Hip Hop and The New Evangelization: What We Can Learn from Lecrae

I recently wrote a blog post for FOCUS Blog, check it out!

Hip Hop and The New Evangelization: What We Can Learn from Lecrae

It’s fun to see that since I wrote the post, Lecrae’s latest album Anamoly was released to stunning success, topping the Billboard chart and in the process becoming the first Christian Hip Hop artist to do so.


Beauty Will Change the World

15 years.

That’s how long it’s been since a Christian artist has topped the Billboard top 200. Tobymac is there right now.

It only gets better. The groundbreaking leader in Christian Hip Hop, Lecrae, saw his album Gravity top the itunes charts this week. Will the two artists swap the #1 spot on Billboard next week? It could be another first, in probably more than 15 years. (Edit 9/14/12: Gravity ended up #3 on Billboard overall, #1 for rap)

The significance? The message of the Gospel is being proclaimed anew to the masses through these two talented artists. Lecrae and Tobymac don’t hold back, they rep Jesus in their music.

So that’s got me pumped. But why are they having success? Despite their great message, most people don’t buy music strictly for the message. If so, America’s waiting on Cardinal Dolan and Rick Warren‘s new albums..

People buy music for the MUSIC. That’s how Lecrae and Tobymac got their names out there, by producing amazing music. They are using their talents to the best of their ability, and they aren’t leaving their faith back at home, either. Their music is the full package.

For some reason, Christians seem to have shied away from the public eye. There’s wayyy too many Christians for this to be acceptable. God calls us all to be light in the world. Let’s renew the culture! This generation right now is an “anointed generation” because our culture has lost the faith and we are the remnant left to show the rest of the world that the Gospel is true and Jesus is still King. We are called to do more than just survive: we are called to thrive.

“I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter” – Matthew 25:26

A taste of what I’m talking about, from Lecrae’s new ablum: “Walk with Me (ft. Novel)”

We have to take St. Paul’s advice to heart, as he gave to the Corinthians:

“Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law- though I myself am not under the law- to win over those under the law. To those outside the law I became like one outside the law- though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ- to win over those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in in.” – 1 Corinthians 10:19-23

See his point? He’s saying that we should reach out to others to share the gospel with them on their own terms. They’re the home team, we’re the away team. And do it in an attractive matter. Be good at what they like (as long as it’s not sinful), be interested in them, connect with them.

That’s what I love about Lecrae’s ministry and message so much. He’s taking the message straight to the mainstream Hip Hop culture. You can’t do that with lame beats and cheesy rhymes. You have to authentically be Hip Hop to reach them. You have to make beautiful music.

Apply this to yourself. Most of us aren’t going to be topping the Billboards anytime soon, but we can spread the message by using whatever talents we have to make the Gospel a beautiful truth and lifestyle. Beauty is attractive. Love is attractive. Authenticity is attractive. Share it with the world, because merely staying around in “Christian circles” isn’t going to make the impact that God wants us to make.