Popular Christian rapper Lecrae revealed who his great grandmother’s slave owner was.
“Just found the slave Master that bought my 3rd Great grandmother at 9 years old from Africa,” the Reach Records founder tweeted Monday.
“Sobering,” he ended the post.
The information was pulled from an 1860 federal census in Arkansas.
Thousands of people liked and commented on the tweet, including Christian rapper THI’SL who revealed that he too recently discovered that he was born on a plantation.
“My family didn’t move off that plantation until 1985. This was the actual house I was born in. Bell Chase Plantation, Minter City Mississippi,” THI’SL commented on Lecrae’s post. “I played in cotton fields every summer until 8 years old.”
He then added a photo of his birth certificate side by side with a photo of his grandfather as a child, playing with a white boy who was reportedly the slave master’s son.
“My birth certificate says, ‘Negro’ for my race,” THI’SL added.
The public records are “Painful, Yet gives us some sort of identity and answers from our past,” NFL star Benjamin Watson tweeted Lecrae.
“We are a strong people. To survive what this country has done to us and still be standing. Grace and truth.”
Lecrae is known as a trailblazer in Christian hip-hop and paved a path for himself into the mainstream market. But with success came a lot of public criticism, disenchantment, and a bout with depression.
He spoke openly about a difficult season he had following racial tensions in parts of the U.S. (specifically after the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in which the U.S. Department of Justice found the police officer’s actions that led to the teen’s death were justified). Lecrae was also honest about his disappointment with some of his peers in the contemporary Christian industry and their response to it all or lack thereof. However, in a recent interview with The Christain Post he said he has found an understanding.
“I think this tour is part of that understanding, the tour is a huge piece of just understanding that we have and had something special,” he said of the Unashamed Tour 2019. “Whether or not you’re accepted by any particular groups or crowds, you know what God has put on your heart, and you know what you’re supposed to do and the mission that you have. A lot of that has come out where it’s kind of like, ‘OK, well, let’s do what we do best. Let’s create what we know how to create.’”
He added, “The other piece of it is, something always has to die. A seed has to die in the ground in order to grow and become something new. There was just a part of me that just had to die to understand who God was making me into and who I’m becoming now. So I’m in that season of just regrowth and rebirth.”
The Texas native was talking about the growth he’s made since publicly condemning white evangelicals for not speaking out against racial injustice. In 2017, the emcee told the controversial Bad Christian podcast that he was alienated for taking a stand on social and political issues.
The interview delved into Lecrae’s past comments about the Church and white evangelicals. “I was forced to [speak abrasively to white evangelicals] because no one would listen to me when I was trying to be reasonable,” the 39-year-old said at the time. “They unfollowed me, they blocked me, they stopped buying my projects. They told me I was being divisive and to shut my mouth.”
In 2015, Lecrae’s Anomaly surprised the world with its recording-breaking first-week sales of 88,000 units sold, not including streaming. But he saw a dramatic difference in his next album, All Things Work Together, which fell short in comparison.
According to Hits Daily Double, that record, which was released by both Reach Records and Columbia Records, only sold between 20,000 and 23,000 units.
Nevertheless, he’s now learned that God doesn’t waste pain.
“[God] says clearly, ‘all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose,’” he recently told CP.
Lecrae is currently in the studio making a new album.