Lecrae took home a Grammy award for his 2012 album Gravity, and now the Houston-bred, Atlanta-based rapper is readying his 7th LP, Anomaly, for release in September. We've only gotten a small taste of the new music so far, but it's already clear that he's got plenty to say and new stories to share.
Athletes like Jeremy Lin and Justin Tuck helped to make the album title a trending topic when it was announced, but Lecrae explains that he didn't have to enlist any of the athletes who participated, because everyone wanted to play ball -- if you will. They immediately understood the vision.
"I just wanted to do something that was unique and incorporated everybody, so it wasn't so much about getting Steph Curry or Jeremy Lin involved, as much as it was about getting everybody involved and saying, 'How are you uniquely made? How are you an anomaly?" Lecrae told MTV News. "There were a lot of great stories and they just helped to tell [the] story that we're all unique."
The first single from Anomaly is the loaded track "Nuthin," which takes aim at artists who are spewing the same old content, without adding anything positive or progressive that can push cultures and people forward.
"We need balance. There always needs to be voices that fight for balance," Lecrae said of the song. "If left to our own devices, a lot of times we lose sight of what's going on and unfortunately the paychecks tend to dictate what we'll do and how low we'll stoop."
"I think just holistically, as a culture, we're better than that," he added. "I think we're made for more than we're articulating in our music. We don't have to dumb it down and talk about a lot of the stuff that we talk about. [There's] a lot of peer pressure to be in the hip-hop world, pressure to bend toward what everyone else is doing, which is why I called the album Anomaly, because I'm standing in the midst of that."
Lecrae did give credit to artists like J.Cole, Propaganda and Andy Mineo who share their own struggles in their music, but clearly he thinks there's still room for improvement.
Anomaly is currently scheduled for release on September 9, and the corresponding tour with Andy Mineo will kick off in October. Pre-order the album here.
Stayed tuned for more of our interview with Lecrae on MTVNews.com. And in the meantime, peep his album's tracklist below.