In the hip-hop world, being authentic is a known trademark and it's one that Lecrae seemed pleased with as he sat down with The Christian Post to discuss his new collaborative album, the process of dealing with church hurt, and what he feels God has planned for his future.
Lecrae's new album, No Church In A While, is the first album where the entire work is a collaboration with another artist, 1K Phew from Atlanta.
“The No Church In A While project came out of the pandemic we’ve been in and people weren't going to church or going to the building," said Lecrae Devaughn Moore, better known mononymously as Lecrae, who's also the CEO of Reach Records.
It was through working on the single and the album that Lecrae began to notice that many people weren’t returning to church, partly due to the pandemic but also because of church hurt.
“There were people who were just struggling with the concept of church and where God was. And so, just dealing with all of those issues brought it out in the music,” he said.
For Lecrae, dealing with church hurt is something he's familiar with and he tackles the issue in his music.
“I had to realize that people hurts cannot be God hurts," Lecrae explained. "I cannot transfer the hurt I've experienced from people onto God. God didn't do that to me. Jesus didn't do that to me. That was people and people are broken. I'm one of those broken people. I've hurt people before.”
It's that type of confession that Lecrae wants to communicate to his audience — that people will let you down, but God never will.
As the hip-hop artist that he is, Lecrae weaved deconstruction into the discussion about his album and shared how he's had to deconstruct at times in his spiritual walk. However, he stressed that one cannot deconstruct the heart of the Gospel and any deconstruction should be followed by reconstruction.
“I went through reconstruction and that's what a lot of people don't talk about," he added. "They miss that one. Deconstruction is not a bad thing if it leads to reconstruction. Sometimes you have to demolish a building that has mold and then build something else on that foundation. We're not getting rid of the foundation. The foundation is Christ. But we're building on that foundation and tearing down some things that were unnecessary.”
Lecrae is also known for tackling social issues, and at times his positions have stirred debate within the Evangelical community and that's what led to some of the church hurt he experienced. But Lecrae makes it clear that going through his own form of church hurt and the process of that pain hasn't diminished his faith in Jesus Christ, it's strengthened his faith.
When asked by this reporter to address the R-word — retirement — Lecrae said he doesn't know what the future holds for him, but he'll continue to be a mentor for younger artists and plans to always share the Gospel with others until God calls him home.
“So it is kind of like being an NBA player. I'm not going to drive down the lane and dunk on people anymore. I might just shoot the jump shot, but I'm still going to play.
"I think, for me now, it's important to give good guidance and mentorship and create a platform for the younger artists to continue paving the way and to continue being a voice," he added. "I'm not going to retire from being an influential Christian any way that I can until God takes me home.”
One thing people might not know about Lecrae is that he also hosts Bible studies where he disciples those he mentors. He told CP that some of his favorite moments in life have been in serving God in that capacity: "It's like I see the wheels turning. I see the light bulbs coming on. I live for those moments.”