Lecrae Devaughn Moore, more popularly known as Lecrae, is a man of many talents. He is most well known for being an American Christian hip-hop artist, and he will be at the Crown on April 10.
Lecrae’s early life was troubled. He was raised by his single mother and moved often. He quickly became involved with gangs, drugs and violence as a way to escape his personal demons. It was as difficult for him as it was for his family. At the age of 17, he decided to try and escape from the dead end road that he was travelling by going to church. This decision changed his life. At the age of 19, he dedicated himself and his life to God. He was inspired not only by his new faith but also by the artists that met within the church. This experience serves as a foundation for much of his work. On his website, Lecrae noted, “People struggle with categories. Categories make us feel comfortable because it’s how we make sense of things in our minds,” adding that it’s possible to rise above unfortunate circumstances. “Sometimes, there’s transcendence.”
In 2004, Lecrae joined Ben Washer to found Reach Records, an Indie label designed to give first-time artists an opportunity. The independent nature of the studio also allowed the artists to express themselves unapologetically. They were not confined by the politics of big business, and this openness and honesty was quick to gain national attention. It was here that he recorded and released his first album Real Talk. The setup was makeshift and distribution was often literally from the trunk of a car, but success came quickly. To date he has been nominated for five Grammy Awards. In 2013, he won for Best Gospel Album. In 2015, he won for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. He has sold 1.7 million albums and has received many other awards such as a BET Hip-Hop Awards Nomination. His work transcends boundaries and has been recognized by mainstream and hip-hop oriented press. Currently he is travelling the nation on his Higher Learning Tour, which will stop in Fayetteville at the Crown Coliseum.
After his conversion, Lecrae’s life changed, but it was not without challenges. As an artist he grapples with but does not deny his failings. It is this honesty that makes his music so relatable and compelling. He wrestles with his past and tells his story through a style often described as Southern hip-hop. In recent albums Lecrae has also incorporated inspiration from reggae, soul and gospel. That’s what his work revolves around: his story and his perspective. Though others have labeled his work as Christian, he rejects the title himself because of the implication that each song must have a sermon attached. He explores social and political issues that are not necessarily inherently Christian. The label of Christian can be limiting in some aspects, when it comes to creating music.
Lecrae performs in the Crown Coliseum on April 10 at 7:30 p.m. DJs Promote and Swoope will be featured as supporting acts. The tour is presented by Spectra Presents. Ticket prices begin at $22. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 910.438.4100 or visit www.crowncomplexnc.com/events/detail/lecrae-higher-learning-tour. The Crown Complex is located at 1960 Coliseum Dr.