Lecrae Clarifies His "Gimme A Second" Line About Jay-Z & Lil Wayne, Details Spiritual Advisor Role To No Malice

Exclusive: The "young Dr. Martin Luther King" dissects his Church Clothes mixtape, its attack on religious and Hip Hop hypocrisy and superstars who only rap "about the same ol' thang."

Lecrae is caught between two worlds.

The co-founder of powerhouse Reach Records is struggling to straddle the fence between secular Rap’s aversion to any “Jesus talk” and the religious Rap world’s sometimes snobbish dismissal of religion-less Hip Hop.  

The first Christian artist to perform as part of BET’s Hip Hop Awards Cypher is hoping to bridge that gap with his first-ever mixtape, the Don Cannon-hosted Church Clothes. The free release now available for download at DatPiff.com is an organic yet simultaneously strategic serving for the streets, boasting high-powered production from the likes of 9th Wonder, S1 and Boi-1da, that should ensure those who have yet to cop a copy of Lecrae’s certified classic 2008 album, Rebel, or any of his previous (dating back to 2004’s Real Talk) or subsequent offerings (including last year’s highest charting Christian Hip Hop album ever, Rehab: The Overdose) will certainly be checking for the Houston native’s next musical ministry, Gravity, this fall.

HipHopDX spoke to Lecrae yesterday (May 10th), shortly after his tape began its rapid ascent to the nearly 100,000 download mark in a matter of mere hours. The 116 Clique frontman proceeded to provide a breakdown of a few of the 18 tracks on his all-original material mix, illuminating his intentions with a seemingly slanderous verse name-checking four star spitters and explaining why Wu-Tang Clan can rap about religion but he can’t. The barrier-breaking emcee concluded his discussion with DX by revealing his role in helping a former cocaine-laced lyricist find his way to God.

HipHopDX: First off, speak a bit on the concept of the title-track.

Lecrae: It’s really just exposing the hypocrisy on both sides of the fence. You got individuals who never wanna speak about the hypocrisy in religion and in church. And, that’s a deterrent for a lot of people is the hypocrisy. But then, on the other side of the fence, you got individuals who say, “Well, if y’all gon’ be messed up, I’ma be messed up,” without investigating to see if there is actually a community of people who really don’t wyle out ….

DX: And you were basically saying that hypocrisy in the church shouldn’t keep folks away from Christianity?
 
Lecrae: Yeah, absolutely. I deal with it on a regular basis, with me being a Hip Hop artist and a Christian. And so people [in the church] see me and they immediately say, “Oh you got visible tattoos, and you got Hip Hop clothes on.” So they instantly judge me right alongside all the Hip Hop that is misogynistic or violent. And I’m not like that, but I catch the flack for that. So it’s the same type of thing.   

DX: Well let me inquire a little bit about your own possible hypocrisy. Is there porn on Lecrae’s laptop? [Laughs]

Lecrae: Nah, nah, nah. [Laughs] I was kind of speaking in third person [in the song]. But, the reality is that there’s a lot of people who think that being a Christian means that you’re perfect and you have it all together. And that’s not reality. So, has Lecrae ever struggled with pornography? Absolutely. And so I’m a work in progress.

DX: I know your lyrical aim is to not come off as holier-than-thou, but do you worry at all that the self-examination that you ask folks to do of themselves in your rhymes throughout this mixtape might come across as a sort of moral certitude that’ll turn some listeners off?

Lecrae: Yeah, I’m sure it will. And that’s not my intention, but everybody’s at a different place. And everybody has presuppositions, [but] I think if they give me a chance and actually sit with the mixtape for a second they’ll see I’m not somebody who has it all together.

The whole point of Church Clothes is to say not to put on airs. Don’t put on airs for me, don’t put on airs for God. I’m definitely gonna accept you as you are, and that’s definitely God’s agenda as well.

DX: I don’t know if you know but you may have unintentionally turned off fans of a few of the biggest names in the game with your line on “Gimme A Second”: “Cole talk that college talk / Wayne talk gangs, Jay be talkin’ money, mayne, and ‘Ye talk fame / And people say I talk about the same ol’ thang.” Were you really trying to say with that line that Jay-Z, J. Cole, Kanye West and Lil Wayne all only rap about “the same ol’ thang”?

