I'm doing my best to seize this moment when I don't have much to do. Well that's not the truth I have plenty to do but I don't feel so overwhelmed that I can't write.
I am hurting for the world. Not some generic "world" that people cant see or touch. But for the world around me. For my family, my community, for nations.
I'm am realizing more and more that it is insanity to believe that a CD will be the big relevant tool to open the eyes of the world to Truth or more specifically Jesus.
BUT...I do think the music can help many and I pray the music will push you toward your word and God will use it to turn hearts toward Himself, His church, and His ways.
If you get "Rebel" please take time to think through the songs. Don't just take them at face value. Marinate on them pray about the content and line it up with the word of God. You'll find that many of the songs are really just an exegesis, description, or translation of the bible.
My point is this.
I want the Lord to change your hearts, I want to challenge you, and I want to encourage you. But more than anything I want you to use the Bible as the lens that you see the world through.
If that's the case then you'll see many of the ways we operate and things we think are more American than Christian. We think and act more out of culture and tradition than out of a biblical perspective.
What does God say about relationships, money, depression, guilt, identity, sexuality? He says a lot. If we spend time learning His ways we will find ourselves slowly turning our back and in rebellion against the worlds way of doing things.
One example is male/female relationships. The culture tells us to pursue them at any age and time. It's apparently "cute" for 10 year olds to have boyfriends or girlfriends. The culture says sex is a part of "dating" (which is also cultural).
God on the other hand doesn't tell us "get as close as you can without sinning." He tells us to FLEE sexual immorality. (1st Cor. 6:18) RUN from the opportunity to get into some sexual action.
As rebels we are so in love with Jesus, He is so valuable to us that we look crazy because we actually follow His word. We seem extreme and fanatical, but I wonder if God is preparing our hearts and minds for action due to coming persecution, or the training of a generation that will face oppression and persecution. If we don't stand firm who will? God is establishing His kingdom will you be a part of this or watch from the sidelines. REBEL.
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Don't Waste Your Life (feat. Cam & Dwayne Tryumf)
THE SPIRITUAL SIDE OF THE STREETS| Posted November 24, 2008
Even though Lecrae honed his rhyming chops on the streets of Houston as a teenager, the rapper never succumbed to the gang-infested lifestyle. Instead, he accepted Christ at 19, focused on refining his skills on the mic and channeled that creative energy into the debut disc After the Music Stops. Along the way he also co-founded ReachLife Ministries (geared toward culturally and spiritually relevant outreach to young people in local communities) and also became the first ever Christian rap CD to debut atop Billboard’s Top Gospel Charts with the release of the brand-new Rebel.
That position is easy to understand given the attention grabbing beats and even more insightful lyrics throughout the album, starting with the call-to-arms cut “Don’t Waste Your Life,” wrapped around slick programmed beats and accompanying rap action from Dwayne Tryumf. “Indwelling Sin” is all about resisting sexual and substance-related temptation, as Lecrae cleverly trades verses with his inner conscience, consistently choosing Christ over the world’s aura.
“Change” is a soulful, keyboard-infused dance track that further talks about turning a shattered life around, while “Fall Back” (featuring Trip Lee) is an old-school, LL Cool J-like romp that also echoes grace and renewal. Though the production throughout “I’m a Saint” isn’t as rich as it should be, the militant chorus is especially memorable and sure to inspire in a similar fashion as the above in terms of turning away from Satan. “Beautiful Feet” shifts the focus toward reaching out to the poor and downtrodden, rounding out the record with a proactive approach that can practically put a newfound or renewed faith into action. –Andy Argyrakis
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from CMCentral.com. Click here to visit CMCentral.com today!
Lecrae's "Rebel": A Review| Posted September 30, 2008
by C.E. Moore
Lecrae brings impressive weight in the form of his 3rd studio effort, “Rebel.” I wasn’t necessarily disappointed with his previous outing “After The Music Stops,” but I feel something was lost in translation when compared to his debut effort, “Real Talk.” With the exception of a few buttery hot tracks, ATMS didn’t capture the essence of its predecessor. Truth be told, “Real Talk” was my introduction to the Reach Records brand and it was earth-shattering for me, so nothing was going to follow and meet my expectations. But, “Rebel” is a return to form for the Reach emcee. Taking the best elements of both albums, Lecrae has returned to the studio booth with a measure of maturity and spiritual depth that betrays growth in so many areas necessary to the craft.
