Why Lecrae’s performance on BET Hip Hop Awards '11 International Cypher worked
As evidenced by the flood of activity on Twitter, Lecrae’s performance on the BET Hip-Hop Awards ‘11 International Cypher proved to be a landmark night for the Christian hip-hop genre.
Here, in my opinion, is why Lecrae’s performance worked...
1. Lecrae started at the right place. He skillfully addressed the “What’s that Christian rapper doing on here?” question right off the bat. When he said, “You probably watchin’ like, ‘Man, I never heard of him. I’d murder him,’” I know there were a bunch of cats who smirked and admitted, “Yep, that’s exactly what I was thinking.” Immediately, he had their attention.
2. Lecrae avoided the over-spiritualization trap. Lecrae’s entire performance - from his wardrobe, to his lyrics and his delivery - proved that not only was he serious about his God, but he was serious about his craft. In truth, there is no difference between the sacred and the secular. All should be done for the glory of God.
3. Lecrae avoided the under-spiritualization trap. While it was Lecrae at his finest, it was still typical Lecrae. He was able to communicate his worldview in a relevant manner that sounded dope, and it was appropriate to the BET audience. I appreciate that he wasn’t so concerned about proving that Christian rappers can hold their own lyrically that he switched up his flow.
4. Lecrae ripped it. His came with the trademark wordplay and high-energy performance. I’ve always thought Lecrae was the most energetic rapper I’ve ever seen perform, and that was evidenced Tuesday night.
Whenever you discuss a new rap artist with a friend, you usually try to remember a few classic punch lines from that artist. Lecrae gave fans plenty to remember. The “Taylored to rip the mic Swiftly like ‘Ye did” is not new to hardcore Lecrae fans, but it was a great line to recycle given the BET audience. And the Derrick Rose play on words was clever as well.
Lecrae was able to steward the BET platform well. Prayerfully, that will make room for other talented lyricists in the Christian hip-hop genre in the near future. Hopefully, they are able to steward that platform as carefully and as wisely as Lecrae did Tuesday night.
To watch the cypher go here.