On Sunday, October 30th, Christian rapper Lecrae brought his ‘Destination Tour’ to NYC to bond with fans and promote involvement in Food For the Hungry, an NPO that strives towards eradicating human poverty.
Lecrae has established himself to be one of the leading artists in the gospel-rap movement. The Houston native has spent the past 12 years using his music as a medium to spread his love of the Jesus Christ and the gospel. He’s been named the most impactful Christian rapper ever and rightfully so – with 7 widely successful studio albums, under his belt, Lecrae has proven that he has no intention of slowing down. He’s also the co-owner and co-founder of Reach Records, a Sony-owned label that introduced us to the late Andy Mineo, Trip Lee, and the late DJ Official, and the creator of 116 Clique, a popular southern hip hop collective.
Unlike other artists, the rapper has refused to let success get interfere with his values. He has instead taken his fame and used it for charitable purposes. This was, in fact, highlighted at the beginning of his Irving Plaza performance. An 5 minute long introductory video of the rapper was projected on stage, in which he spoke about his involvement with ‘Food For The Hungry‘ in efforts to get the audience to participate in the project. FFTH is a Christian non-profit organization that seeks to end all forms of human poverty by going to underprivileged countries and providing its citizens with essential resources. Lecrae urged audience members to partake in the organization’s impactful sponsorship program, through which one can pay a small monthly fee to provide a child with increased access to better resources and the chance for a better life. He embellished on how much of a positive impact the program has had on his life and ended by saying, “when you first get involved you think that you’ll be sponsoring a kid, but in reality they end up sponsoring you.” Find out more about FFTH and their initiative here.
Prior to Lecrae taking the stage the curtains were raised to reveal an impeccable live set-up composed of drums, keyboard/bass, and a series of CDJs accompanied by his band. The crowd went wild as soon and the first beat of “Say I Won’t” dropped. Lecrae emerged from the sidelines after spitting out the first verse of the song, looking majestic in a red bomber jacket. A distinguishable factor – and a definite highlight of his performance – that sets him apart from other trap rappers currently in the scene is his knack for using the visual components to enhance the story-telling aspect of his songs. Rather than projecting random images in the background to add a layer of futile entertainment, he used videos to incorporate an additional dimension compatible with his lyrics. For instance, he performed “Jesus Muzik” along to an emulation of cruising the streets in a convertible to encompass the lyrics ‘riding with my top down listening to this Jesus music”.
Throughout the evening he took several breaks to make light of our current political situation by talking about the beauty of music and how it’s the only thing that has the ability to bring those with starkly contrasting political views together. He stated that this is a particularly “intimate time to get together” because it is one during which we need each other the most. He also took the opportunity to commemorate and pay respect to his dear friend and muse, DJ Official, who sadly passed away earlier this year by projecting an image of him and taking 5 minutes to praise the person that he was.
The evening was a a definite emotional rollercoaster but Lecrae did a great job in balancing heavy content with energetic banter. During the last 15 minutes of his performance, he turned to the audience and said, “man I’m hot, can I have a drink?” right before he proceeded to splash the water on his fans to hype them up. Whether gospel-rap is your thing or not, Lecrae is a monumental example of how talent is talent, despite its religious affiliation.
‘The Destination Tour, You’re Accepted’ Tour Dates
November 7 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection
November 8 – Milwaukee, WI – The Rave II
November 9 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
November 10 – Chicago, IL – Concord Music Hall
November 12 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
November 13 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts
November 15 – Chattanooga, TN – Track 29
November 16 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel