Lecrae reveals why he walked away from mainstream record deal with Columbia Records

Lecrae on 'Good Morning Football,' January 2020.
Lecrae on "Good Morning Football," January 2020. | Screenshot:

Popular rapper Lecrae, known for rapping about his Christian faith, released a candid video this week about why he walked away from the mainstream company Columbia Records.

The Reach Records founder took a brief break from talking about racial injustice on Monday to address why he no longer is with the record label owned by Sony Music Entertainment.

The Billboard-topping Grammy award winner disclosed that although people were initially upset that he signed with the Columbia machine, he chose to do so because of the demand that his success was causing on his independent label, Reach Records. Lecrae said he didn’t want to take anything away from the other artists on his label and he was also excited about what relationships and networks the Columbia opportunity would provide him. 

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However, the downside of being on the major label was that he couldn’t “move” when he wanted to. He admitted that while under contract with them, he missed having the creative freedom he experienced on his independent label.  

“We liked the fluidity to do what we wanted to do when we wanted to do it,” Lecrae said and used his recent single “Deep End” as an example.

The single was written, recorded and released in 48 hours. Lecrae used the song as an example showing that he wouldn’t have been able to do that under his Columbia contract. Furthermore, he explained that he was not given the freedom to just get up and do some of the initiatives in the community that he wanted to take part in because everything had to go through the label first. 

Lecrae signed the major deal with Columbia Records in 2016 and released the albums All Things Work Together and Let the Trap Say Amen collab while working in partnership with Reach Records. 

He announced his departure from Columbia earlier this year.

The hip-hop artist, who is also a mentor to many young artists, warned that they should be careful about signing to major companies. He said labels are like “banks.” 

“God had a vision and a mission for me and it didn’t include me being at Columbia Records. That was a season and a time period and then I had to move on.”

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