Lecrae: Nah, I was just articulating that there’s a consistency in their rhymes about those things but they don’t catch any flack for that. Like, you’ll hear J. Cole more than once talk about college, Sallie Mae loans and so on and so forth, you’ll consistently hear [Lil] Wayne reference his gang, and [Jay-Z], money and [Kanye West] the woes of his fame, but nobody ever gives them flack because that consistently pops up in their subject matter. Yet, if my faith consistently pops up in my subject matter I get flack for it.

DX: Another line of yours that really jumped out at me was from the very first track on the tape, “Co-Sign”: “If Wu-Tang can spit Five Percent gems, I can talk about him who died for my sins.” Do you believe there’s a double standard that’s existed in Hip Hop over the years that’s condemned rhyming about Christianity while accepting Islamic-influenced verses?

Lecrae: Absolutely. And some of it’s probably Christians fault, I’ll be honest. Some of it is probably the holier-than-thou, the nose turned up in the air caricatures that have dominated Christianity. I said in “Church Clothes” about “Al and Jesse don’t speak for me.” A lot of people see Christianity as those are the caricatures that fit the model, and I’m a different picture. I’m something clearly different. [But] I think there is a double standard where it’s like that’s [still] unacceptable, and you easily get shafted because of your Christian views.      

DX: And you think the Five Percenters have been a little more subtle maybe, not as overreaching in their message?

Lecrae: Well, you can go all the way back to Brand Nubian, which was overt, or the messages of X-Clan and it was acceptable. But I think a lot of that had to do with their fight in the struggle for the urban [community]. And that’s really what I’m trying to come off as as well.

So if you listen to the context of my project, songs like “Cold World” where it’s like, man, I’m concerned about our culture, our society … I liken myself to a young Dr. Martin Luther King. Like, nobody was really up in arms that he was a Christian because he was for the people. And that’s really how I feel like I represent; I’m for the people.

DX: I wanna wrap up this quick Q&A by talking about your talks with your “Darkest Hour” collaborator, No Malice. Is it true that he sought you out to discuss his conversion to Christianity?

Lecrae: Yeah, he did. I mean, from his perspective [No Malice has] been an individual who’s had lofty thoughts of God. That’s why every [Clipse] project – Lord Willin’ – had those type of spiritual references. But he hit me up just saying like, “As of late, man, I’m really serious about this.” And so he just called me to kinda build a relationship and to talk and to just form a bond and work through some of those issues. And it’s been dope.

DX: Did you ever think you’d be in that position to artists, being sort of their spiritual advisor?

Lecrae: Honestly, that’s really one of my hopes is to be at least a [model] of that in culture. Like, people respect Bun B and I respect Bun B because of how he’s stepped into education. So you know you can talk to Bun B about issues outside of Hip Hop. And that’s kind of one of my aspirations is to be an individual who says, Man look, I have something to bring to the table in regards to faith and Christianity within Hip Hop culture, and so if you’re looking for that within Hip Hop – The same with Rev Run. You know Rev. Run for Hip Hop but you know you can also step to him outside of that and talk to him about things of faith and spirituality.

DX: And it should be noted before we go that you’re not just motivating rappers, you basically are the musical motivation behind a bunch of athletes. You got Jeremy Lin showing love, and I saw you had a Twitter exchange with Tim Tebow. All you need is a baseball player now and you’ll be mentioned on SportsCenter year-round. [Laughs]  

Lecrae: [Laughs] Yeah man, those [guys] are family. And I salute them because they’re bold enough to stand for what they believe in. And in the same way nobody looks at Jeremy Lin as a Christian like, “Oh, he’s a Christian basketball player” and they look at him as a basketball player who happens to be a Christian, hopefully that trend will change in Hip Hop and they’ll see me as a Hip Hop artist who [happens to be] a Christian as well. So some of the stigmas and presuppositions will fade away.

Purchase Music by Lecrae

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RELATED: Trip Lee Breaks Down The Good Life, Meeting LeCrae In 2004

88 Comments

  • Anonymous

    I am not sure if I agree with Lecrae it should be christian, or follower of Christ first, then basketball player or rapper.

