Lecrae performing at Essence Fest 2015

Lecrae performing at Essence Fest 2015

Lecrae lit up the stage over the weekend in New Orleans at the 2015 Essence Festival. He was the first artist to perform kicking off the festival, followed by Trey Songz and Kevin Hart. We were there on the scene to witness it all. Lecrae has broken records by topping both the Billboard 200 and the Gospel charts simultaneously with the release of his seventh studio album Anomaly.

Like JubileeMag, Lecrae brings faith to mainstream. Here’s what he told Essence in a recent interview:

ESSENCE: We’ve heard you say in past interviews that you are not a ‘Christian rapper’, you are a rapper who just happens to be Christian. Do you have to explain yourself as much now? Or are people starting to understand it on their own?

Lecrae: I definitely see more people understanding it. Categories are easy and it helps people. Especially when someone is like, ‘I’ve never heard of you, how is this possible?’ The category helps them make sense of it all, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing to prove. I just keep making music. It is what it is and we just keep pushing forward, one by one.

ESSENCE: Since you are one of our Now Playing artists, so what music are you playing [or listening to] right now?

Lecrae: I am listening to a little Robert Glasper. I just bought Big Sean’s album that just came out [Dark Sky Paradise], so I’ve been listening to it. Also, I’m one of those people that stays on something who has to force themselves to get off of it. I’m so busy, I don’t have time to listen to music like I want to but definitely 2014 Forest Hills Drive. J.Cole’s album is one I’ve listened to pretty consistently. The song where he’s talking to his mother, Apparently—I love that song!

ESSENCE: Your wife had a cameo at the end of the “All I Need Is You” video. How do you keep your relationship first in the midst of your growing career?

Lecrae: She’s a priority. She knows that and we build things around that because that’s what’s going to last forever. The relationship is what’s going to last, the music is going to end one day. I can’t tour forever… At the end of the day, that’s where my solace is, that’s who helps carry burdens with me and she is a part of the fabric of who I am.

We just make sure that we keep our relationship a priority and some of that may mean making sacrifices. Every year we get together and we say, “Where do we want to be in three years?” We’ll literally block off dates on the calendar for the upcoming year and say, this is our time no matter what happens. Even if I get invited to perform at the Super Bowl, this is our time. Little stuff like that keeps it meaningful.

Lecrae in the press room at Essence Fest
Lecrae in the press room at Essence Fest

During our one-on-one, we talked about the importance of bringing faith to mainstream, his tour and whether or not he knew he’d break so many barriers in faith during his humble beginnings. Watch below: publisher Kim Ford and Lecrae in the press room at Essence Fest 2015
Our publisher Kim Ford and Lecrae in the press room at Essence Fest 2015

We’re loving his latest video ‘All I Need Is You’, inspired by his wife. Check out her cameo: