Lecrae Drops Another Classic!| Posted August 20, 2020 What You Need to Know: Lecrae Moore is one of the most influential artists in Christian Hip Hop whether he accepts the label or not. The last four or five years were a time of transition, questions, and downright extreme scrutiny from the Christian community. Seeing a share of disappointments, hurt, and failures of his own, Lecrae has been pretty candid on his social media platforms and in interviews. God has restored Lecrae in many areas and he is doing his best to restore communities through his work with Love Without Walls, visiting prisons and providing services, investing in Peace Preparatory Academy, and much more. Finally, the much anticipated, Restoration is finally here. There is a book dropping in October (available for pre-order on Amazon) and a documentary that recently dropped to coincide with the album. However, this album was worth the wait. Producers like Carvelo, S1 and Wu10 along with singers John Legend and Jozzy, were some of the ones involved to make this album.
What it Sounds Like: Restoration is one of Lecrae’s best bodies of work! It is an album full of songs that describe ways in which he was restored from hurtful things in his childhood to restoration from a very dark time a few years ago. Rest assured, there are some bangers! One of the great things about Lecrae leaving Columbia was the fact that he could go in the studio and make a song relevant to today’s hostile environment and not wait for clearance from the record company. That is just what happened with “Deep End”. This song was a therapeutic venting session where Lecrae airs out his frustrations with all that has happened with Ahmaud Arbury, George Floyd, protests, riots, etc. He talks of not going back to his old self, not losing his grip, and God reminding him that he is still holding on. I personally cried when I first heard this song because it was if he put down some of my thoughts in his rap. On “Wheels Up”, I loved the way Lecrae went light voice wise, but beastily in terms of his lyrics and flow! He and vocalist Marc E. Bassy were lockstep with the smooth flow and singing. “Keep Going” is a vibe; Carvelo drops that heater of a trap beat and Lecrae keeps it grimey.
Spiritual Highlights: Hope is one of the words I think of when hearing the album. Songs like “Set Me Free” and all too short, “Restore Me” show the joy of letting things go that were holding Lecrae down and he is here to give God praise for it! Real problems and a real God to help deal and help you succeed spreads throughout the album. “Only Human” features the butter vocals of R&B artist BJ the Chicago Kid. Lecrae spits of the loving God that walks Him through life despite his vices and flaws that almost took him out.
Best Song on the Record: “Sunday Morning” jams so hard!! The beat is hard! The vocals are on the hook, are on point and the message is just right. Please let your windows down and blast this song in these “quarantined streets.” Kirk Franklin comes at the end of the song to do a sobering spoken word to give even more meaning to this song, but the hook is the standout part of this song.
Final Word: Lecrae talks of retiring soon and hopefully he does not. However if Restoration is one of his last albums, he is going all out! Be prepared to be encouraged. Be prepared to reflect and please be prepared to jam the whole album and getting new favorites as time goes on. This is the album we needed in 2020!
Worth the Wait| Posted August 22, 2020
This long-awaited album, Lecrae’s ninth studio album, is his follow-up to 2018’s collaboration album with Zaytoven Let the Trap Say Amen, and is his first solo album since 2017’s All Things Work Together. The album doesn’t disappoint.
Four songs were released prior to the full album. Restoration is the companion release to his upcoming book I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion but Found My Faith. The album has Lecrae partnering with a large number of guest artists, songwriters and producers. The theme of Lecrae’s restoration from life’s difficulties weaves throughout the album. The Road to Restoration, a behind the scenes look about the making of the album was released in three parts shortly before the album’s release.
Below are a few comments about each song. Restore Me – This song, which is 1 minute and 16 seconds long (a nod to Romans 1:16 and Reach Records), was written by Ray Castro, Ace Harris, Alex Medina, Dave James, Lecrae and Taylor Hill. The song was produced by Ray Castro, Ace Harris, Alex Medina, Dave James and Taylor Hill, and features Hill. The brief song sets the tone for the album, addressing the difficulties in Lecrae’s life – trauma, losing his faith, loss of fans when he spoke out about racial injustice, etc. It ends with a prayer to God to restore him.
Key lyric: Use all this pain, use all this hurt To grow me
If that's what it takes to know what I'm worth
Restore me Set Me Free – This was the first song released from the album, and was written by Erica Campbell, GAWVI, Hulvey, Lecrae, Torey D’Shaun, Trecina Atkins-Campbell, Warryn Campbell, WHATUPRG and YK Osiris. The song was produced by GAWVI, and features Osiris. Lecrae has said that set free is a triple entendre in the song – industry, society and spiritually. The song samples Warren Mary Mary’s song “Shackles (Praise You)”.
Key lyric: Shackles on my feet, You broke the hold and now I’m free Even in the darkest times You kept Your light on me Wheel’s Up – This song was written by S1, Epikh Pro, Kelvin Wooten, Marc E. Bassy, Abe Parker and Lecrae. It was produced by Inc. no world, Epikh Pro, Kelvin Wooten and S1. The song features Marc E. Bassy on the chorus. Lecrae handles the verses with a fast rap style. The chorus has his problems fading away as he sits back in a plane that is taking off getting God’s eye view on everything.
Key lyric: Some days I can't believe how far we made it I thank God for the fans and pray for patience Over the Top – This trap influenced song was written by Tray Haggerty, Torey D’Shaun, Hulvey 30 Roc and Lecrae. It was produced by 30 Roc. This song is about how success in life (number one album, awards, money), will fade away. All of that perishes, but you are left with the best, God and your family.
