Album of the Year| Posted September 22, 2017
This highly anticipated major label debut from Lecrae is his first album since January 2016’s mixtape Church Clothes 3, and it doesn’t disappoint. Beginning in October, 2016, six songs were released in advance of the album’s release, building excitement. The album title is taken from Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Lecrae has stated that the idea of the album is that the dark times have worked together for him to become the person he is today.
This hard-hitting and honest album is strong from start to finish and features Lecrae collaborating with many different artists. It is a mature work, Lecrae’s best album, and my top album of the year thus far.
Here are a few brief comments about each song on this strong release: Always Knew – This song was produced by Ramon “REO” Owen and written by Owen and Lecrae. He dedicates it to those, especially the Lord, who have helped him through the highs and lows. Key lyric: Listen, I know God did it, can't take the credit, paid off all of my debts, but I still feel so indebted.
Facts – This song was produced by Dem Jointz and written by Jointz and Lecrae. In hard-hitting lyrics, he states that he’s been waiting for the right time to tell us how he feels. He loves God and Jesus, who died for the world, not just the USA. Key lyric: I ain’t really changed, it’s the same rebel. Broke – This song was produced by Boi-1da and T-Minus, written by Perfekt, Nikhil “Kromatik” Seetharam, Boi-1da, T-Minus and Lecrae and features Perfekt. The song looks at how money may have made him richer, but the struggle got him richer than he’s ever been. Key lyric: Being broke made me rich. Blessings - This song is produced by Pluss and features Ty Dolla $ign. It was written by Pluss, Verse Simmonds, Swoope, Ty Dolla $ign and Lecrae. The song is about gratefulness and appreciating the little things in life. It features a slow beat that sounds better every time you hear it. Key lyric: If you woke up this morning it's a blessing. Watchu Mean – This song is produced by the Go Grizzly. It features Reach Records newest signee Aha Gazelle, and is written by Gazelle and Lecrae. This song has a great vibe as Lecrae and Gazelle go back and forth lots of sports and musical references. Hammer Time - This song is produced by Metro Boomin and features 1k Phew. It is written by Boomin, 1k Phew and Lecrae. The song samples MC Hammer’s 1990 song “U Can’t Touch This”. The song has an infectious beat. Key lyric: I ain’t perfect, I’m just purchased. Come and Get Me - This song is produced by DJ Dahl and Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II and they write it with Lecrae. It features an great beat throughout. He knows the devil is trying to stop him. He states confidently he’s not scared of the haters, he only fears the IRS and God. What he’s saying is nothing new. Key lyric: Look, I’ve been trying to tell them since 04’-05’ (that’s Real Talk). Still, you know these people doubt me every time. Lucked Up – This song is produced by Tariq Beats and DJ Khalil and they write it with Nija Aisha-Alayia Charles, John Groover, Michael R. Cook Jr. and Lecrae. This is a love song for his wife, and features vocals from Nija Aisha-Alayia Charles. Wish You the Best – This song is produced by Tane Runo and written with Joseph Hill, Natalie Lauren, Tane Runo, Verse Simmons and Lecrae. It features vocals by Verse Simmons. The song is about a former girlfriend and his sincere regrets. Key lyric: I wish you all the love you could imagine, and I wish you everything that never happened. Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination) – This song was produced by Wordsplayed and Alex Medina. It features vocals by Childish Major, and was written by Wordsplayed, Medina, Major, Sufjan Stevens, Markus Randle and Lecrae. It was released in October, 2016, almost a year before the album was released. The song, which features horns and a slow beat, details Lecrae’s personal struggles with depression and a crisis of faith as a result of a number of losses and the reaction of others toward his response. Key lyric: I’m glad that Jesus ain’t American, and that’s why I care again. I’ll Find You - This song is produced by Danny Maiic and DJ Frank E and features an excellent collaboration with Tori Kelly. It is written by Johnny Yukon, DJ Frank E, Maiic, Sasha Sloan, Natalie Lauren, Kelly and Lecrae. Lecrae has stated that the song is about hope in the midst of that pain, and is intended to encourage people to hold on and tell them we are here waiting, hoping, praying, and fighting with them. It was the fourth song released ahead of the new album. The song speaks to both human support and a faith in God to help during life’s most difficult times. Key lyric: They say fear haunts, and pain hates. I say pain strengthens, and fear drives faith. 8:28 – This encouraging title song is produced by Ayo the Producer and Keyzbaby. They write it with Lewis Sky and Lecrae. Sky provides additional vocals. It’s going to work out. We don’t have to worry about tomorrow. Key lyric: The Master Artist makes your mess a masterpiece regardless. Cry For You – This song is produced by Taylor Hill and Swoope. They write it with Lecrae. It features strong vocals from Hill. It is a slower song, focusing on transparent, honest lyrics. Like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, he prays for the thorn/pain to be taken away. Key lyric: But crooked sticks draw straight lines, just look at me. Worth It – The final song is produced by Swoope, who writes it with Natalie Lauren, Jawan Harris and Lecrae. It features vocals from Harris and Kierra Sheard. It is about grace and optimism. Don’t worry. God is here. The song features a short sermon clip from Tony Evans. Key lyric: It’s just hard to believe it all but for grace.