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NEWS: Rapper Lecrae ‘Marked’ by Industry for Being Christian

The Reach Records founder took to Facebook on Wednesday to share an excerpt from Unashamed,
which is set to release in May. The lone paragraph the rapper shared
features his internal dialogue as he’s being introduced by an industry
executive:
“‘I want you to
meet Lecrae. He’s a Christian rapper.’ ‘I know who you are,’ they would
respond with a patronizing smile. ‘I’m familiar with your music.’ The
awkwardness would grow, and I could almost hear their thoughts: Can I
cuss around him? He is about to preach at me, or judge me if I drink
this whole bottle of Cristal and stumble out of here? Maybe they don’t
know if they can be fully themselves around me. Or perhaps they don’t
think they would like the content of my music or the assumptions behind
my music or the worldview I hold. Regardless, they don’t want to know
more. From that point on, it felt awkward. It was like I was marked.”
During an interview with CNN last
month, the 36-year-old “All I Need is You” emcee said Christians in
general get stereotyped. “For a lot of people, groups, Christians
included, issues are homogenized and so to be a Christian I’m either
this staunch conservative Republican or I’m this tree hugging liberal,”
Lecrae said. “You’re stereotyped. It’s almost assumed that people know
what your issues are going to be.”

Although Lecrae avoids the
title “Christian rapper,” the well educated, father and husband is not
ashamed of his faith. He and his fellow Reach Record rappers often
proclaim the number 116, which is Roman 1:16: “For I am unashamed of the
Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who
believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

The
verse is also the inspiration behind Lecrae’s book, which he says is
for all who want to break the mold and be outside of the box, as he
strives to do.

“I am writing Unashamed for
all those who don’t know who they are, who feel confined by the labels
given to them,” Lecrae said in a statement shared with The Christian
Post. “This is for the outsiders looking for peace within.”

“As
an artist, my ambition is to make honest music, and I feel the same way
about writing this book,” Lecrae continued. “I want to be honest about
where I’ve come from and what I’ve learned along the way. I want to
influence culture, to help catalyze and inspire, and help other people
find understanding. If they find some inspiration and some clarity for
their own lives, as they follow my journey, then I will have succeeded.”
In a previous interview with Rapzilla, Lecrae revealed that the book will explain why he has stormed the gates of the secular hip-hop community with his music.
“I
think a book will help people understand not only the method to my
madness, but my heart,” he told the Christian rap site. “I also want the
book to reveal kind of the faith that I hold and why I believe what I
believe

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