Thursday, May 10, 2012

J.F. Arnold, "Lecrae, Church Clothes, and Mainstream Attention"

My boy James wrote this. 

Over at XXL Mag, a hip-hop oriented magazine, Lecrae was interviewed about his mixtapeChurch Clothes, which is set to release today, May 10th. I’ve watched a couple of debates on the topic already. People tend to land in one of two places: either Lecrae is doing God’s work by making music that will reach more people, or he has lost touch with the Gospel and forsaken the name of Christ.
On one side of the argument, folks say that Lecrae’s recent decisions–performing in the BET Cypher, releasing a mixtape with DJ Don Cannon, and appearing on an album by secular producer Statik Selektah–give Lecrae a unique position to spread the Gospel. His music will reach a broader audience, and while his lyrics may not explicitly present the Gospel itself, his songs will end up pushing people to learn about him, about his ministry, and about his Christian life. This is an approach often talked about it terms of ‘gateway music’: Lecrae’s music will bring people into the sphere of Christian hip-hop, and then they can hear the explicit Gospel. 
The other side suggests quite the opposite: by stepping away from producing tracks that explicitly proclaim the Gospel, many say that Lecrae has forsaken Christ and lost his sight. The moment Lecrae talks about seeking to be authentic hip-hop, grouping himself with the likes of Brand Nubian, Wu-Tang, and Lupe Fiasco, he seems to be placing hip-hop above Christianity, at least in certain respects. The assumption here is that music produced in such a way that it does not convey explicit Christian doctrine is not God-honoring. 
I’ll admit, I tend towards the former position. 
For the rest, click HERE.

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