*Grammy award-winning gospel hip hop artist Lecrae is rockin’ a new web series to help folks with dollars and common sense “Protect the Bag” and he’s dropping new music. He sits down with radio and TV personality Jazmyn ‘Jaz’ Summers on EURweb Spotlight to talk about his tumultuous journey from sexual abuse, neglect and drug addiction to becoming a husband, father, and hip hop minister dedicated to uplifting our people.
“I want to be a catalyst for restoration I want people to experience restoration and be their best selves,” says LeCrae. “That happens through inspiring people and making them laugh…. If I can bring peace to you or make you appreciate something or think of something from a different perspective then I feel like I am doing what I was put on earth to do.”
Lecrae’s journey was not an easy one.
“I was the stereotypical black kid from a marginalized community. Your father doesn’t know what it means to be a father because his father didn’t know what it meant to be a father so the cycle continues He’s not in your life That’s my father. He’s in and out of prison and on drugs so now I’m looking at my uncles or the guys in the neighborhood to be my models and they’re only 20 years old and their fathers aren’t there so you end up using all your energy to be accepted in an environment that is really negative and you don’t realize that you can be better than this, ” he shares with Jaz.
He has described himself during this period as a thrill-seeker, he would pull stunts such as jumping from a third-story building, and gained the nickname “Crazy ‘Crae.” Encouraged by his concerned mother to read his Bible, Lecrae said that …
“I remember ripping the pages out of the Bible and throwing it on the floor. I don’t want this Bible. I couldn’t wrap my hands around this being true or real. He began to drink and smoke more and run women “as the emptiness became more profound.”
“I was dodging police and pregnancy scares,” he reveals. Lecrae tried “pretty much every drug there was to try” except for heroin and crack cocaine. Pills were his favorite but then he says, “I had a spiritual transformation as a 19-year-old kid. God opened my eyes to see and I realized I could be more. I was here for more. You realize you got a purpose. That’s the journey that I been on.”
When he was six, a family member sexually abused him. He tells EURweb Spotlight that the experience made it hard for him to understand intimacy.
“For me being introduced to that whole world as a 6-year-old it was a family member and she was an adult and I was a kid. It exposed me to a world that I wasn’t ready for. So I’m diving into this world all through elementary and middle school and what that does to you is – what a lotta people don’t realize – is that continually treating intimacy like it’s a box of crackers makes you struggle as an adult to connect so the more you do that the less powerful that connection is with another person. It really does hinder you.”
He’s been married for over a decade with a young woman he met at church when he was 18 and has three beautiful children.
“We have been rockin’ with each other since we were 18 and made it official in our 20s.”
How does he keep it together?
“You gotta choose a movement over a moment,” he tells Jaz. “You gotta make that decision when you wake up every morning is that I’m going to choose the movement over the moment I have good friends in my life and we are challenging ourselves to chase happiness over pleasure because pleasure only lasts a moment, happiness is long term and sustainable so what’s really going to make you happy getting off tonight and having an incredible night but now your happiness is in jeopardy.”
His new web series “Protect the Bag” is produced by his production company 3 Strand Films.
“We created a sketch comedy and variety show that helps people understand finances. The biggest lesson we’re trying to get people to understand is money is not for consumption it’s for capital. It’s figuring how to make your money work for you Treat it like an employee. It’s even the little things like if you buy a pound of chicken and you say ‘I got this chicken on sale, I only paid 3 dollars instead of 5 what are going to do with that two dollars?’ That two dollars could be going to your future instead of spending it on something else you are going to consume. We have to invest in ourselves. We gotta do that because the system doesn’t care about us, so if we don’t care about us who is?”
Lecrae has also built a record label with 10 artists. A dope new video and single “Wildin‘” is out this month from the upcoming album “No Church In A While.”
Lecrae is also deeply committed to prison ministry.
“All my best friends were incarcerated or are still incarcerated; my uncles, my father. I always saw it as a place where people I love are being held. I’m having to visit prisons as a kid so I never wanted to ignore folks behind the wall. I wanted to care for them and make sure they were being taken care of so if I could figure out a way of working within the system to change the system to help people within the system then I wanted to do it because I know the difference it would have made in my life and my friends’ lives.”
For the full, truly inspirational convo check out the video at the top. And please don’t forget to subscribe to my youtube channel.
Interview/article by Jazmyn Summers. Follow her @jaztalk1 on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Video editing by www.patrickhousefilms.com