For the last couple of years, the Christian Rap genre has been in a movement. The artists felt like their genre wasn’t getting the respect it deserved. So instead of staying quiet and waiting for it to come, they decided to let their talents force people to notice.
All summer long, Lecrae as well as many other Christian rappers and their fans, have constantly posted on social media using the hashtag “#TheSystemDidntPlanForThis”. One would think that “the system” meant to keep Christian rappers from getting the proper acknowledgement because Christian rappers march to a different beat. It seemed like because they talk about Jesus Christ that they weren’t taken seriously.
Like it or not, Lecrae Moore is the face of Christian Rap right now. You may have a problem with him because perhaps he doesn’t mention the name Jesus enough, or he has changed his style to fit a certain audience. I can’t blame you for feeling that way. Saying that, we cannot deny the impact he’s had on the genre for the last ten years. Being in the limelight is hard especially in the music industry. There are forces that could potentially cause harm to an individual particularly in the spiritual sense if they aren’t careful. It would be much easier for Lecrae to stay focused on making music exclusively for Christians. But Lecrae has let God use his talents to get him to heights that none of us could fathom. To make music that uplifts God yet still appeals to a secular audience is a gift from God.
This week has been rewarding not just for Lecrae or Reach Records or Christian rap fans, but a big win for the Kingdom of God. Things are finally beginning to change for Christian rap.
For the first time ever in the history of the Tonight Show, a rapper who is unashamed about the Gospel performed throughout the show. Why is that such a big deal? First of all, he performed with the legendary band The Roots. That is an accomplishment on its own. Additionally, The Tonight Show: Starring Jimmy Fallon is arguably the hottest late night show right now especially among the younger crowd. Lecrae’s performance of short samples from his latest album Anomaly will surely have some wondering, “Who is this dude?” This will hopefully lead them to listening to his music and learning about God. In time it could prompt them to giving their life to Christ. Sure I know this might sound like wishful thinking, but God has done more with less. No doubt He can shine on a big stage.
Being the feature music artist on the Tonight Show is one thing. Securing the number one spot on the Billboard Top 200 Album charts? That’s a completely different animal. In the first week of its release, Anomaly, Lecrae’s seventh studio album, sold 88,000 copies. It actually managed to surpass the 72,000 first week total of Lecrae’s previous album Gravity. At last people are starting to give the music the respect it deserves.
“The system” may not have planned for this, but I think it’s time for an update.