  • Anonymous

    lecrae stay away from lil wayne

  • randy Orten

    your site is very poor

  • Abby

    Religion makes you religious and Jesus makes you righteous. I hope someday we can all unite under the foot of the cross instead of non-believers trying to send negativity our way and believers not fighting back and instead, showing God's love. If you're a Christian, you are going to be persecuted. But anyway... I came to this article to read about one of my favorite artists and had to comment after reading all the nasty things people say to each other. So. Peace out.

  • Mercy

    the ''church clothes'' mixtape is the best ;got a lot of Christians out of worldly music it is real,it is the truth our youth needs the truth because all this hip hop artists are just faking it ;bad role models but big ups to 116< reach records ,Lecrae, for holding your team up we will man up and stand for the gospel

  • Rock N Robin

    With what the world says " Jesus is the only real answer" Money, cars, girls, is good. But, My God is forever goodness. Congrats! Lecrae - Rock N Robin - Sign Dancing Guy

  • jg

    That Church Clothes mixtape is extra dope. Jesus is Lord

  • Mr. Hiphop Beats

    Lecrae is pretty respectable as a rap artist, I give him much props. I have heard him grow on each of his projects, and the latest mixtape "Church Clothes", was not only jamming but touch on some real issues. I'm definitely looking forward to hearing more from him

  • Peter

    At a cursory glance of this comment thread, I love that Lecrae's mixtape is flushing out those who've bought the Black Muslim re-definition of Christianity as white & Islam as black. (And obvs, you choose the God that looks like you). I like the "flushing out" b/c it's opportunity for dialogue and to confront lies and MISCONCEPTIONS with the truth of Christ crucified for sinful mankind. Praying for you, Lecrae. Excited to see more opportunities open up and people come to know their maker, through your art.

  • black rose

    Africa is digging this dude, Church clothes is a great Mix tape .thumbs up to Lecrae

  • Paulcrae

    Thank you Lecrae for the insight, and another great Paul W Arnold interview. Check out Lecrae's noew project which is out now.

  • Church!!!

    Nice interview! I like his perspective and think he is a refreshing and needed addition to the hip-hop community. Church Clothes is one of the best mixtapes I've heard in a while. Looking forward to seeing how his career progresses.

  • Dana

    I enjoy Lecrae's music. Great article.

  • Tacara

    Great article! Great mixtape! Love the song Black Rose so much! Why are the people who commented on here that do not believe in Jesus have sooo much hate, negativity, and vileness spew out of their mouths? Makes me believe in Jesus all the more! The name of Jesus is so powerful and obviously so on here. How can people hate the One who died for you so you can have eternal life? The great deception by the true enemy of our souls they claim does not exist. So many blinded and unknowingly have demonic influences. All I can pray is that your eyes be opened and the Holy Spirit will draw you to the truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Religion. It seems silly now that the Romans once thought Zeus was a God. I wonder why seeing any religion isn't seen in the same light. It's all mad up by man.

  • Anonymous

    Future the truth bruh

  • Laban

    Yo, I read the article then the comments. Dang! Some of these comments ain't got nuthin to do with the article! Anywho, thought the article was dope, never been a Lecrae fan but the mixtape joints are pretty good. Look the joint up if you can. Lord knows, its a LOT better than what's been put out by alot of peeps lately. God bless (even you - non believer, LOL)

  • nia

    He;s speaking the truth so what? :shrug: Download the mixtape Church Clothes

  • Dana

    This faggot Legray can eat my pussy. Straight up. Who the flying fuck he thinks he is to be saying I'm the new Dr. King? Fuckin homo.

    • Tacara

      You are defiled by what comes out of your mouth darlin.. Put that hate and negative energy towards becoming a virtuous women. You will be happy you did :)

  • festokepal

    the dude is good, bt he's not walking his talk cause he is rapping only about church too, i c no diffrence to the names he mantioned except they make more money than him, he is the victin of his own words and a hater .

  • dron

    Honestly....this dude can spit....his stuff sound better then allot of these industry cats.

  • BLACK

    I NEVER CHECKED THIS DUDE'S MUSIC...THIS INTERVIEW GOT ME INTERESTED

  • Anonymous

    FUCK the interview, I wanna see wat the rest of his shirt says.

