It is too early to tell if All Things Work Together is one of Lecrae’s best albums, but it is definitely the rapper’s blackest expression on a record to date. The new album does not just feature one or two politically-charged songs here or there, as with 2014’s Anomaly (“Welcome to America” or “Dirty Water”). All Things Work Together is bathed in blackness, hope and—most importantly—Jesus.
The 14-track album is just under an hour in length, but that is plenty of time for Lecrae to freely express himself as a Black Christian. For years, Lecrae has been a voice for evangelicals. He informs listeners early on All Things Work Together that he will no longer be a pawn for White evangelical platforms but aims to be who God made him to be.
On the second track, “Facts,” the Atlanta rapper says, “Know you never knew that, know you think I’m too Black / I just think I’m too real, I grew up on 2Pac.” In Lecrae’s memoir Unashamed, he writes that he has always made music for people needing hope. He has recognized his platform as a Black Christian in a culture that is trying to process everything from a Donald Trump presidency to struggles to pay rent, police brutality and cancer battles. While this album can offer a word of hope to any listener, the target audience is the Black Christian like him who “loves Jesus, Kanye and K-Dot,” according to his song “Always Knew.”
Many within Christian hip-hop have questioned Lecrae’s motives, including (most recently) rapper and pastor Shai Linne, but it is clear that Lecrae is a rapper who still loves Jesus. However, one can love Jesus and reject White evangelical culture. On All Things Work Together, Lecrae exchanges the words of Christian leaders such as John Piper and Mark Driscoll (included on his album Rebel) for Ekemini Uwan, Leonce B. Crump, Jr. and Tony Evans. Instead of collaborating with Kari Jobe, Tenth Avenue North and For King and Country as he has on former albums, Lecrae shares the mic with Kierra Sheard and Jawan Harris. He is still praising the same Jesus, but with this album, Lecrae is explicitly centering the voices of Christians of color.
Sonically, this is one of Lecrae’s best productions. With world-class producers from Metro Boomin, Boi-1da and No I.D., Lecrae shows his versatility as a rhymer with an array of beats. All Things Work Together has everything from Atlanta trap beats to contemporary gospel music. While working with these producers, Lecrae does not forget about his beginnings in the Christian hip-hop community and shares the spotlight with the next generation of Christian rappers like 1K Phew and Aha Gazelle.
All Things Work Together is fresh and relevant and will likely have a lasting replay value with a lot of listeners. The album is available for purchase and streaming on all music platforms. You can also catch Lecrae on tour this fall.