Christian artist Lecrae will be going on tour with Maverick City for their Welcome to New Maverick City tour and recently revealed that while he's gone from deconstructing to reconstructing his faith, he's still "not churchy.”
Lecrae Devaughn Moore, mononymously known as Lecrae, is an American Christian hip-hop recording artist, songwriter, music executive, actor and entrepreneur.
During an interview with NGEN Radio, Lecrae shared how he feels he has a connection to God. At times, however, he experiences difficulty seeing himself outside of how everyone else sees him and being who God made him to be. He said he used to be ashamed of “loving Jesus but not being churchy,” and feels Christian culture in America tends to “force itself” on him.
“The Christian culture in America, specifically, will kind of force itself on you, and say, 'Well, you have to talk like this, and you have to dress like this.' … If you don’t assimilate and kind of move this way, then people going to side-eye you. ... I’ve just been really comfortable in my skin…” Lecrae said in the interview. “There’s no way you can say I’m not a follower of Christ. But I don’t fit certain molds, and that’s OK. And if you do, that’s OK. ...
"When I say ‘churchy’ [that doesn't mean] I don’t like fellowshipping with believers. But when I say ‘churchy,’ it means there’s certain ... cultures in churches that I just don’t really fall in line with. ... There's certain things that are done that it’s not my thing, and that’s OK, as long as you follow Christ.”
In the interview, Lecrae further shared how life has been for him in recent years, specifically since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began and how Christ is moving in his life today.
Lecrae said that he's taken time to sit and reflect during the past few years, and in doing so, God has been solidifying him.
“It’s lit ... I’m not going to complain. I’m surviving out here in this whole world we got going on. I’m feeling creative. I’m in the lab,” he said, referring to his life's journey. “I did a lot of spiritual deconstruction over the last few years, and now I’ve been reconstructing. ... God has really been connecting me in different places and spaces that I never really imagined.”
Lecrae released an album last year titled Restoration, which he said was put together for the purpose of opening up and “telling it all.”
Lecrae told NGEN Radio about a time in his life, before he worked on the album, when he read John Chapter 21. In the verses, he recalled how the Apostle Peter had abandoned Jesus Christ, but Christ found him and Christ told Peter to go and “feed my lambs and take care of my sheep.” Lecrae said he resonated with the verses from the book of John because he viewed his album as a way to feed others.
“Everybody doesn’t have to tell it all like I did. But I said I was going to do that because God has been so good to me, ... brought me out of such a dark place,” Lecrae said of how he planned to be as open as he could in the album.
The album, he added, was created with the intention of telling people exactly where he is in his journey with the Lord and to also help others during the time the pandemic hit.
“We are in a pandemic ... people are panicking and hurting, and I’m like, let me put some hope in the atmosphere, ..." he continued. “That’s what being a believer is about. ... It’s about bringing peace into the world and that’s what I wanted to do with the album.”
Restoration became Lecrae's ninth No. 1 album on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart, in September 2020, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.
According to Billboard, Lecrae last led the Billboard's Top Christian Albums list with “Let the Trap Say Amen” (with Zaytoven), which launched at No. 1 in July 2018.
"Dating to Lecrae's first Top Christian Albums leader, Rehab, which bowed atop the chart in October 2010, his nine No. 1s are the most among soloists and tied with worship music collective Passion's for the most among all acts (followed by Hillsong Worship with seven and Hillsong United, MercyMe and Chris Tomlin, each with six in that span)," Billboard added.
When asked by NGEN Radio to share a message with listeners, Lecrae said he wanted people to think about how they're treating others. “We can become crabs in a barrel and tear each other down, instead of lifting each other up. ... Instead of us always tearing each other down, by saying, ‘Man, he fake; he didn’t say Jesus enough times.’ How about, ‘Hey man, I appreciate how you did this,' or 'Man, if you ever do this, it might be good,’ or ‘Man, have you ever thought about this?’”
Using his marriage as an example, Lecrae said if he doesn't like the shoes his wife is wearing, he won't tell her to take them off. Instead, he said he will encourage her toward something better.
“Encourage each other toward different things. ... You don’t always have to be on the offense…” he added.
The Christian Post reported earlier this year that Lecrae will be releasing another mixtape titled, Church Clothes 4, the mixtape.
“So we know now today, January 11, we have decided that we are aiming to finish Church Clothes 4,” Lecrae announced via an Instagram video. “It's gonna be a real rap record,” he added.
Lecrae's Church Clothes mixtapes, one through three, were overt Christian albums. The mainstream rapper had departed from that style for several albums, but he's going back to his roots.
For his upcoming tour with Maverick City Music, the first show will be on Oct. 28 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. To purchase tickets, click here.