Sean Stephens is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Sean Stephens is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Hip Hop Lecrae on his journey to Christianity

Lecrae is the next big name in the hip hop music industry. And for those who have listened to a number of his works, they have probably noticed how his music centers on both addiction and the gospel. Just like all other artists, life experiences are major influences in much of his work. He is one of the most successful Christian hip hop artists today. But in a rare interview, Lecrae talks about being an abused, fatherless, drug and sex addicted teen in the past; an old life that still haunts him and just waiting for that opportunity to come back.

Lecrae Devaughn Moore was born on October 9, 1979 in Houston, Texas. While still an infant, he and his mother have moved to Denver, Colorado away from his alcoholic, drug dependent and abusive father. Growing up without that father figure eventually led him to seek and interpret it in several ways. In his high school years becoming part of a gang satisfied that longing for a family and acceptance. It’s the time when he was exposed to violence and drugs.

With women and sex, he found a new father figure. Lecrae revealed that when he was just a young boy, he was sexually abused by his babysitter. Such mishap inculcated to his mind that when he tries to please women, he is reciprocated with praise, affirmation and that feeling of acceptance. As early as 14 years old, he started sleeping with random women at the red-light district of Skyline Hills in San Diego, California. But it didn’t take long before he eventually contracted Chlamydia, one form of sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The artist continued his education through a scholarship at the University of North Texas. But it’s also a continuation of his old drug, alcohol and sexual habits until he became part of the school’s black Christian community “Move.” One of Move’s leaders became interested with Lecrae and suggested that he attend an evangelical event called Impact Conference in Atlanta. Originally, Lecrae was more interested in visiting the city more than the conference. Thus, he joined the efforts of other Christian kids in raising the money needed to get there.

Lecrae considers Atlanta, Georgia as the “black Mecca” because the conference totally changed his life perspectives. He recalled the event’s speaker pastor James White talking about Jesus’ life, crucifixion and sufferings in a totally different way, a way that pierced through his heart. As he describes it, “I got radically, radically saved. You know, the truth of Jesus that I had been hearing really permeated my heart, and then it was a wrap.” It’s also the first time that he asked God for forgiveness. “Please forgive me, God. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I’m so sorry.”

When Lecrae thought that he was already on the road to his new life of learning and faith sharing, an old girlfriend came back along with all the previous temptations. Later on, the girl got pregnant but the two decided to have the baby aborted. Drugs became a temporary source of guilt relief but his conscience was way stronger. At his lowest moment, he tried to commit suicide. He ended up at a hospital’s ER and later on was admitted to rehab.

Staying in a confined room away from his old vices led him to re-establish his relationship with Jesus. After his stay at the rehab and after completing a degree, he focused on music and made it a career. For Lecrae, music is his way of influencing people and sharing his faith “You know, honestly, that’s the essence of my faith, like, ‘Yeah, I suck. And I need a savior. So let me tell you about how I suck, because I’m not scared. Maybe some other people have done that or experienced something traumatic and this is helpful to them. And I’m healed from it, so I can talk about it. You know, healed people heal people; hurt people hurt people. So let me help heal some people.”

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