Lecrae: A Bright Light in the Hip Hop Music World

Lecrae Devaughn Moore, publicly known as Lecrae, is a pioneer and leading figure in the growing genre of gospel-hip hop. He is also well known for having secured a great degree of fame in the fields of singing, songwriting, record producing, acting, and filmmaking.

He has sold millions of albums and mixtapes and received numerous awards, including four Dove Awards and two Grammys. His third solo album, titled “Rebel,” was released in 2008 and quickly became the first Christian hip hop album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel chart.

He has plenty of titles attached to his name, including president, co-owner, and co-founder of Reach Records, an independent record label, and co-founder of 3 Strand Films, a film production company.

Most refreshingly, he openly states that he views his music as an art that reflects his Christian faith.

He told the Houston Chronicle, “I try to be authentic… I know my roots are in hip hop, but faith is the bedrock that I stand on, and it’d be difficult for faith to not bleed through my music.”

Interestingly, in 2014 he was one of a number of plaintiffs who sued pop singer Katy Perry, claiming that she had pilfered their intellectual property for her hit tune “Dark Horse.”

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants, including Perry, had used Lecrae’s song “Joyful Noise” without having had permission to do so.

The suit further alleged that Perry had “irreparably tarnished” the devoutly religious message of the original song by associating it with “witchcraft, paganism, black magic, and Illuminati imagery.”

When the case went to trial in 2019, a jury came to a verdict that Perry and the other defendants were liable, and the amount of damages were determined to be nearly $2.8 million. However, Perry appealed, and in 2020 a judge overruled the jury’s verdict.

Lecrae is an advocate for personal responsibility in general, and fatherhood in particular. He even partnered with NBA star Dwayne Wade in a multimedia initiative called “This is Fatherhood.”

He recounts his own conversion story in his autobiographical book titled “I Am Restored: How I lost my religion but found my faith.” It hit the shelves in October 2020.

He shares how he did not know his own father as a youngster. Rather, he was raised by a single mother in South Houston. And although he attended church with his Christian grandmother, he failed to embrace her religious faith.

He told Christianity Today that his father “fell victim to…incarceration and drugs and different issues in his life.”

He also shared that his uncles “were all 10 years older…and were gang members and drug dealers…were some of my role models…”

He suffered “physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse. And so I just had a lot of dysfunction in my childhood.”

Lecrae sank to the depths of dealing drugs for a living. His loving grandmother had given him a Bible, and despite his disbelief in the Holy Scripture he brought it along with him for good luck.

This fortuitous practice ended up playing a pivotal role the day he was arrested on drug charges. After the police officer noticed the Bible, he let Lecrae go free on the condition that the young man would promise to live by the Good Book.

His mother had encouraged him to read his Bible, but he had expressed antipathy for the Word, even ripping out pages and defiantly tossing the book on the floor.

At the age of 17, a cloud of darkness hung over his life, which led him to feel as though he had reached a dead end.

As a result of his grandmother’s influence, he began attending church. A young woman with whom he had attended high school happened to be present. She invited him to a Bible study.

It was here that he would meet his future bride Darragh, who would also go on to become the mother of his three children.

It was also here that he would meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Pastor James White was talking about how Christians are purchased through the suffering of Christ. As Lecrae recalls it, White posed the question, “Do you know you have been bought with a price?”

It made him think, “Somebody thinks I’m significant enough to die for me. Someone thinks I’m significant enough to climb up this mountain with a cross on his back, to take nails in his wrists and his feet…for me.”

He sent up a prayer. “God get me out of this, don’t kill me; do whatever you have to do to get me out of this, just don’t kill me,” he pleaded.

As so often is the case, his prayer was answered in a most unexpected manner. While driving on a highway, he took a turn too fast and his car went into a roll. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The roof and windshield of the car were crushed, and his glasses were pressed into the frame of the car. Miraculously, he not only survived, he was able to walk away unharmed.

The incident convinced him that it was time to commit his life to the one who had paid the price.

Lecrae’s most recent project is the launching of a web series called “Protect The Bag,” the goal of which is to teach financial literacy and provide education to a younger generation of individuals, enabling them to learn how to build and protect their own financial assets.

