(Photo: The Christian Post/Nicola Menzie)
NEW YORK – Award-winning rapper Lecrae was joined by Reach Records labelmate Andy Mineo for a live performance at the Apple store in SOHO in NYC Tuesday, leaving fans impressed and at least one new listener surprised to feel the Spirit of God present during the performance.
Enough fans showed up last night to get a glimpse of Lecrae's 60-minute set that the store quickly reached capacity. Only those who arrived well ahead of the 7 p.m. show time were able to head to the second floor of the newly redesigned Apple store to check out the performance. Shutout fans made the best of the situation, however, as the sounds of "Church Clap," "I Know" and a few other tracks from Lecrae's "Rebah" (2010) and "Gravity" albums reverberated throughout the store.
Lecrae, joined for a few songs by Mineo, preached as much as he rapped, taking the time to share his testimony, respond to critics skeptical of Christian hip-hop and encourage the mostly-young audience to look to God to find what's valuable in life.
One listener, exposed to Lecrae's unique blend of gospel-centered hip-hop for the first time, said he felt the Spirit of God moving during the performance. Another listener, asked why he was there, said he simply found Lecrae's music "different" from everything else present in hip-hop.
Some fans took to Twitter to share their reaction and photos from the scene.
Jackie Sousa (@jackie_sousa): "Soho Apple Store + @lecrae = way past capacity. #occupyallstreets Got here too late to see..." She shared the photo below.
King Williams, tweeting as @IamKingWilliams, made it upstairs and tweeted an Instagram photo of fans who didn't: "This is the crowd for the ppl who COULDN'T fit upstairs in the #applestore for the #lecrae concert! W/ @rile."
Harlem Witness (@WITNESSthetruth), who apparently didn't make it upstairs, tweeted: "Didn't see @lecrae at The Apple Store #NYC but I heard passion & the rawness of his voice. He's a great minister of the Gospel. #MuchLove"
As for fans who managed to make it upstairs, many of them expressed gratitude to be a part of the experience.
Jason Stewart (@JasonstewArtnow): "Really enjoyed @lecrae and @AndyMineo at the apple store soho tonight! Glad they let God use them to minister to people that needed it."
Benner Hall (@itsBenner): "@lecrae absolutely shocked me today w/ his Apple Store performance. That movement is something serious."
Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt): Checked out @lecrae at the Apple Store for a very dope performance. ...shout to @chuckcreekmur."
Chuck Creekmur (@chuckcreekmur): "@Lecrae rocked the Apple Store! Hip-Hop has many levels."
Wit (@IQwitMusic): "This Apple store in Soho is def poppin. @lecrae is shuttin it down...#NYC."
Jake from state farm (@MrDarr116): "Had so much fun jamming to @Lecrae and @AndyMineo tonight at the Apple store in SoHo."
Photos: Lecrae and Andy Mineo Rock the Apple Store in SOHO, NYC
Lecrae's latest release, the mixed-tape "Church Clothes," will be followed by "Gravity" in September. The Atlanta rapper recently spoke about the new Fall release with the publication Family Christian.
"'Gravity' is loosely based on Ecclesiastes and I think what Solomon was trying to do was bring some weight to life and that's really what I want to do, to paint some sober pictures. Honestly everything sober is not bad so I don't want people to think that sober pictures are bad," Lecrae explained.
"You know, there is a sobering picture when you're overwhelmed with all of the hurt and the pain in this world. There's a sober picture of how it's only for a short period of time, it's short-lived, or that we still have Jesus. So that's what I would call a weighty part, a gravitational pull to remind us of who we are in Jesus. So obviously, just wanting to paint hope, but also just giving the pictures of the realities of this life that we live, and how there's no escaping it other than Jesus."