On Thursday (November 7) Lecrae released Church Clothes 2, the sequel to his popular 2012 mixtape and the first piece of work since his independent LP Gravity won Best Gospel Album in February.
“A lot of times the album is a bigger production and it’s for a diverse audience, but the mixtape is like for the hip-hop fan,” Lecrae told MTV News. “I realized so many people in the street, so many people who were fans of hip-hop got put on by Church Clothes, and so for me, it’s like, man, it’s the perfect way to inject yourself into the vein of culture through the mixtape circuit.”
Though his music is driven by his Christian faith, Lecrae doesn’t fit the stereotypical gospel rapper role. In fact, on Church Clothes 2, he delves into some pretty grim topics. “Aight stop, y’all don’t quite understand the story I got/ I almost popped a whole thing of pills in hopes that I drop/ My cousin walked out the party, pow got shot,” Lecrae raps on “My Whole Life Changed.”
It isn’t much different from the reality-based pictures that MCs like T.I. or Rick Ross display in their tunes. “When you see your cousin go inside a party, he comes outside, sits in the car and pow, pow, catches two to the head, you start thinking about life and death and the reality of that,” he explained of the song’s lyrics. “That really happened to my cousin.”
Ultimately Lecrae hopes that his music can bring about positive change and perspective for his listeners, no matter their faith. “I think when you download Church Clothes 2 and you sit with it, I want you to be able to experience a soundtrack to life,” he said. “Not just hearing the good, the bad and the ugly, but hearing how all the good, the bad and the ugly work together for good.”