs your attention – it’s okay to pat your feet and nod your head just as I did. Be determined in your own life to be UNASHAMED about it all, just as Lecrae has.
If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection. – Lecrae
UNASHAMED the Book – Hits all major book outlet stores May 3rd
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