05 May Sunday Business
Above (Lacrae at the 2013 ASCAP Pre-Grammy Brunch in Hollywood + Yolanda Adams at the 2012 NAACP Gospel Concert in Houston + Texas Southern’s 2011 Homecoming Gospel Concert with Le’Andria Johnson)
I was reading Twitter earlier this week and saw Lacrae(Reach Records) mention that he finally received his actual Grammy in the mail. For those who don’t know, his incredible Gravity album actually won a Grammy for best Gospel album making him the first MC to receive that honor.
Here’s what Lacrae said during my time with him before the album was released.
“Yeah! Gravity, concept wise, is something about the weight and reality of life. It’s difficult and full of ups and downs. Specifically in Hip-Hop we make a lot of escape music. We just say “I’mma get high, I’mma go to the club to escape life’s difficulties.” I’m saying let’s embrace them and tackle them head on because life’s hardships, the gravity that pulls us down, makes us stronger people. It helps us to preserver, to become disciplined and grow. That’s really the perspective I’m giving. Out of that man, I have a hope for people. I’m a really hopeful dude. I’m optimistic. I have a perspective of the glass being half-full and I think we can be better than who we are. That’s what Gravity is; not trying to escape the weight that’s trying to pull us down, but to embrace it and grow from it. Artistically, it’s a dope Hip-Hop album. It’s full of live instrumentation, incredible features. We have people who were American Idol finalist to finalist of The Voice, to Big K.R.I.T. Just phenomenal singers and it’s going to be great music.”
Also released around the same time last year on Reach Records was the equally impressive Good Life album from Trip Lee. Here’s what he had to say about Gospel rap’s past and present below.
” I think one of the reasons I think is because it’s different content wise which makes it more difficult. Especially when it comes to my music but what I want to do is talk about things that really matters; something that’s deep and really makes you think. I think a lot of times that Hip-Hop is at a place to where sometimes we don’t want to think about deep stuff especially when we start to talk about God, a lot of people have issues with that. That’s one reason. Then I think that people hear Christian rap and they assume that it’s going to be wack and corny. I mean in the past, a lot of what people would call Christian rap was wack and corny and I think some of the wack music and it’s perception has held us back. When I came into this I knew I was going to have to work five times harder than your average MC because people assume it’s wack so I can’t get away with the corny punch lines, I can’t get away with a wack beat and I can’t get away with my rhymes not being on point because I already got two strikes against me. I hope people will give it a chance people will feel that the music is good enough to speak for itself.”
Found this little gem I did with former Rough Ryder and BET 106 & Park Freestyle Friday contestant Jin.
On Wax: While you have changed your life to give a more positive image, as a rapper do you feel that you’ve set a trend for potential Asian rappers no matter what side of morality they may sit on?
Jin: When I started getting involved in hip hop culture at 13-14 years old, I didn’t set out on a journey to say “I’m going to inspire future young Asian rappers!” I wish I could say that was the case, because it would make me seem pretty heroic. However, that is not the reality. I was just a young man doing what I love then. To a certain extent, I still carry the same mentality nowadays. If what I do does inspire the next generation, I am honored. I encourage anyone who wants to chase their dream to go for it.