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  • John

    When he can write an album as good as reasonable doubt than maybe he can talk shit about Jay. His shit is wack and there is no God.

    • brian

      Add atheism too that list of blood shed and i'll agree with you too (china,russia and any communist nation) and thats the truth were man conceives thought or what seems right to him their is blood shed it's our nature lecrae points to something outside of our nature-Grace and peace

    • dave

      there is no such thing as god or allah lets be truthful its all a load of shit that is responsible for so much blood shed

    • Been In The Mosque Teaching My Black Folks How To Respect Themselves

      Allah is the truth. And fuck you, if there is a heaven, white devils like you don't go there anyway.

    • Phood4thot

      So Jay-Z can say stuff like "the world begins when the church ends" but Christians don't have the right to respond? And we're the ones labeled as hypocrites.......SMH

    • Brian

      when jay can put out a truly conscious album like lecrae and not this money money garbage then I think jayz name should be of limits but so far bizzle and lecrae have his number and by the way this joint is hot!!! pure hatin-and there is a god-unlike what jay says jesus can save you!!

    • faybrown

      wow john, there is a GOD whether you acknowledge Him or not. He still created you and loves you and sentJesus to die for your sins and mine, and there is nothing you can do about it AT ALL. Just like a house has a builder, you have a creator.

    • John: Retard Alert!!!

      Jesus, dude. Calm down.

    • rashaad

      chill out john, you act like lecrae called you out or somethin..show some love

  • stanley

    I don't take anything Lecrae says seriously, that dude is the biggest Lie ever Told. He the most demonic rapper out right now.

    • kaleb

      unfortunately, your opinion is in the minority. What would make so many people feel lecrae's message?

  • maxied daniel

    yeah ma gee i share the same faith

  • makariz

    Jesus was born of a jew... I used to be ignorant and think he was white..people should read more.

    • J.Johnson

      no offense but what does that have to do with anything? it doesnt relate to the article, mixtape, the things Jesus died for, or how you should live your life. i fail to see the impactful point in whether he was born a "jew" or not.

    • RealG

      and i tought the the devils birthday was on halloween

    • Anonymous

      just like i use to think jesus was born on christmas

  • Mr Flamboyant

    Powerful interview that provided a lot of truth, insight, and intuition.

    • Anonymous

      no wonder you'd suck a dude who had something bad to say about jay. smh at you even bothering to cover your hate.

  • George

    Lecrae is doing this in a perspective to someone who has never been involved with church, sees the church as hypocrites and someone who just doesn't want God in their life. He's rappin' to change your perspective. To know that God will accept you no matter what. To show Jesus died on the cross to save our lives, take that fact and accept it. I can personally say accepting the truth that Jesus died for me is THE BEST choice I've ever made John 3:16

    • kareem

      me too bruh. Jesus is who He said He is. God in flesh. Savior. friend of sinners. For real. Trust Him fam.

  • anon

    too bad he's being mentally enslaved by the white man's religion that was hammered into his ancestors. does he not see that or understand how messed up it is that most black people pray to a long haired white guy>

    • Peter

      Hey, I think you'd enjoy reading James Baldwin's "The Fire Next Time" (only 100 pages!). JB was a civil rights activist & brilliant essayist (admittedly anti-Christian, among other things). I recommend the book b/c even from where he stands (which is ideologically as far from the Cross as possible), he demolishes the Black Muslim line of argumentation that your post offers. You can probs find an audiobook of it online for free or something...or check your local library. Hope you enjoy the read! (I'll leave it to other Christians who reply you to talk about the truth of Christ, I just want to talk about the lie you've bought/are buying. Islam is not black, my friend =])

    • Anonymous

      Even beyond all that, among the first christians were Ethiopians (African), so it's extremely ignorant to say Christianity is a "white man's religion" when in all reality it's not even a religion, much less belonging to white men.

    • MariahB

      Have you read the bible? if you trace the lineage of Jesus, he is actually a Jew. That's why it was said that he would be betrayed by his own people...who were jews. Please research before coming up with assumptions like that. And even if Jesus was white....what does race have to do with someone loving you enough to die for you?

    • westla

      Ancient Ethiopians were Orthodox Christians due to the Paul the Apostle. I think that before slavery right? yea...