The album starts out with the 3-minute “Rebel Intro” that really sets the theme for the new project by using a sweet sample of Pastor Mark Driscoll making the claim that to be a Christian in today’s sin-soaked world is to be the true rebel. The John Piper-influenced track “Don’t Waste Your Life” kicks things into high gear and features Cam crooning over the chorus and rumored Reach Records newcomer (and resident Briton), Dwayne Tryumf sharing lyrical duties with Lecrae. “Go Hard” features Tedashii and Lecrae and T-Dot switch off, rapping, “Lord kill me if I don’t preach the gospel/Still in my 20’s but I’ll die if I got to…” “Indwelling Sin,” “Breathin’ to Death,” and “Truth” finds the artist standing on his own two feet without any guest spots. The tracks act kind of as a three-part story arc. The beats are slowed down, but fresh and startling in their relevance. “Desperate” will absolutely floor you. It’s not a banger. It’s not hard-hitting. In fact, it treads the fine line between hip-hop and R&B, oftentimes defying classification. This track is amazing in the respect that you can literally feel the heavy heart with which Lecrae spits his lyrics. The song comes from the POV of someone struggling with feeling as if their sin is keeping them from a close relationship with God. Everyone can resonate with this one. Label mate Trip Lee shows up on “Fall Back” and you can really feel his influence on the track. Recapturing the energy that made “Jesus Muzik” so hot, Lecrae and Trip have developed quite the rapport. What Bonafide and Coffee (Grits) are for party rap, Lecrae and Trip are for theologically-charged rap. This number bangs with a decidedly East Coast vibe crashing headlong into Trip’s Texas swagger. The album ends with “Beautiful Feet.” Here Lecrae “lands the plane” by doing what he does best—telling a story through rhyme. Listeners will definitely compare the style to “Prayin’ For You” from his second album. Newcomer Dawntoya adds a certain flare to the track during the chorus line that compliments the piece well.
A noticeable difference with “Rebel” is the amount of slow songs compared to the number of “bangers.” While there are certainly a few tracks that will have you dippin’ your shoulders, Lecrae has slowed things down considerably on this album. Its as if the artist wants the listener to really take in what it is he has to say. This can work for or against the album. In my opinion, it works. Lecrae isn’t a party rapper. While I’m sure the emcee doesn’t have anything against party rap, per se, he knows that he must tread the fine line between being culturally relevant/engaging and theologically sound. The one thing that was a little difficult for me was the amount of guest artists on the album. Half of the tracks on this project features another artist. To Lecrae’s credit, these guest spots are all stellar. But, having arrived at his third studio album, the artist need not rely on the abilities of others to prove himself to his listeners. His fans aren’t going anywhere, so that means Lecrae isn’t going anywhere for awhile.
I’ve been waiting for “Rebel” to drop for a long time now. Reach Records is always pushing the envelop with its artists and Lecrae’s latest is not exception. This is nearly sixty minutes of a straight-ahead gospel message wrapped in fresh hooks, tight beats, and amazing alliteration. Lecrae is an impressive artist who displays maturity in his craft, relationships, and knowledge of the Christian faith. Pick this one up!
This review has been reprinted on NRT with permission from The Christian Manifesto. Click here to visit TheChristianManifesto.com today!
Rebel| Posted August 17, 2014
This album just makes my head spin. I am known as a rebel because of who I chose to follow and I love that. Speaking to us and encouraging us my brother you did just that. With Rebel Intro, Don't waste your life, Beautiful feet and Go hard with the word of God to others.
"An unlikely story stands behind the man known by many as "Lecrae". From the southside of Houston to a leader in the movement of urban reform, a rocky road provides a window into the grace he experienced through out his life, with every situation molding him into the artist and leader that he is today.
Born and raised by his mother in a struggling community on the south side of Houston, Lecrae moved around to several places giving him the versatile background and cultural awareness he carries with him. San Diego, Denver, and Dallas have also once been home to him and the street life he once idolized and pursued. Along the way, like many in the inner city, he took to rapping as a way of communicating his mind. It wasn't until after high school that his hobby became a passion after his hip hop background was redeemed by Jesus Christ."
His testimony really shows through this album. He is rebelling against his old ways on the street and is following Jesus in a very unique way. Awesome music! One of few clean, Christian rappers.
Rebel| Posted January 25, 2011
Lecrae. I like to define him as the Eminem of Christian rap! He goes hard for the Lord on every album he’s dropped! Rebel is loaded with amazing life lessons that we, as believers, can always use and be reminded of. He starts off the album with the title track- Rebel. Using John Piper’s sermon in his song he shows us how all the bad stuff in this world is no longer rebellious because everybody has accepted it. Which leaves being a good Christian and following God now a rebellious act!
Second track is my personal favourite by Lecrae. Don’t Want to Waste my Life! The one sentence that all Christian want to say without thinking, “But what about everything I have right now, what about all my friends, what’s everybody going to think of me” I know it has definitely challenged me in my life trying to be a good Christian.
Overall I would love to give Lecrae a 10 star rating. But they’ll only let me do five. Enjoy the music!
Rebel| Posted May 31, 2010
All I can say is..... WOW. This man is extremely talented. As i said in my review of his last cd, after the music stops, his lyrics just keep getting better!
