For the rapper, a new life, a new message
November 10th, 2010
03:48 PM ET

For the rapper, a new life, a new message

Lecrae Moore moved around a lot as a child. He was constantly the new kid in school. It’s often a struggle to fit in when you always have to make new friends but Lecrae had a gift. He could rap.

Street battles were no problem. Breaking into some freestyle for his classmates was a piece of cake. But walking a straight line was difficult.

Moore had a tough childhood. He grew up without a father. His male role models were rap artists like Tupac.

“My world view at that point in time was what I saw on television,” he said recently on a visit to CNN Center. “I just [rapped] about what I esteemed to be, what I wanted to be like. Most of that was gangsterism, false sense of masculinity, money, women.”

But Moore’s world view changed when he went to college at North Texas.  He met some Christians who helped pull the underlying faith out of him. It seemed to have always been there but he grew up straddling the line between God and the enemy, he said.

Christian hip-hop star Lecrae talks about how his life turned after he was almost arrested for drug possession

Before he went to college Moore said he was the drug dealer with a good-luck charm, a Bible his devout grandmother gave him. He knew he could turn to it if he got in trouble.

Trouble came one night when he was about to be arrested for drug possession. He sat in the back of the squad car, handcuffed, distraught and lost, preparing to go to jail, when the officer asked him about the Bible in Lecrae’s car.

The officer wondered, what is that doing on your backseat?

“I told him I know I need to live it,” Moore said. According to Moore, the officer said if Moore would agree to do that, he would let him go.

The turnaround wasn’t a complete 180, and it took more people to convince Moore to dig into the Christian life, including those Christians on his college campus. Afterward, some of them would hang around and would rap about Jesus. The street battler in him came out, and a Christian hip-hop artist was born.

I asked him: Is he a rapper who preaches or a preacher who raps?

An easy smile came across his face and his introspective eyes pondered for a second.

“I think every rapper is a preacher, it’s what’s the sermon that they are giving,” he said. “Every rapper is preaching something. They are either preaching that you can find satisfaction in a million dollars or 50 women, or that you are not a real man unless you are a killer."

“I just look at myself as another individual who has a different message and a world view that I think is the most beneficial, the most helpful, and I’ll be honest, it’s the right one. Maybe not mine specifically but I think a Biblical world view is the right world view.”

Moore’s latest CD is “Rehab,” which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Christian albums chart and the Gospel albums list, sold more than 26,000 copies its first week. It also hit No. 5 on the rap albums chart.

It is a product of Reach Records, which he co-owns in Atlanta, Georgia. The label has four other Christian rappers, some of whom Lecrae thinks will be even more influential than he has been.

Moore also founded ReachLife Ministries, which seeks to "bridge the gap between biblical truth and the urban context," he said.

Rehab is a statement, a message to all that while there is much wrong in this world, there is a way to reshape your life, he said. We all need a sense of purpose, but we're all a bit messed up.

“We are fractured; this is a fractured world, but there is rehabilitation available through Jesus,” he said. “He came to save. He came to restore.”

Moore is currently back out on the road on the "Unashamed" tour.

- Producer/Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Culture & Science • Georgia • Music

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. alex

    @ corey

    It is in Leviticus 19:28

    December 2, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • Just another dude

      I think that verse gets taken out of context. In the old testament tattoos were used to bring glory to (and mark yourself claimed by) idols and false gods. The "tattoos" back then weren't even really tattoos as we know them today..that's just the closest translation to English we have.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Camaaron

      The Bible has many different covenants and epochs, almost like rules and requirements the people of the time were to be held under. The people in Leviticus were under a different set of rules than we are now, as at that time they hadn't had Christ, and we do. Similar to the dietary restrictions, some rules get displaced. Biblical Theology is a great book topic to read about to begin understanding how to interpret the Bible effectively.

      April 23, 2011 at 1:43 pm |
  2. alex ( QUICK QUESTION)

    I am a fan of lecraes music and he brings a great message on many of his songs, but i have a quick question. i was looking at one of his music videos and ive notice that when lecrae first started he only had one Tattoo and it was a crucifix on his arm. then i started looking more into it and i notice that now he as way more tattoos now then when he began and he even tattooed 1 1 6 clique which was one of the groups. My question is; that as a man of God why would lecrae tattoo himself knowing that that's against the word of God. i'm not trying to discredit the man because i am a fan of his music but all i want is an answer to that!!

    December 2, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • Corey

      Hey Alex,

      could you reference where in His word it says to not get tatoos?

      December 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm |
  3. C.I.M. - Christian Isaac Merrell - Christ In Me

    Wow I love this article, but i never Lecrae was almost arrested for drug possesion! It's unbievable being the rapper that he is, and rapping for Christ! Keep it up! 🙂

    December 1, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    Wow, I LOVE Lecrae!

    November 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  5. Marrii

    I think people need to stop judging others and start looking at what you still haven't fixed. I bet you / ya'll have a lot of things people can talk and critize too. Give it up to lecrea cus unlike many of us he isin't ashamed to preach the word of GOD to everyone in the world!!!! <3

    November 24, 2010 at 11:24 am |
  6. Melz

    I went to one of his Unashamed concert in NJ/NY & it was off the hook! I don't need drugs, I got the Most High ~Lacrae~

    November 23, 2010 at 1:24 am |
  7. Sarah

    AWESOME! Thank God for those divine encounters! God is really using reach records thank you for allowing God into your life so that you can help influence others!!

