Lecrae Moore. Unashamed. Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, May 3rd 2016. 256 pp.
4 out of 5
I do not know much about Reformed and Christian rap but I do like Lecrae’s one song titled “Background” which also featured Andy Mineo. This book is an autobiography of Lecrae’s life. I was quite encouraged reading this.
Lecrae opening chapter was on “Red Carpet Treatment,” in which he tells us of his first attendance at the Grammy Awards which he was nominated for. Lecrae’s account of the red carpet reminds us that Christians are different and in some sense still an outsider even if we are “at the top of our game.” I don’t know why but I found that Lecrae was quite transparent here and I appreciated it. He tells the readers of how he would walk down the red carpet only to be stopped by security for other bigger name nominees to go first. By the time he walked the red carpet people stopped taking pictures in which Lecrae noted the contrast. Lecrae also talked about how awkward the after party was. In this one chapter I thought one can learn a lot about how true Christians will never truly please the world; and also we should not play the same game the world plays. This first chapter already had me hooked!
Lecrae then goes on to give his life story. I didn’t know the rough background that Lecrae grew up in and how he did not have a father in his life. I imagine much of his childhood are stories that kids from inner cities can relate to. I also did not know he was immersed in the hip hop culture and rapping before he became a Christian (somehow I assumed he was raised Christian though I don’t know why I should have assumed this before). Believers will find his testimony of how he gradually came to Christ encouraging. I also enjoyed his stories of his young Christian days after becoming a Christian and his honest struggle with battling sin, legalism and hypocrisy. His transparency was refreshing. I would believe Christians can identify with the battles of the Christian life.
Towards the end of the book Lecrae also talked about his move away from being a Christian artist while still being a Christian. He acknowledged how his move has caused some hurt to his fans who did not understand or thought that he was compromising; Lecrae even acknowledged that he could have done a better job explaining what he was doing which he does in this book. I was pleasantly surprised by his talk of the Christian worldview and a nuanced view of Christian view of work, culture and applying God’s truth to every sphere of life. Lecrae mentions how the work of Nancy Pearcey and Francis Schaeffer influenced him to think more critically and according to a Christian worldview.
Fans of Lecrae will enjoy this book. Those who are into Christian rap and rap in general would also appreciate his story. I realize that some who are into Reformed rap might be concern for him; I think those who are might benefit from reading this book to see his motivations and struggles in his own words. As I write this review I realize that Lecrae has stated some positive comments about the movie The Shack; I don’t condone and agree with Lecrae here and I wish he can be more discerning but I still see him as a brother and I thank God for him but I also pray for him to continue to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus with the Gospel to all his audiences.