It starts off with with the intro, even though its an intro its probably one of the strongest tracks on the cd. next is the first single on the cd, don't waste your life. he just blows my mind on this one, how fast he can rap, but he still keeps the strong message going. Cam does a great job on the course also.
My favorite song on the cd is Go Hard. I love when he raps, " If i gotta go hard i don't wanna die tonight cuz theres too many people livin who aint heard about the christ. Idenity has jr abd da truth in it, another great song. indwelling sin is one of the weakest songs, but its still great.
breathn to death, is him crying out to God, "please help me Lord before theirs no time left i aint livin im just breathin to death.
Truth just encourages you, that God is the only truth and that you don't have to turn to drugs or alcohol and act like the rest of the wold. Desperate is a song just asking for forgiveness, as cam is the guest in this song once again.
Change is talking about no matter where you come from or what you have done, God can save you. It starts off with a nifty little guitar riff and violins in the background, which is a great way to start the song. Fall back, featuring trip lee is another solid track, followed by live free and got paper. I really like got paper, he doesnt care about what anyone else thinks, hes got Jesus baby as he says in the chorus.
Two of the best songs come back to back in im a saint and the bride. The first time i ever heard the bride it really stuck with me. We may treat the church like its just a building, but its Gods children in their. It ends with beatiful feet. Its about a man who got shot and got saved and became a missionary.
Overall I think it's one of the best rap cd's ever made. It's definitely worth buying. And im really looking forward to hearing new music from him.
Real sounds, real message| Posted January 11, 2010
I have to start off by saying that I don't listen to much Rap music, because I don't hear that much that really keeps me interested. That is what is so great about Lecrae's album Rebel. It's so much better than much of what I have heard. I find that the style is pretty solid, current and engaging. The message is dead on, with pinpoint accuracy.
I first heard the "Don't waste your life" while listening to Radio U out of columbus, and I was immediately hooked. The music is so good, but really the words took it over the top.
The whole album is full of positive reinforcement in a world that tries to drag us down. His style is so refreshing. I have his prior album "after the music stops" and it's nothing horrible, but not even close to as good as his new stuff.
I would have scored a full 5 stars but I have to say that it took me a while to get into two of the songs on the album, "Go Hard" and Indwelling Sin". Both had a great message but not the smooth style the rest of the album has. The Start of "Go Hard" is a rough, but it gets much better as the song progresses.
All in all this is an excellent album, and I hope just the beginning of many great albums from a true believer.
Holding Power| Posted October 23, 2009
This cd came out over a year ago and is still in the top 60 on iTunes rap album sales. This shows how amazing this album truly is and how his message reaches out to everyone. I am truly blown back by the power this cd has had over the industry and can not wait to see it more.
AMAZING ALBUM| Posted October 23, 2009
I stumbled upon Christian Rap last year and I now really enjoy it. There are a lot of good Christian Rappers out there, but I'd have to say that Lecrae is the best by far. This Album is truly amazing and definitely worth buying. Whenever I'm feeling down, I just listen to this CD and I remember why I've been placed on this Earth, to spread the word just like my man Lecrae. Great Album!
best album ever in so many different ways...| Posted October 11, 2009
Christian rap can't get any better than this.
From the bounciness of "Live Free" to the in-your-face pounding of "Go Hard," every track on this album has an amazing message, beat, and just plain awesomely talented vocals! The energy and passion really comes through and it's easy to see this artist is as real as they come.
Starting with "Rebel" (the intro track), Lecrae makes sure you know where he stands with blatantly Christian Lyrics. A lot of bands like to make it "poetic" or "open to the listener's interpretation," but I love it when the lyrics can't be heard wrong and God is glorifed. No mistake. And if you like that type of lyrics, Lecrae is your man! Even though the intro track isn't the longest and might be a touch simple, the simplicity just makes the power come through all the more. And it just keeps getting better!
"Don't Waste Your Life" has to be the best track on the CD and is played often by RadioU, so listeners of that station probably would recognize it. It's a call to everybody, but especially Christians, to quit wasting time, take it seriously, and do EVERYTHING for God. Nothing else matters or lasts, only Jesus.
Another favorite is "Go Hard." Some people don't like hard rap as much, but i love it! And this song has some serious passion in it. Tedashii, the guest on this song, adds to the feel of it. It's got a similar message as "Don't Waste Your Life," but the feel of it is very different. Strong lyrics, beat, and vocals in this one: for people that drink their coffee black...
On the more electronic side is "Fall Back," a track about fleeing temptation, being wary of the world's tricks, and not taking any crap that the media dishes out. A wise warning, and it's nice to have someone not afraid to give one. Some of the time peeps don't like to be the guy that tells you to watch out, but not this rapper! Yet another sign that shows Lecrae is real.
I could go on and on, but by now I'm sure a lot have you have skipped to the end, so I'll just finish this off by saying that all the tracks have great messages and I am always encouraged and re-focused every time I listen to this CD.
I can't wait for his next album!