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For some reason whenever an artist is on top an air of invincibility develops and Lecrae definitely had that after “Rehab”. No one really seemed to be coming close and it seemed his reign at the forefront of Christian rap would till Jesus comes again. And then… BET broadcasts the rap cypher with Lecrae rapping in a circle with secular artists. Talk begins discussing how much the two worlds can mix and what’s going on with Lecrae. The Atlanta rappers’ fan base splits like Christians and Jews. The topic is whether as Christians we should be the salt in the hip hop industry or holy and separate when making God’s music.
Fast forward to 2012, what’s this? Lecrae’s putting out a mixtape, no problems there right? Oh really, he’s working with secular producers, that’s going to be an issue. And he has secular rappers on the mixtape too huh? I’m glad I’m not Lecrae’s publicist. The aftermath is a small-scale exodus from Lecrae’s fanbase. Gravity is released and those left run to listen to the album. Will it be an ode to the freedom of speech, unashamed Christian gospel music offending anybody who gets in the way? Kind of…
The album seems to carry the burden that has become Lecrae’s new cross. He has Christian fans to please and also secular fans. I’m so glad I’m not Lecrae’s publicist. Let’s be fair logical Christians and not judgemental ones. Milk and Meat comes to mind on this one. Some people will listen to this album and just hear drums, milk. Some may find Devine inspiration and a stepping stone to a life changing decision as Lecrae Moore discusses marriage, money and God himself, meat.
The chorus’ do feel like Christianity sneaking in through that back door you can’t remember if you locked or not. You might not realize this is a gospel album if you listen to this in preview mode on iTunes. There is a lot of substance in the verses however and the musical quality of Lecrae remains intact. I pray for him as a person because even with all his achievements he still has so much more potential. He isn’t judged as a rapper, or as a Christian, or as a man. He is judged on a strange balance of all these things. His albums have the same problem, they aren’t judged simply as music. Their value to God, Christians and all humanity is measured. The album has defied gravity well and stayed on the Billboard charts though and even earned the artist a grammy, hopefully making his cross easier to bear.
Lion Track: Tell the World
Best Feature:: Mali Music (Tell the World)
Rating: 4 Crosses