ATLANTA, Ga., Sept. 8. Still sky high off the ascension of Rebel, his 2008 album, to the top of the Billboard Christian Albums chart, a first for any rapper, Lecrae, the world’s best selling faith-based hip-hop artist, refuses to let up. Encouraged even more by the unprecedented 75-plus weeks Rebel spent on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart, Lecrae has returned with Rehab, his fourth album. Scheduled for a fall release, with Rehab, Lecrae is even more focused than ever on spreading the gospel to even wider audiences.
Unlike so many hip-hop artists who have preceded him in both the Christian/Gospel and mainstream realms, Lecrae offers complex lyrics that give voice and provide thoughtful discourse about today’s challenges. Using his considerable skill for a higher purpose, Lecrae stretches beyond hip-hop’s limitations on both sides of the industry to reach a larger audience hungry for salvation. To that end, Lecrae employs energetic beats and inspired lyricism to meet listeners, saved and unsaved, where they are, addressing their skepticism while also advancing God’s love as the ultimate solution to their woes. As with his previous albums, Lecrae uses Rehab to push beyond stereotypes to capture a generation of believers who would otherwise be lost.
Featuring top-notch production that easily rivals most mainstream hip-hop offerings, Lecrae continues to use his skills for God, expanding his consistent and genuine message of love and redemption with Rehab. Executed with deep thought and reflection, with Rehab, Lecrae further demonstrates his ability to dissect the larger issues of the contemporary world while also reconciling living a righteous life in an often unrighteous world.
“I named it Rehab,” he says of the album’s title, “because I feel as if everyone is looking to find a sense of purpose and worth and value,” explains Lecrae. “We’re all kind of messed up. We all have issues and we all have addictions in one form or the other and I just look to point people to the answers through rehabilitation.”
Staying true to his mission of “giving people authentic, good music that really helps them out,” Lecrae avoids the self-righteous indignation that has prevented some Christians from spreading the gospel. Capturing people at their own crossroads, Lecrae favors “reality” raps that emphasize his own struggles and those of others in hopes of reaching those who are like he once was and “Used to Do It” featuring KB is one of his many vehicles.
Boasting a very musical track slightly reminiscent of the infectious rhythms of the timeless “Little Drummer Boy” that literally defies one to remain still, “Used to Do It” makes clear that both rappers have been where many of their listeners are. “I used to do it too” repeats incessantly throughout the song as the lyrics subtly reveal how finding Jesus transformed each rapper’s life. Alternating lyrics like “now I’m something different” and “saved from my own sins” with “I’m changed” that make up parts of the hook don’t thrive off of preaching, but, rather, peer-to-peer reaching.
By delving deep into the bowels of temptation, “Killa” hits harder. “I know it’s gone kill me/But I just can’t let it go/And it tastes so appealing/It’s got a grip upon my soul” begin the lyrics after several “killa” chants over a sinewy, contemporary track. The brooding production augments the high drama as other lyrics like “sipping on seduction while we eating on some secret sin” and “evil look so lovely covered in her lace of lies” further emphasize how formidable the obstacles along the road to righteousness truly are.
On “Children of the Light,” a collaboration with Christian metal group P.O.D. singer Sonny Sandoval that’s one of Lecrae’s favorite songs on Rehab, a strong guitar riff helps to kick off the track just before the heavy drums thunder in. “We are children of the light/Royal rulers of the day/Saints over the streets of the night/Because only love can lead the way.” Very musically diverse, with an infectious feel that’s a guaranteed chart-topper, “Children of the Light,” which even incorporates reggae, promises a broad appeal that’s sure to be an anthem for Christians of all musical persuasions.
Poised to surpass Rebel, Rehab continues to mesh stellar and artistically inspired production with a purposeful message intended to captivate and steer today’s mislead generation towards salvation. Free of the extremely negative messages that permeate much of contemporary hip-hop but infused with the energy that makes the music so alluring, Lecrae is sure to extend his reign as the world’s leading faith-based hip-hop artist with Rehab.
Born in Texas and raised largely there, with stints in several cities, including San Diego, by a single mother, the Atlanta-based Lecrae, emerged on the music scene in 2005 with Real Talk on Reach Records, the label he co-founded. Well-received, the album peaked at #29 on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. His 2006 follow-up After the Music Stops reached #5 on the same chart, even landing at #7 on the Billboard Christian Albums Chart and #16 on the Billboard Heatseeker Albums Chart. Rebel, his third and most successful album to date released in 2008, topped the Billboard Christian Albums Chart for two weeks, becoming the first rap album to do so. In addition, Rebel spent more than 75 weeks on the Billboard Gospel Albums Chart. A critical and commercial hit, Lecrae has received three GMA Dove Award nominations, the industry’s highest honor and even won a Gospel Music Channel award for Best Hip-Hop Video.
For more information on Lecrae, please visit lecrae.com or contact Bradley Tomlinson at 404-775-8053