Lecrae is not a Christian rapper. He’s said this time and time again since about 2012. For many in the Church, however, this has been a tough proclamation to grasp. But it’s high time we finally accept it. It’s time for those of us who have been clinging to him to let him go and instead embrace the fact that Lecrae is free to do and be called whatever he wishes. If removing the “Christian” label from his identity is what he really wants to do, I say we fall all the way back and let him do it. After all, as he once said, “If I was a plumber, I wouldn’t say ‘I’m a Christian plumber’”. Touché! I can totally respect that perspective.
But here’s the thing: Lecrae previously indicated his music wasn’t merely his vocation. He treated it like his ministry. On numerous occasions he claimed his ultimate goal was to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His favorite Bible verse, Romans 1:16, and many of his songs presented him to be one who was unashamed of the Gospel. He said he would tell the world about Jesus EVERYWHERE he’d go. So what does he really mean by, “I’m not a Gospel rapper” and “My music isn’t Christian” when he, himself, once told the Church AND the world:
““That’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes
That’s why it’s Christ all the time
See my whole world is built around Him
He’s the life in my lines”
— Lecrae, "Don't Wast Your Life" (2008)
That’s how he introduced himself to us. So, as I prepare to fall back on the kid and officially bid the new Lecrae adieu, I wanted to at least express where many of his original fans are coming from that he might understand why it’s taken us so long to accept his new direction - a direction he might call "growth" yet so many of us discern is regression or "falling away".