Key lyric: You can have the percs, I’d rather have a purpose Self Discovery – This song was written by Mez, Kelvin Wooten, S1 and Lecrae. It was produced by Kelvin Wooten and S1. The song features Trip Lee, Michelle Campbell and a sample from James Williams. On this song, Lecrae talks about his growing up days. He stated that this was his favorite track on the album, where he realized that God is relational, not transactional. The song features some nice keys throughout.
Key lyric: It's obvious, I'm highly blessed I finally get to understand what a man is when he at his godliest
To get there I was highly stretched and I was highly stressed Deep End – This was the second song released from the album and was written by Khari Alamin, Anthony Gardner, Foushee, John Summit and Lecrae. It was produced by Anthony Gardner. The song features Summit. Lecrae is transparent about the pain and trauma he has experienced as a black man when he sees black people gunned down in the street.
Key lyric: I've been doin' better than I was before I walk with a limp ‘cause I’ve been wrestlin’ with the Holy Ghost Deep end of this pit, but still somehow I keep floating on Thought I lost my grip, but God reminded me He’s holding on Drown – This was the third song released from the album and was written by Jim Lavigne, Micah Premnath, Alex Stacey, Danny Majic, DJ Frank E, Ace Harris, John Legend and Lecrae. It was produced by Danny Majic, DJ Frank E and Ace Harris. The song features John Legend on the chorus. Darkness, drama, shame and heartache has him down and in over his head. God is his last resort. Only He can take the pain away.
Key lyric: If I had one call, would You answer it? Or would You take back all of Your promises? 'Cause I don't know who to turn to or who to trust I don't know who to turn to or who to trust Saturday Night – This song was written by Mez, Lecrae, Joshua Brennan and Jozzy.
It was produced by Oshi. The song features Jozzy and Khari Alamin. This song finds Lecrae in the club again on a Saturday night. But is it real, or was he dreaming all this time? The song ends with a voice telling him to wake up and get his church clothes on.
Key lyric: Measures of success They hate you and admire you too Sunday Morning – The companion song to “Saturday Night”, this song was written by Blu June, Nathanael Saint-Fleur, Terrence Antonio Jones, Ace Harris, Epikh Pro, SAK PASE, Saint Bodhi, Brittany Coney, Kirk Franklin and Lecrae. It was produced by The Crate League, Ace Harris, Epikh Pro and SAK PASE. The song features Kirk Franklin and a church choir (Melanie Rose, Emerald Campbell, Blu June and Ariel Campbell). He’s thankful for every day he gets to wake up. The last night was a mess, but God just hit “refresh”. The song ends with this from Kirk Franklin: My life and your life is just a vapor And if what you see is all you see Then you do not see all there is to be seenWe leave Quickly We leave Zombie – This was the fourth and final song released before the album was released and written by Tommie Walker, Fred Hammond, Epikh Pro, Taylor Hill and Lecrae. It was produced by Epikh Pro and Taylor Hill. The song features Tedashii and Taylor Hill, and samples Fred Hammond’s song “We’re Blessed”. The song features some nice keys. He was in the dark, but then Jesus called him.
Key lyric: I was in the dark, I swear you couldn't tell me nothing I was after flesh, I guess I was some type of zombie Demons used to haunt me Then I heard the voice of God, I'm grateful Jesus called me Keep Going – This song was written by Ace Harris, Carvello, Quay Global, Lecrae and Fletcher Redd. It was produced by Quay Global, Carvello and Ace Harris. He’s come too far to let it go; he can’t quit. He’s got to keep going.
Key lyric: I was down, at the bottom, got it out the mud Kept it goin', even when they never showed me love
Momma said it would come a time I would struggle
Keep your hands to the ceiling when you see the troubles Still – This song was written by Mike Woods, Brittany Coney, Blu June, DaniLeigh and Lecrae. It was produced by NOVA WAV and Mike Woods, and features DaniLeigh on the chorus. This is a song to Lecrae’s wife. He wasn’t acting the way his momma raised him. He did her bad, but now he really needs her.
Key lyric: Let me come through, I can do what nobody else do for you Let me prove everything I gotta prove Only Human – This song was written by Kenneth Deron-Anderson, Ace Harris, Ty Brasel, Dave James, John McNeil, Joel McNeil, John Smythe, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lecrae. It was produced by Dave James, Ace Harris, and 42 North, and features BJ the Chicago Kid on the chorus. In a fast rap style Lecrae shares the difficulties in his life and how God restored him.
Key lyric: But God said "Hol' up, I got it, I do this" He lifted my head up then helped me get to it
He gave me the beauty for ashes, I blew it
I thought I was ruined, He started renewin' Nothing Left to Hide – This song was written by S1, Gwen Bunn and Lecrae. It was produced by S1, and features Gwen Bunn. Lecrae ends the album, “maybe the end of a long run”, with a confident and hard-hitting vocal, admitting that he had lost his direction, but he didn’t forget the resurrection. He asks us what’s the point of each day if there is isn’t a God. What’s the purpose of waking up? He says we love to beat each other up instead of praying and working to heal each other. He’s not finger pointing, but if the shoe fits, go ahead and wear it.
Key lyric: Never good enough to get the love of Christ But He good enough to get the love of me Best songs
Nothing Left to Hide