Atlanta's Lecrae Was Hesitant To Name His Radio Single
"Blessings," But Here's Why He Did It Anyway
taking a shot at radio with his single,
that is currently #4 on Billboard's Contemporary Christian Music charts.
But, adding on to that, a new single, "I'll Find You," has the Atlanta
rapper teamed up with Tori Kelly. It entered the charts at #1.
Both are expected on his eighth upcoming album, which is expected to
drop later this year.
After more than a decade in the
industry, the Atlanta MC has hustled his way through the independent
scene often carrying the sometimes-dreaded title of
"Christian rapper." But
perhaps that label is what will make his version of
"I get to
change the narrative a little bit, let people see some of the
behind-the-scenes of what I mean when I say it and my
perspective,"Lecrae says. "My thing is just like I always tell people
before you complain, be grateful you got breath to complain with, just
appreciate the little things. Just the small blessings that you just
have. You woke up, you can walk and you're alive. We lost people last
year, so just all those little things."
The track features Ty Dolla $ign, who Lecrae met at SXSW through
mutual connections around the time he was crafting the first "Church
Clothes" mixtape four years ago. The Los Angeles artist appears on
another song of the same name that was part of HipHopDX's
Best Albums of 2016, Chance The Rapper's "Coloring Book."
Not to mention Big Sean’s
which peaked at #28 on Billboard's Hot 100
list in 2015. But Lecrae knew
was the right name for his song.
already had the song in the can. I remember because we were actually
working out here and we had the song in the can and then Chance's
project came out and I was like, 'Dang,'"
he says. "But it was like, man, we could have
called it "Count
It Up," or something like that, but
I felt like it took away from that whole moment, so it was kinda like,
man, it's all love. A good song, everybody you move on. I'm just gonna
Besides the Ty Dolla $ign feature,
Lecrae says the production
- from APluss
of Ear Drummers -
completes the vision of what he wants to do with his music. The song
features plenty of 808s and hard-hitting snares over a smooth backdrop.
knocks," Lecrae says. "It's perfect for radio. If you never knew my
music, it's a perfect new introduction "cause it's like it's the balance
of who I am. Everybody can enjoy it from a music standpoint, but it
still has a meaning to it, which matters to me. Substance still matters
Even though his first album, "Real
Talk," dropped in 2004 and he has a gold-certified LP in 2014's
"Anomaly," Lecrae was performing as a
Next?" artist for Power 106's event in Hollywood. The Reach Records
fazed by the title.
all good, man," he says. "I think that's what keeps you moving is
humility. I look at it, too, it's like some people get too caught up in
their egos and it's like, 'Oh, I'm bigger than this. I'm better than
And it's like, nah, man, every day, I look at it like
this, every time I put out music, I look at myself as a new artist,
because there's always a lane that you aren't known in or a place where
you aren't known in. So if I go to, I'm trying to think of a place, I
don't know. If I go to like Hong Kong, I'm
not who I am in America.
like, man you gotta start from scratch and build. So for me, it's like
for radio, I am a new artist. Nobody's heard me really on radio, so it's
like who's next, but it's Power 106, it's radio, nobody's heard me on
radio. They know me underground. They know me from everything else, but
official video of
"I'll Find You"
Tori Kelly -
live video for
The promotion for "Blessings" featured clips from many pop culture
figures, including Tupac, Lauryn Hill, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry
and a portion of Allen Iverson's Hall of Fame induction speech to
show that Lecrae wants his music to be for all people.
"It's not like this weird like
'Blessings,' it's super churchy," he says. "Nah, everybody from Allen
Iverson to Lauryn Hill to Tupac references faith and spirituality. It's like
that connection that's bigger than that. You don't have to be, I just want
everybody to be able to feel like 'I don't have to be a certain type of
person to appreciate this song. I don't have to live a certain kind of way
to appreciate this song.' This music belongs to everybody and having like Tupac and Lauryn Hill and
Steph and KD have commentary, I think that
just set it up for people to be like, 'Ok, what's going on?' It's retweetable for everybody."
Reach Records has continued its
mission of reaching everybody by opening a four-studio compound in Atlanta
to create a welcoming space for artists. That's where Lecrae linked up with
APluss and several others. He was spotted on Instagram with Killer Mike
and says he's also put in work with Cyhi Tha Prynce and more. He says
he's been in studio sessions where he went to get a cup of coffee and saw a
guy with an extendo. With Bankroll Fresh's murder outside of Street
Execs studio almost reaching its one-year anniversary and other threats of
violence looming in the city, Lecrae says he and his team just want to
create a safe space.
"This is a place where there's no drama, where you can just be
creative, be artistic and everybody's come through," he says. "... It's
just a place where we say, man, come in, we welcome you here. Check out
our environment and its service. It's loving people, it's just serving
people and showing them a different - a lot of studios in Atlanta, not a
lot, but some studios in Atlanta, you gotta walk around with a clip, a
gun on your side. You don't know what's gonna happen there. That's not
the energy that we have going on."
One of those people Lecrae has gotten to connect with is Zaytoven.
The godfather of Trap has been open about his own faith as he's crafted
the signature sound for Gucci Mane, Migos and countless other
Atlanta artists. Lecrae says Zay pulled up to the studio in his Maybach
asking for the entrance and everybody turned their heads, but it was a
mutual admiration for the two artists to link.
"He was excited," he says. "It just worked out being in Atlanta and we
both love music and obviously he got a church background too, so he was
like, 'Man I just I love us working together in the studio.' It was
great. We got together and just connected, just that raw Atlanta,
something you can't replicate. It's just a sound people don't make.
People don't understand, he's a real musician. He's a dope producer all
around like the whole thing, so yeah I'm excited about it man, we
working on stuff."
Time will only tell if a Zaytoven track makes Lecrae's next album, which
he says is "coming." Besides "Blessings," he has a song called
"Broke," which he's performed a few times, including at Power 106's
"Who's Next?" where he brought out his longtime friend and collaborator
He says he has about 100 tracks recorded and now the process is just
whittling down what he really wants to present to the world. Lecrae
explains he is taking notes from Motown founder Berry Gordy in
how to make his decisions.
"He used to say if you had a dollar in your pocket, would you buy a
sandwich or a song?" he says. "Your last dollar and you're hungry, would
you rather buy a sandwich or a song? And if people listen to the song
and say, 'Man I'm buying the song,' then you know you got a winner. So
that's what we've been doing is narrowing down our process listening to
these songs and saying, alright, a sandwich or a song right now."
So get ready for that soul food.
(From hiphopdx.com) -