If you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection.
Two-time Grammy winning rap artist, Lecrae, learned this lesson through more than his share of adversity—childhood abuse, drugs and alcoholism, a stint in rehab, an abortion, and an unsuccessful suicide attempt.
Along the way, Lecrae attained an unwavering faith in Jesus and began looking to God for affirmation. Now as a chart-topping industry anomaly, he has learned to ignore the haters and make peace with his craft. The rap artist holds nothing back as he divulges the most sensitive details of his life, answers his critics, shares intimate handwritten journal entries, and powerfully models how to be a Christian in a secular age.
This is the story of one man's journey to faith and freedom.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by B Books
Current Goodreads Rating: 4.42 Stars
Find on Amazon HERE
I've listened to Lecrae's music for over a decade now, but it wasn't until this past October when I went to his Better Late Than Never Tour in Houston that I realized he had a book at his merchandise section.
I finished this book on Friday and spent the entire weekend binge listening back through all his songs. I was excited to be able to connect each song with his behind the scenes journey and witness from start to finish (he'll never be finished!) the evolution of his content. He's progressed from a more gospel, evangelical sound to a more personalized soulful approach through his lyrics.
The main points of this books were laid out in front of me in his lyrics and I felt broken all over again realizing I always took his music for granted. I have always loved his sound and would memorize some catchy phrasing, but I didn't appreciate his openness talking about his struggles right in front of me from his guilt and addictions to his child abuse in songs like Good, Bad, Ugly:
"I was almost 8 when she came in late
Woke me up with a game to play
Did a few things that's hard to say
And told me to keep that secret safe
Now how a young boy supposed to deal
I'm tryna act like it ain't real
Had my innocence just stripped from me
And I still don't know how to feel
And I wonder how to address it
Can't tell my family too messy
So I just embrace it it's hard to face it
I'm too ashamed to confess it"
Unashamed took mere pages to have me stripped raw and left with water in my eyes. Lecrae immediately opened up with some personal struggles, and made me feel welcome to bring my walls down too. I was not only ready to learn more about him, but ready to heal in this safe space he created. He is a strong man, who has been through hell and back. He has risen beyond countless obstacles and is extremely honest in his faith journey. He captures the high after giving your life to Christ to the self-righteousness he struggled with after of condemning others to his relapses and struggle in find meaning in faith and life at times. He gave some great advice and shared books he turns to in times of need. He was honest throughout and is an inspiration.
“Talking about wounds in important, but talking about our healed wounds is just as important. Because our scars are the evidence that wounds can heal. That wounds don’t last forever. That healing is possible.”⠀
“When people try to avoid suffering by sinning, they end up sinning their way into suffering.”⠀
“Old habits die hard, and if you’re not careful, the person you used to be can overtake the person you’re trying to become.”⠀
“Rather than thinking about the world in the categories of simply good and evil, a biblical worldview helps us think in the categories of good and redeemable.”⠀
“If you don’t know you’re lost, you can’t be led. And if you can’t be honest, you can’t be healed. Before I could be rescued, I needed to realize I was stranded.”⠀
“A person can be removed from slavery in an instant, but it takes a lifetime for slavery to be removed from a person.”