Lecrae Biography | His Inspiring Story
Raised by his mother, Lecrae Moore moved around quite often as a youth. San Diego, Denver and Dallas were once home to him and the street life he idolized and pursued. Along the way, like many in the inner city, he was drawn to rapping as a way of communicating his thoughts. But it wasn’t until after high school, when his life’s course changed, that his hobby became a real passion.
At the age of 19, Lecrae attended a conference where he saw hundreds of teenagers who looked and dressed like him, but whose lives were steered by their faith. It was there that he heard the Gospel message and recognized his need for a Savior. Shortly thereafter, stirred by a newfound zeal for Jesus Christ, Lecrae printed his testimony and distributed it across the University of North Texas campus. Five years later, he would team up with Ben Washer, a friend he met while serving with a youth ministry, to found Reach Records with hopes of sharing the Gospel of Christ beyond his local context.
Calling Dallas home, Lecrae had been content using his gifts of speaking and rapping while volunteering at a juvenile detention center, but he was encouraged to share his gifts beyond those walls. Pouring out a genuine discussion of life issues and a passionate, unapologetic pursuit of Jesus Christ, Lecrae released his debut album Real Talk and soon gathered a following. Listeners appreciated his in-your-face delivery of biblical truths and transparent, relatable and encouraging lyrics.
As Lecrae continued to make his mark in the music industry, he realized the stage wasn’t enough. There needed to be a culturally relevant and biblically solid resource center to help train the next generation, so he co-founded Reach Life Ministries in 2005. After extending Reach’s impact, Lecrae then released the groundbreaking album After the Music Stops in 2006. Aimed at building an audience of disciples and led by the classic single‚ “Jesus Musik,” Lecrae’s sophomore album gradually spread across the country with other hits such as “Praying For You” and “Send Me.” It also sat on Soundscan’s Christian Hip Hop/R&B chart for two years after releasing in 2006. His follow up, Rebel, released in 2008, garnered even more success: becoming the first Christian Rap album to ever sit in the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top Gospel Charts and spending 78 weeks on the Billboard charts.
Lecrae returned in 2010 with an album whose influence extended into mainstream media and culture. Rehab, an honest look at his problems and the only solution to them, broke into the Billboard Top 200 Albums debuting at No. 17, while reaching No. 3 on the Top 10 Albums chart on iTunes. Lecrae also reached No. 1 on the Billboard Contemporary Christian chart and No. 1 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart. The impact of this album spread across the globe, receiving nominations for several awards including a Grammyfor Best Rock/Rap Gospel album.
In 2011, the music industry continued to take notice, with a well-received appearance on the BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher, a feature on Statik Selektah‘s mixtape and collaborations with other mainstream artists and producers. In May 2012, he released theChurch Clothes mixtape hosted by Don Cannon and featuring production by Bio-1a, 9th Wonder, S-1 and Street Symphony. The mixtape garnered over 280,000 downloads and debuted at #10 on iTunes as an EP, as well as #10 on the Billboard Gospel Albums chart.
In September of the same year, Gravity dropped and made waves in several mainstream outlets with 70,490 units sold in its first week making it the #1 Rap Album, #1 Independent Album and #3 on the Billboard 200. The album also ranked as the #1 Christian Album and #1 Gospel Album. To date, Lecrae holds the title as the highest-selling independent artist in first week sales for 2012.
A graduate of the University of North Texas, Lecrae now resides in Atlanta, GA with his wife and children. His passion for impacting urban culture persists. With a musically evolving and successful discography, nationwide tours along with the 116 Clique, and a generation of young believers around the world inspired to live unashamed; Lecrae is humbled by his position in the growing movement to bring truth to every arena. His hope is that Reach’s impact will spread far beyond simply the music and into the lives of individuals across the globe, ultimately exalting Jesus Christ.