For months, Lecrae has been adamant about not being labeled a Christian rapper. Now, he is revealing that he believes Christians, as a whole, are stereotyped.
"For a lot of people, groups, Christians included, issues are homogenized and so to be a Christian I'm either this staunch conservative Republican or I'm this tree hugging liberal," Lecrae told CNN last week. "You're stereotyped. It's almost assumed that people know what your issues are going to be."
The 35-year-old Christian rap artist who was the first to simultaneously top both the Billboard gospel music charts and the Billboard 200 with his 2014 album Anomaly, has been involved in the Black Lives Matter movement. Although he took part in the Ferguson, Missouri, protests after Michael Brown, who had committed a strong-arm robbery was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2014, Lecrae admits that he has received flack for it.
"It's unfortunate that myself, as a black man, cannot care about the issues that impact the black community without being seeing as a race-baiter or without being seen as someone who doesn't care about any other ethnic groups," Lecrae told CNN.
"A Christian is noun. A Christian is a person. I function, I live life as a Christian and me living life as a Christian doesn't mean I'm a sanitized person," Lecrae, head of the Reach Records label, told CNN. "It means that I readily admit I'm a jacked up person and I need a Savior."
Despite his influence, Lecrae is not interested in using his faith to force people to see things his way.
"My views as a Christian means there's moral plumb line that I'm fighting to adhere to. It's not say, this is the way the country's going to run and things are going to be," Lecrae said. "Honestly, what Jesus was about, was laying his life down for the marginalized who didn't have it all together."
In a previous interview with The Atlantic, the rapper and mogul said he believes people have placed limits on the faith.
"We've limited Christianity to salvation and sanctification," he said. "Christianity is the truth about everything. If you say you have a Christian worldview, that means you see the world through that lens — not just how people get saved and what to stay away from."
While he does not speak against Christian artists who are blatant about their faith in their music, Lecrae also sees the importance of speaking about an array of topics.
"Christians need to embrace that there need to be believers talking about love and social issues and all other aspects of life," he told The Atlantic. "Many times, that's how people see Christian art, or Christians making art: They see the art as having an agenda. Christians have really used and almost in some senses prostituted art in order to give answers instead of telling great stories and raising great questions."