    • Chris

      Christianity came from the middle east not europe so its not a white mans religion. White people just helped it spread faster

    • Anonymous

      You're either serving God or You're serving the Devil. Who's You're Daddy??

    • Anonymous

      The bible doesnt say Jesus is white. It says he has hair like wool and skin the color of brass dont sound white to me.

  • Jimmy Rustle

    God is a homosexual

  • Mylie

    religion is the root of all evil of this world right now. this dude is just another lost soul. smh

    • Peter

      @Mylie no, I read RT100's comment - it said evil places have been created by atheists (a fact that undermines your claim that religion is the root of ALL the world's evil). "...Although raised in the Georgian Orthodox faith, Stalin was an atheist. Stalin followed the position adopted by Lenin that religion was an opiate that needed to be removed in order to construct the ideal communist society. His government promoted atheism through special atheistic education in schools, anti-religious propaganda..." - Wikipedia; Thu 17 May 2012 Your point is crumbling, friend. (Can't find something nice and quotable about Chairman Mao, but I disagree with your point lol). I feel like you should listen to Lecrae's Church Clothes again (the track, I mean). Hypocrisy in religious people is not a good enough excuse to decry religion, b/c (as RT100 DID say) we're all messed up & flawed. What's the cure though? Peace! =]

    • Anonymous

      unfortunately religion creates hatred... take it how you wanna take it just understand we are all god's children shed light, pray to the big man upstairs not to man, and live your life.

    • Mylie

      real talk100 another lost soul ignorant to the facts. did he just say evil people made religion illegal to rule over people? and are also athiests? smh what a digusting comment do more research on Stalin and Mao you will be suprised. lol ugh.

    • Anonymous

      Id say its the fact that people take advantage of peoples spirtual side

    • lol

      Whether religion is good or bad, really depends on how it is practiced and lived.

    • Anonymous

      how do u know?

    • Anonymous

      get out of here

    • George

      religion is what kills your relationship with God. example of religion -have to look a certain way -speak a certain way -judging -hypocrisy and a lot more when you go to church only worry about having a one on one relationship with Christ

    • Real Talk 100

      @Mylie. I'd like to know what's evil about things like Loving all people even your enemy and Unlimited Forgiveness. If religion is the root of all evil, how do you explain some of the most evil places in the history of the world have been run by atheist who made all religion illegal?: (Soviet Union, China under Mao, North Korea). Maybe it's NOT the belief in God that causes evil, maybe it's just all of us are messed up and flawed, maybe some of us are actually more evil than others. In other words, the world's problems aren't a reflection on God, but a reflection on all human beings.

    • jman

      wow that is a powerful statment, do you have any actual facts to back that up. I can just as easily say that religion is the root of all good in the world. But that does not make it true now does it?

    • John-Boy

      Politics and the media are quickly overtaking religion in that department.

  • Real Talk 100

    I think I misunderstood the song, this is my first time hearin of Lecrae, so he's actually not rappin his own opinions, but from the third person, I get you now bro thats whats up, good interview.

    • Real Talk 100

      No 1st person is yourself. 3rd person is either an uninvolved narrator describing others, or when the narrator takes on the role of someone other then himself.

    • Anonymous

      third person is yourself.

  • Real Talk 100

    Lecrae needs to check out our church, theconnectchurch.com , we don't practice religion but we're not watered-down Christianity either, we dont have a particular dress code, we got dudes in fitted caps, we got dudes wit nose rings, we got dudes in suits, we got people that choose to tithe 10% or more and we got people who probably dont tithe a cent, we dont judge each other we just worship and enjoy life together, because that's REAL Christianity right there. I understand Lecrae's frustration with religion, cuz some church's might have it slightly off or really off, if he doesnt like it, its probably best him and likeminded people should start their own.

  • Matt

    Great dude and a great artist. That "Church Clothes" mixtape is one of the dopest projects of 2012 thus far.

  • Decatur ATL BOI

    Excellent article, people need to listen and respect Gospel Hip Hop, there are really some dope MC's, if we can listen to these folk tlaking about weed and liquor for an hour, we can surely enlighten ourselves with some different content. Big Ups.

  • respectthebitch

    lecrea should pray to the basegod, maybe hell get some skillz

  • Anonymous

    good dude. need more brothers like this.

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