Los Angeles, CA – The video for Lecrae’s first radio single, “Blessings,” is a family affair. Ty Dolla $ign assists the independent vet on the track and he stands side-by-side with Lecrae for the Calmatic-directed visual. There are also several more cameo appearances from rappers throughout the four-minute celebration.
Lecrae and his team shot the video in a Los Angeles neighborhood over Grammy weekend, but the Atlanta MC didn’t want any of the glitz and glam from Hollywood, as he told HipHopDX on the set.
“For ‘Blessings’ we wanted to do a video that just kind of focused on everyday things we take for granted, family, gatherings, good food, good people, just God being the source of the simple things,” he shared. “Just a fun time, a good time, enjoying family, enjoying friends, enjoying people. It’s like going to Big Mama’s house and when you just got that feeling of nostalgia.”
The husband and father recalls the video for Snoop Dogg’s “Who Am I? (What’s My Name),” where Tha Doggfather turns into a dog, as having an impact on him growing up. With “Blessings,” he wanted to recreate the feel that many ’90s videos had where fans got a glimpse into the lives of rappers and could find a piece of their own home to connect with as well.
“Just from me spending time as a kid on the West Coast in Southeast San Diego, just being able to see elements of your own upbringing in these videos was dope,” he said. “Yeah, just seeing that type of imagery was fresh to me. Then a lot of Cash Money videos, too, I just remember seeing that kind of explode and seeing like pictures of the South on this full display. And I had spent some summers in New Orleans, too, so it was dope to see Juvenile’s ‘Ha’ like these are images that I really seen and pictures of stuff that I really could experience, so that was dope to me too.”
Watch closely and you’ll see one of Lecrae’s good friends and frequent collaborators, Propaganda, waltz through the commotion in the backyard. The Humble Beast rapper supported Lecrae at his Power 106’s “Who’s Next” show in January and was happy to support the video, which also hit close to home for him.
“Over the past six years Crae has become one of my closest friends,” he said to DX. “It was such a mind-bender to see him shoot a video in a neighborhood I grew up near, in a house that looked exactly like my Auntie’s house, but really felt like going full circle. Such a joy to be a part of it.”
Another figure you might recognize is Derek Minor, who spent some time on Lecrae’s Reach Records label while he was building his own brand, Reflection Music Group, which houses Canon, Tony Tillman and Deraj. He shares how the video literally was a family affair beyond the intended theme.
“I had no clue a video shoot was happening,” he shared. “Canon and I were in L.A. for Grammy weekend and I figured I’d see if Crae was in town. I pulled up and the set looked like a family reunion. It’s just fun to watch real life get captured like that.”
Perhaps one of the newer additions to Lecrae’s extended family is megaproducer Zaytoven, who actually pulled up to the set after stopping by DXHQ (it was Grammy weekend after all). Lecrae previously expressed his excitement at connecting with the trap pioneer and Zay expressed mutual admiration.
“Starting my career in the church and having a family involved in the ministry, I’m a huge fan of gospel music and Lecrae is a big inspiration to me,” he said. “Anytime I can support his movement I’m gonna do it.”
Lecrae thanked Calmatic for helping keep the vision authentic. The Los Angeles artist has done visuals for The Internet, Jhené Aiko and Kendrick Lamar and brought plenty of experience to the table.
“I’ve never worked with Calmatic, so it’s dope working with Cal,” Lecrae said. “He just knows what he’s doing. You’ve seen a lot of his work before and he can do extravagant things, he can do simple things and I think I trust him too because he wanted this to be authentic and not cheesy. It’s like he wanted it to feel real and sometimes that’s tough, especially when you’re trying to recreate like a family scenario, people can overact and it can just be not good. But he’s dope.”
As “Blessings” gets picked up by radio stations across the country and fans are itching for Lecrae’s eighth studio album, he hopes to continue spreading the message of positivity.
“We need to be reminded that good exists and we don’t have to always have a negative outlook on everything, man,” he said. “We take so much of the things we have in life for granted, so I said it a million times before, but real talk, before you complain, be grateful you got breath to complain with. That’s really the essence of this whole song and video.”