Hip-hop artist Lecrae recently made an appearance on the controversial Bad Christian podcast where he opened up about the disappointment he felt and the backlash he received for condemning white evangelicals.
On the podcast, the Reach Record founder said he was alienated for taking a stand on social and political issues. The interview delve into Lecrae's past comments about the Church and white evangelicals. "I was forced to [speak abrasively to white evangelicals] because no one would listen to me when I was trying to be reasonable," the 38 year old said. "They unfollowed me, they blocked me, they stopped buying my projects. They told me I was being divisive and to shut my mouth," the rapper revealed to Bad Christian.
In 2015, Lecrae's Anomaly surprised the world with its recording-breaking first week sales of 88,000 units sold, not including streaming. But he saw a dramatic difference this year, as his album, All Things Work Together, fell short in comparison.
According to Hits Daily Double, Lecrae's newest record, which was released by both Reach Records and Columbia Records, only sold between 20,000 and 23,000 units. In his recent interview, the native Texan said the 50,000 first week sales dive from record to record was definitely a result of his comments on racial issues, police, and white evangelicals.
"I didn't count the cost, really. I was like whatever, it needs to be said. You don't know until you go. And I went, and the river dries up quick," he said.
"When God's hand is on you there's nothing anybody can do to stop that. I'm not afraid of people, I'm afraid of not doing what God created me to do. I'm going to do it regardless of the cost. So yeah, it was a cost," Lecrae admitted.
He said he used to be on the speaker circuit for brown evangelicals and now he's not getting any calls to speak at conferences or churches either.
"I know where my bills get paid from and that's God! "People said to me — which enraged [me] further and made me go harder — they said, 'You know we made you.'
"I'd rather go work at Home Depot than let you think that you made me," he said. "God made me."
Lecrae ended the interview by revealing that not all of his white supporters turned their backs on him. He ultimately hopes that his fan based can except the "full Gospel" and not just a pretty picture.
Pastor John Piper, founder of the Desiring God website, spoke out in defense of Lecrae's comments in his column, "116 Been Real. Lecrae, 'White Evangelicalism.'"
In the piece, Piper cited Lecrae's original comments during his appearance on the Truth's Table podcast where he spoke about feeling that he had to lay his black heritage to the side as a Christian. That was when he first confessed that he had lost some of his white evangelical audience because he started speaking about racial injustice.
"I spoke out repeatedly in 2016 in many different ways, and it affected me. I went from a show that may have 3,000 people to 300," Lecrae said. "Those 300 love Lecrae, the black man, the Christian, not the caricature that had been drawn up. This is not Lecrae placating a white audience. I don't feel any sense of prioritizing white evangelicalism."
While Piper admitted that "some things Lecrae said in the interview make me cringe," he urged others in the "white evangelical tribe" to forego feelings of frustration and being disheartened to focus on being thankful for the rapper's sentiments. Piper added that he was thankful that Lecrae's faith was still intact.
"I know young men whose disillusionment with 'white evangelicalism' was not as painful as Lecrae's, and yet they threw the brown baby of Bethlehem out with the white bathwater. They're done with Christianity," he said. "That could have been Lecrae. It could be you."