Lecrae Releases New Song, “Can’t Stop Me Now”; Talks Transparency, Collaborations, and Fighting Genre Labels
Grammy Award winner Lecrae hints at what’s in store on his next album with today’s release (Oct. 21) of “Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination).” Not one to mince words, the rapper comes to grips with the country’s social ills as well as his own personal challenges and depression on the hard-hitting yet positive track.
Watch the “Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)” lyric video here:
“Can’t Stop Me Now (Destination)” is the first step in the follow-up to Lecrae’s 2014 breakthrough album Anomaly. Its bow at the top of the Billboard 200 gave the rapper and his Reach label their first No. 1 album. The album also reached the top slot on Independent Albums, Rap Albums, Digital Albums, Gospel Albums and Christian Albums. The set also spun off the hit single “All I Need Is You.”
Having signed to Columbia in May in partnership with Reach, Lecrae is finishing up his next studio album, slated for release early next year. Starting Oct. 25, he hits the road for The Destination Tour, You’re Accepted. The intimate fall headline tour will kick off in Columbia, South Carolina and wrap on Nov. 16 in Asheville, North Carolina. Additional stops include New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago.
In the following interview, Lecrae — a self-professed “social anthropologist” — talks about transparency (“People don’t get healed unless they can see your scars”), working with everyone from Tori Kelly to Hit-Boy and fighting genre labels.
Why did you sign with Columbia?
Although my last album Anomaly went gold, we kind of felt like we’d capped out as an independent label in terms of our capabilities of reaching a broader audience internationally. We were looking for some strategic partnerships for more exposure. Columbia has proven to be a timeless label — one that would take care of our brand and still allow us to have creative control, a voice. They’ve taken care of huge brands like Adele, Beyoncé and Pharrell. So for us, it made sense to partner with them.
The new single is very raw yet uplifting. What’s the story behind its genesis?
It started with a journal entry that I then wanted to bring to fruition as a song. It wasn’t intended to be a single. But when people put their ears to it, they said man, people need to hear this perspective. It’s me being raw, real and as transparent as I can be. The loss of lives from Michael Brown and Eric Garner to Tamir Rice and Philando Castile … these men and boys represented people who could be my family: nephews, cousins, brothers. So it grieved me deeply. I found that when I spoke about this, there was a large contingent of people with whom I may have shared similar beliefs in terms of faith. But they were completely on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of sharing my grief for the loss of these lives.
So they lashed out and accused me of being political. That drove me to a place of deep despair and depression. What I also found is that a lot of us are wrestling with PTSD. You can’t be exposed to that much death and injustice and walk around unscathed. Layer that on top of losing my cousin to a tragic accident to my DJ passing away to close friends of the family betraying me. All of that culminated in a dark place where I said “God, I don’t know how I feel about any of this right now. And if you’re here, I don’t hear you, see you or feel you.” “Can’t Stop Me Now” was birthed out of that. I’m still obviously affected by it all. But the perspective I have now is, I’ve got to continue moving forward. I can’t let this doubt and despair stop me from speaking out; there’s a legacy to be kept up. People have sacrificed their lives for folks like me to continue pressing on.
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