Hip-hop for Jesus

I thought that hip-hop and rap music were inherently filthy until I heard Lecrae.

The urban-born Christian rapper — yes, you heard that right, Christian rapper — had his life turned around at 19 after hearing a prominent Christian leader give a message at a conference. He was immediately convicted and became deeply aware of his need for a Savior and the hope offered in Christ. (Some conference!)

Lecrae fled from street life, typed up his testimony, and distributed copies of it across his college campus. He began to study the Bible and write lyrics that reflected his newfound knowledge. But he also knew that his personal ministry wasn’t the answer to the problem. The real problem was the downward spiral deeply embedded into urban culture, one that he knew all too well. He didn’t criticize the urban community that raised him; he just knew that that environment needed Jesus more than anyone else.

Through years of refining his focus and growing in his relationship with Jesus, Lecrae has grown into a recognizable leader in the Christian rap community — and even in urban spheres and the Christian community as a whole. He founded ReachLife Ministries, a coalition of musicians in ministry called the 116 Clique, and a record label called Reach Records that currently signs rappers who share the humble passion for spreading the gospel through music.

He’s an all-around success from the outside. But his real heart can be seen through his lyrics, which radiate with grace, truth, and love.

I’ve learned from him that there’s nothing inherently wrong with rapping. It’s music, like opera or pop or classical. What matters is how you choose to utilize that passion.

Lecrae, more than most musicians, is doing it right.

Check him out on YouTube to get a glimpse of his heart. See the video of Lecrae and his fellow urban musical missionaries: Gospel-Centered Hip Hop


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