Billboard talks to Lecrae on Hip-Hop’s ‘Inconsistency’ and Ferguson
And on the eighth day, God created air conditioning.
Biblically speaking this may not be true, but on this sweltering late-August morning in Atlanta, any cool breeze feels heaven-sent. Out in the heat, 34-year-old rapper Lecrae and a six-person video crew are filming a music video for “All I Need Is You,” the third single from Lecrae’s new album, Anomaly. You would hardly know it from the indie-sized shoot, but Lecrae is a superstar — in Christian music, at least. His last album, Gravity, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, sold nearly 300,000 copies (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and won a Grammy for best gospel album in January. He also counts professional athletes — dozens of them, from Tim Tebow to Andrew McCutchen — among his fans.
The question now: Can Lecrae, who rhymes about walking through “valleys in the shadows of death” the way many rappers rhyme about the concrete jungle, be the first Christian rapper to break into the mainstream? If he does, it won’t be because Anomaly downplays his faith or features top-dollar producers and famous guests. He’s counting on his perseverance and steady growth as an artist (albeit one now distributed by Sony’s RED). “I’ll put it to you like this: You can only go as mainstream as people will let you go,” he says. “I’m not going to change my heartbeat or my passion, but I’ll go where the people will let me go.”
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