Lecrae will be dropping his mixtape Church Clothes with Don Cannon tomorrow, and here he talks with XXL about hip-hop acceptance, being boxed in and more…
With minimal mainstream press and radio backing, Lecrae has been building a small hip-hop empire over the last few years. His independent label, Reach Records, offers a roster of talented MCs with a message. The squad, spearheaded by Lecrae, has carved a lane and amassed a passionate following with their Christian-rooted raps—having sold hundred of thousands of records to date. Some more traditional hip-hop heads may be hesitant to give something with a religious tag a chance, but it’s a bit misleading. Wrapped in technically adept raps, ‘Crae and co. deliver music with a message without coming off preachy.
In recent months, the Atlanta-based MC has opened the ears of listeners and media outlets outside of religious circles. In hopes to widen his scope, he’s set to drop the DJ Don Cannon-hosted mixtape Church Clothes tomorrow (May 10), which features No Malice as well as production from 9th Wonder and Boi-1da. Here, he talks about those relationships, acceptance within hip-hop, and why he shouldn’t be boxed in. —Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)
XXLMag.com: This is your first mixtape. What made you want to do it now?
Lecrae: I know there’s a lot of people within hip-hop who are just starting to get familiar with what I’m doing and what I got going. I didn’t want them to have to one, pay for the music to experience it or test it out; and then, two, trying to communicate to a whole different group of people now. I think most of my fans were probably Christian fans, and wanted to hear particular things in music, and this goes around that. I wanted to address some different stuff in music that I thought a broader audience would appreciate.
Can you explain the Church Clothes title?
Everybody has this idea that, I gotta get dressed up; or, I gotta put on my church clothes. This putting on of airs. People believe that I gotta put on airs when it comes to dealing with God or dealing with Christians. Even like, when I first start meeting people, and they on the corner smokin’ or somethin’ like that, “Like, ah, there go ‘Crae, put it away.” But you ain’t gotta put on no airs for me. I don’t have a heaven or hell to put you in.
Read the rest of the article here: http://www.xxlmag.com/features/2012/05/lecrae-on-church-clothes-mixtape-why-hes-hip-hop-no-malice-kendrick-lamar-jeremy-lin/