One of the leading lights in the gospel-rap movement, Lecrae also has the chart-topping records to prove it. For the typical music fan, his hard demeanor and hard beats might belie what his lyrics are really about: his adoration of Jesus Christ. The main tenet influencing his mission and music is taken from Romans 1:16 of the Bible, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel.”
Although he was born on Houston’s south side, Lecrae Moore grew up in Denver, Colorado and San Diego, California. It was at the age of 19 that he decided to give his life to Christ. Using conventional methods to spread the Gospel, he began working for ministerial services, including his presidency of ReachLife Ministries, conducting Bible studies, and many other projects. However, Lecrae’s popular success came from his burgeoning Christian rap career. In 2004, he co-founded Reach Records with Ben Washer; one year later, the label released his debut album, Real Talk. Also, as a part of the 116 Clique, he put out 116 Clique: The Compilation Album.
In July 2006, Lecrae dropped his breakout album, the acclaimed After the Music Stops. It debuted at number one on the Christian Music Trade Association’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart and peaked at number five on Billboard’s Gospel Albums chart. His 2008 effort, Rebel, topped that same chart for two weeks while his 2010 release, Rehab, reigned at the top for one. Rehab was also nominated for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards. A sequel album, Rehab: The Overdose, arrived in 2011, and won him his first two Dove Awards (for Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year and Rap/Hip-Hop Song of the Year for “Hallelujah”).
Lecrae’s sixth album, Gravity, appeared in September 2012. A star-studded release, it featured Big K.R.I.T., Mali Music, Trip Lee, and Andy Mineo. Gravity quickly became the biggest-selling Christian rap album in history, debuting at number three on the overall charts, topping digital charts, and, early the following year, winning him the Grammy Award for Best Gospel Album (a prize no Christian rapper had ever won before). That same year, Lecrae issued the first installment of his Church Clothes mixtape series. Church Clothes 2 swiftly followed in 2013.
Lecrae’s seventh album, 2014’s Anomaly, managed to outdo its predecessor. It debuted at number one — both on Billboard’s gospel chart and the overall chart — the first album to do so. It also received plenty of critical acclaim and won a Dove Award. Lecrae went on to appear on Lindsey Stirling’s 2016 album Brave Enough and contributed to the soundtrack to The Shack (“River of Jordan” with Breyan Isaac). He also signed a deal with Columbia in order to expand the audience of his Reach Records label. The first single from Lecrae’s upcoming Columbia debut, “Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination),” arrived in October of that year. Several months later, in February 2017, a second single, the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Blessings,” was released. Following a third single, “Hammer Time,” Lecrae delivered his debut for Columbia, All Things Work Together, in September 2017. ~ Cyril Cordor