    November 22, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  8. D.Jones - Godannointedme2

    Whats good Fam??? Hazakim, Json...any others I might of left out... I praise God for my brother in Christ Lecrae and all my other brothers doing the same thing for the Lord...As God continue to use him..lets just continue to keep him, his family, and those like minded in prayer...as they continue to share the Gospel through the avenue of Hip Hop...Those commenting should really see about going to one of the tour events...You will be blessed and challenged...

    November 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  9. RW


    Huge coincidence. You should be ashamed of yourself for spending so much time to try and slander Lecrae. He preaches Christ. His doctrine is solid. No he is not perfect, but he is certainly NOT false. If his agenda was some thne other than to glorify God with his music then why would his lyrics be so true to scripture? He packs more truth in a 4 minute rap then a lot of pastors can get in a 60 minute sermon.

    November 18, 2010 at 12:49 am |
    • flmjig

      You do not think they check all they do? This is a lot of coincidences and every video keeps having more and more. The new Tedashi video has trip 6's.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:19 am |
    • flmjig

      Plus, most pastors today water down their gospel and word. Of course any 4 minute rap with a few lines will be more "edifying". Read Revelation 3 and the church of Laodicea to understand what is transpiring today.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:21 am |
  10. david

    See youre the problem. Youre the reason why so many float from Christianity. The man is preaching his message and yet you still judge him. Stop being a hypocrite and feeling on lil boys and shut the heck up and let this man do what he does. He does not need your opinion

    November 17, 2010 at 8:13 am |
    • flmjig

      Ppl leave Christianity because they are not true Christians and are not truly repented. This is why the WORD says repent or perish. It speak a tremendous amount about true and false conversion.

      November 18, 2010 at 2:18 am |
  11. Brent Upham

    I love it. Lecrae is doing big things the right way and all for the glory of God.

    Check out this ministry too http://www.riseupandgo.com/main/store

    November 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  12. P.31

    the beat means nothing, its the lyrics that are most important. God has annoited this man for our generation. and to be real he raps 100x better than wayne, jeezy and jayz combined. listen to DONT WASTE YOUR LIFE> point proven

    November 15, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  13. peye

    Let everyone born of love(God). Take time to pray for this brother(lecrae). For grace to stand strong and not to be filled with pride, for strength in his innerman by the Holy Ghost, for deeper revelation and wisdom on how to walk with God and continued focus and power in his message to deliver people who are oppressed and blind folded by the devil. The most will lift you up to higher platforms so u can proclaim this gospel unashamed

    November 14, 2010 at 8:55 pm |
  14. William Abbott

    Oops the lyric I posted is from rebel not rehab!I'm lame but saved. Push truth have mercy y'all.

    November 14, 2010 at 2:38 am |
  15. flmjig

    I like the rehab album. However some questions need to be answered Lecrae.
    #1 why the triquetra tat? It is occult. Period.
    #2 why the tats to begin with? It is not what the WORD says?
    What about what is in this video?

    November 13, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • Mirror On The Wall

      Flmjig: I want to make a video of your life and see how many contradictions that are found. Take a look in the mirror, get your eyes off of Lecrae, and get yourself,family,church and enviroment together. You spend too much time worrying about other people. If you "liked" the album, leave it at that. He isn't into the occult or sorcery. I'm more concerned about you having striking resemblences to a Pharasee

      November 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
    • Corey


      Im curious as to why you think, if Lecrae was so engulfed in this cult life, why would he dedicate his life to Christ by serving Him in his music to bring people to Christ. Also, I feel like you are too captured by the book of Revelations. If you truly are a Christian, you are forgiven of your sins. Christ payed your debts on the cross! He bled for you! Dont worry about what will happen in Revelation. Live by Gods will and serve Him!

      God Bless

      December 2, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  16. Virginia

    *None of us

    November 13, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  17. Virginia

    I love Jesus Christ! I have nothing bad to say about non-believers. God loves everyone including the non-believers, He just doesn't love the sin we as humans comit. Praise God for ppl like Lecrae that are unashamed of spreading the good news of salvation! I pray for everyone that commented on this article believers and non-believers. We all need more and more of God's grace, love and forgiveness. Non of us are perfect and without Christ's sacrifice, we all fall short of the Glory of God.

    November 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  18. Joseph Zolman

    Lecrae on CNN, nice!! that's what's up! Jesus Reigns!

    November 13, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  19. Thomas singwa'lil tommy

    Hey lecrae,i digg yo music pal for its God's love that has put that in,man i believe and hope that one day will share the same stage nd preach to the people,continue you motivating us as youths we loving that.God bless Thomas singwa.lusaka zambia

    November 13, 2010 at 6:04 am |
  20. Veronica

    great article! I love all the music from Reach. Glad CNN caught wind of it! God Bless all those guys! They're the real deal. Real talent, real commitment to Christ!

    November 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.