Monday, December 22, 2014

No Retreat: Lecrae’s Approach to “Culture-Making”

In 2012, hip hop artist Lecrae made a distinct shift in his music. On his mixtape, Church Clothes, he went from rapping about overtly Christian topics and themes to penning lyrics about the everyday concerns of people in the streets. Two years later he has a Grammy and his latest release, Anomaly hit #1 on the Billboard 200.
Both Lecrae and Andy Crouch display a savvy that other Christians who wish to impact broader culture may need to consider adopting.
Lecrae still raps from a biblical Christian perspective, but now his music is getting a hearing beyond the Christian clique. In the process he has gained both a hearing in the mainstream hip hop community and a vocal corner of critics. Why did Lecrae make this transition? Why would he risk alienating his original fan base? What accounted for the shift in his music?