With regard to the project, he shared the following in a statement: “I am on a mission to spread the word on financial education because when I was growing up, I wasn’t educated about money or budgeting and had to learn a lot about it the hard way.”

The internet series features celebrities such as Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Locket, Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., and former NBA player Kyle Korver.

Katy Perry’s #HeToo Problem

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Just as our country continues to grapple with the serious issues that have been brought to light as a result of efforts on the part of individuals, groups, and movements such as #MeToo and #Time’sUp, along comes an unexpected twist to the societal plotline.

Alleged incidents involving sexual misconduct by one very famous celebrity have Hollywood once again in a social conscious quandary. Mega star Katy Perry is currently suffering through an unfortunate “life imitates art” moment related to her hit song “I Kissed a Girl.”

The lyrics of the song seem to have been a kind of foreshadowing of Perry’s current predicament.

“I got so brave, drink in hand
Lost my discretion…

It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don’t mean I’m in love tonight

I kissed a girl and I liked it…”

In a real life replay of the lyrical content, the recipient of Katy’s kiss unfortunately didn’t.

Russian journalist and television presenter Tina Kandelaki accused Perry of making non-consensual touches and other advances upon her while Perry was allegedly intoxicated; this according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

Kandelaki told a Russian newspaper that when the two were in attendance at the same private party, a “pretty tipsy” Perry chose Kandelaki “as an object for the manifestation of her passion.”

Kandelaki indicated that, due to her strength training, she had “managed to fight back…and Katy instantly found a new victim for kisses, hugs and dirty dances.”

In a separate incident, male model Josh Kloss has alleged that, while at a party in which the two were in attendance, Perry exposed to her friends Kloss’s private parts, and it was done without having had obtained his consent.

Kloss, who appeared in the 2010 music video for Perry’s song “Teenage Dream,” posted allegations on his Instagram account that Perry, during a party at which they were both gathered, had lowered his pants in front of her friends.

Kloss is evidently troubled by what he sees as a double standard with regard to Perry as a result of her gender.

“Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt?” Kloss wrote in one of his posts.

The incident begs the question, What if Katy Perry were a man? The double standard seems to be fairly self-evident.

Men both in and out of Hollywood circles have been accused of similar behavior, and the resultant consequences, which individuals have had to endure, have been swift in arrival and unequivocal in nature.

It is obvious to many that if Perry were of the male gender, the media would have already pronounced her guilty, her accusers would have been instantly believed, her career would have abruptly ended, and she would be considered a social media pariah.

“I just say this now because our culture is set on proving [that] men of power are perverse. But females with power are just as disgusting,” Kloss wrote.

No doubt Perry has amassed a great degree of power as a result of her elevated celebrity status and Hollywood success. In contrast, a male celebrity of equal stature that engages in behavior that falls in the category of sexual harassment would be held accountable by peers, press, and the public alike.

Interestingly, this isn’t the first time that Perry has been accused of sexually inappropriate behavior. Back in 2018, when acting in her capacity as a judge on “American Idol,” Perry generated press coverage for her flagrant flirting with male contestants.

On one occasion in her tenure on the reality show, Perry delivered an on-camera kiss to 19-year-old contestant Benjamin Glaze without having obtained his consent.

What made the kiss particularly insensitive to the point of being cruel was the fact that she acted in the manner in which she did after Glaze mentioned that he had never been kissed before, and shared that he was saving that special moment for a time when he was in a relationship.

Perry essentially tricked Glaze by making him think that he was about to place a kiss on the singer’s cheek. But then Perry quickly turned her head at the last moment, and the young man was a shocked recipient of an unexpected and undesired kiss on the lips from Perry.

One can only imagine how different the reaction would have been had a male acting in Katy’s role stolen life’s first kiss from a young 19-year-old woman.

In 2017 Perry was also caught on-camera taking hold of the bottom of singer Shawn Mendes when he was still a mere teenager.

Perry at one time stated that she was not a feminist, but she later changed her mind and is now a self-described part of the feminist movement. Earlier in the year alongside Anita Hill, Perry was given a Lifetime Achievement in Feminism award by the Diane Von Furstenberg Awards.

If the above described allegations prove to be credible, hypocrisy may not be the only issue that Perry will have to face.