The 116 Life Ep. 23 – Reach Records, A Promising Future with Lecrae and Ben Washer
Reach Records Executive Lasanna “Ace” Harris (multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning producer and SVP of A&R) and co-host DJ Mykael V sit down with Ben Washer and Lecrae, Co-founders of Reach Records. After opening up on The 116 Life in episode one discussing the foundations of Reach Records and 116, they continue that conversation here discussing what they are excited about and what is in store for the future!
The Power of Reflection and Staying Current: Lessons Learned from Reach Records
For over 20 years, Reach Records has been a trailblazer in Christian hip hop, consistently evolving while staying true to their core values. On this episode of the 116 Life, co-founders Lecrae and Ben Washer, share insights on the importance of reflection, staying current, and maintaining integrity in the music industry.
Reflecting on their 20-year legacy, the Lecrae and Ben emphasized the importance of celebrating accomplishments and acknowledging the surreal feeling of having fans who grew up listening to their music. To stay current with the latest trends, DJ Mykael V shared the importance of understanding the psychology behind what’s trending, while Lecrae emphasized the need for younger staff and people around them to stay in touch with the younger culture. Ben Washer’s loose-handed leadership style also helps people learn by getting thrown into the deep end.
The 116 Life evolves.
The conversation then shifted to carving out artists that are in touch with culture now and disrupting what they’re currently doing to introduce something new. They acknowledged the pressure to evolve the 116 Life but emphasized the importance of letting go of things that are not eternal. The label Co-Founders also discussed the importance of legacy and how it’s not about protecting the brand but about Christ-centered faithfulness.
Ben and Lecrae also acknowledged the increasing representation of women in Christian hip hop and the need for more championing of their voices. They also discussed the importance of humility and stewardship in recognizing and promoting talent from other parts of the world, not just America.
Overall, the conversation highlighted the power of reflection, staying current, and maintaining integrity in the music industry. It’s not easy to evolve while still protecting the things that matter but Reach Records has shown it’s possible. As Lecrae stated, “We’re not just trying to make music, we’re trying to make a statement.”
Can all new episodes of The 116 Life every Tuesday, at 8 pm et. on Holy Culture Radio, Sirius XM, Channel 154. And remember to follow Holy Culture on your favorite social media platform. Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter! Make sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think of the show and the station. Want to support the work? Shop our online store or make a one-time donation.
Morning Routines [00:00:40-00:02:00] The speakers discuss their morning routines and parenting styles, including waking up early and being strict with their children.
20-Year Legacy of Reach Records [00:04:44-00:05:53] The speakers reflect on the 20-year legacy of Reach Records and the impact it has had on their lives and the lives of their fans.
Staying Up-to-Date with Music Trends [00:06:31-00:08:31] The speakers discuss how they stay up-to-date with current music trends, including asking why certain artists are popular and having younger staff members to keep them informed.
Staying current with music trends [00:09:22] The guests discuss how they stay up-to-date with current music trends and how they introduce new artists to the label.
Balancing patience and disruption [00:10:19] The guests talk about the importance of disrupting what is currently working and introducing something new, even if it takes 3-5 years to gain momentum.
Legacy and responsibility [00:18:09] The guests discuss the responsibility of new signees to carry on the legacy of the label and the importance of Christ-centered faithfulness over brand building.
Protecting the Legacy [00:20:00] Lecrae and the hosts discuss the importance of protecting the legacy of Reach Records and The 116 Life and how it has evolved over the years.
Staying True to the Culture [00:22:05] The hosts discuss how Reach Records stays true to its culture and how Lecrae has been a trendsetter in protecting the 116 Life unashamed identity.
Creating a Positive Work Culture [00:28:12] Ben Washer talks about how Reach Records creates a positive work culture and how they want people to feel different when they do business with them.
Women in Christian Hip Hop [00:31:17] The guests discuss the representation of women in Christian hip hop and how it is changing, with more voices being amplified and barriers coming down.
Importance of International Perspective [00:38:20] The importance of humility and recognizing that there are other perspectives in the church beyond America is discussed, with good stewardship being using access and opportunity for the benefit of others.
Song that Shouldn’t Have Been Released [00:39:58] The guests joke about a song that should have never been released, with “God is Enough” being mentioned due to its lack of authenticity and being an experimental blend of choral and hip hop music.
Songs that should have never come out [00:41:29] The speakers discuss the importance of maintaining artistic and character integrity in their music, and how they have never sacrificed it for the sake of releasing a song.
Tadashii Identity Crisis [00:43:09] The speakers talk about the album cycle of Tadashii’s Identity Crisis, and how it was a great time for them as they were making culturally relevant music that was Christ-saturated.
Future of Reach Records [00:43:58] The speakers discuss the future of Reach Records and The 116 Life, including promoting artists that want to be about Jesus, branching off into other efforts like a mixing company, and continuing to work with the next generation of artists.
Related Radio Show: 116 Life