206. Rebel – Lecrae
Easily the best and most successful of the most recent wave of rap and hip-hop artists in CCN, Lecrae’s third release, Rebel, is a tour de force of urban assault rap. More melodic and commercial than friend Shai Linne, Lecrae does share Linne’s theological convictions.
Where Linne sounds more like a professor didactically articulating the Five Points of Calvinism, Lecrea approaches the same doctrinal standards in a more storytelling format. Don’t get me wrong here, Lecrae’s doctrine is first and foremost he also uses personal and worldly examples to create background for the doctrinal statements. This is not unlike what Caedmon’s Call has done over the years.
But what can be said for an artist that quotes and samples Mark Driscoll, James White, Paul Washer and John Piper other than theology is a central theme. The opening track actually boasts a sample of a Mark Driscoll sermon while other songs mention or quote other leading theologians.
But Lecrae’s theological underpinnings do not come across as “preachy” as Linne (by the way I enjoy and appreciate both approaches), but rather he presents his case in very commercial, emotional and authentic rap songs. “Don’t Waste Your Life” is a call to repentance and deals with misconceptions many have with the truth of the real Gospel while “Indwelling Sin” deals with truth of original sin and its lasting impact on the individual.
Those who complain that Christian hip-hop cannot compete with its secular counterpart have obviously not discovered Lecrae. Even those not fans of the genre need to consider giving Lecrae a listen.