Lecrae - Gravity
Record Label: Reach Records
Release Date: September 4, 2012
When you mention the words "Christian rap" to anyone these days, you will most likely get the following response: "Ugh, I don't want to hear about Jesus and all of that stuff." Truth be told, in the past, most Christian music was too preachy for the common listener. If you weren't a Christian, it was hard to relate to songs about Jesus. But, that is all about to change with Lecrae's latest release, Gravity.
Even though he is still is relatively unknown in the mainstream music community, Lecrae is no stranger to success. His mixtape Church Clothes was downloaded over 100,000 times in the first 24 hours of its release. The Grammy-nominated artist has topped the iTunes charts multiple times and continues to expand his record label Reach Records, building a solid roster of some of the best Christian hip hop artists in the industry.
The album starts off strong with the thematic orchestral track "The Drop (Intro)" with Lecrae hitting his lyrics as if he's finally been able to get out everything he's been holding inside since his last release. "Turn the music up inside my session / These folks gotta hear my message."
"Fallin' Down" is one of the highlights off of Gravity, with production reminiscent of Kanye's "Jesus Walks". About halfway through the track, Lecrae speaks directly to the listener, asking "You scared? / I'm not." Lecrae's devotion to his faith is something that should be admired and after listening to his music, it makes it seem cool as well. There is no denying that if you drove around in your car blasting Gravity, you would turn a lot of heads. Lecrae will bring in new listeners with his top-notch production and once you take notice and listen closely, you will hear his important message.
On the Heat Academy-produced "Fakin'", Lecrae talks about how the cars, the jewelry and the girls hardly impress him at all. The tough guy act, which he experienced as a teenager before turning to a life of faith, falls on deaf ears to Lecrae. He delivers clever word play, saying "I'm praying Lord forgive them because they're lying like Mufasa".
Musicially, Gravity has some of the best production in contemporary hip hop, holding its own against the big names such as Drake and Kanye West. Much like his mixtape Church Clothes, Lecrae teams up with a big-time producer, this time with DJ Khalil (Eminem, 50 Cent, The Game) on the track "Mayday" which features Big K.R.I.T. and American Idol finalist Ashthon Jones. It's one of the best overall tracks and will surely bring in some new listeners with his collaboration with high-profile artists outside of the Christian music scene.
With the release of Gravity, Lecrae has perfected the ideal blend of his positive message and quality production value. Not once does his music come across as preachy. In the past, Lecrae has said that he has met with high-profile music industry executives who told him that if he toned down his message, he could be a big star. But Lecrae is not interested in toning anything down and he shouldn't have to. He has found the key to success and he should only get bigger as time goes on, message and all.
When it's all said and done, this album could (and should) be the biggest album not only for Lecrae, but for Christian music as a whole. It is currently number 1 on the iTunes charts and will most likely debut in the Billboard top 10.
"Christian rap." Still scared? Well, you should be. Lecrae is about to take over. Not even gravity can hold him down.
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