Lecrae (born Lecrae Devaughn Moore) is a two-time Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist, president of Reach Records, speaker, philanthropist, and New York Times bestselling author of Unashamed. Lecrae’s forthcoming album, “Restoration,” will be followed by the release of his new book, I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith, on October 13, 2020.
In the following Q&A, conducted by phone, Lecrae discusses his journey toward realism, finding faith, and the importance of social activism. The transcript below has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
By the end of 2020, you will have released your ninth studio album and your second book. It’s been 16 years since the release of Real Talk in 2004. I’d love to hear a bit about how you think your art has deepened or matured over these years. What has remained and what has changed? What would you say to the Lecrae of 2004 with what you know now?
I think the music has changed from kind of evolving from youthful idealism, where you’re just idealistic about what you can do and you really believe that you can change the world and be idealistic about it. And then it’s turned from youthful idealism to kind of, you know, life happens to you and you realize you’re not as powerful as you thought you were and that problems are always going to exist. Even Jesus said the poor will always be among us. And then you get a little cynical.
So I have a cynical phase. And now I kind of have arrived in a realistic phase. So when idealism meets cynicism, you get realism. And so, I was idealistic. I thought, you know, all I needed was the truth, and I’d scream it out loud and the whole world’s gonna change at the drop of a dime. And then it didn’t happen that way, and life was hard, and I was bitter. And then now I’m like, okay, so idealism is good, and you can make a difference in this world and you can make changes, but you also have to realize that you’ll die trying to see things change and it all won’t happen in your lifetime. And that’s okay. And so that’s kind of where I’m at now. And I would tell that young man, I’d say, “Hey, man, keep doing what you’re doing. And don’t be discouraged when it doesn’t work out quite the way you think it should.”