Since coming on the scene in 2004, Lecrae has occupied two distinct worlds: the spiritual and the secular. His music is inspired by real-life instances amid real-world issues, but it documents his personal faith journey as well. Lecrae has always pegged himself as a rapper who follows Jesus, not a Christian rapper.
The 38-year-old rapper is not afraid of collaboration, and his discography proves it. Ty Dolla $ign and NF are just two of Lecrae’s previous collaborators. His latest album, Let the Trap Say Amen, features producer Zaytoven, who has produced music for Gucci Mane, Migos and Future. After years of rolling in the same circles, the two decided to join forces and create something honest, fun and vulnerable.
RELEVANT caught up with Lecrae to talk wealth, the drug culture in America and an unexpected collaboration with Waka Flocka Flame.
RELEVANT: Tell me how you first hooked up with Zaytoven.
Lecrae: We were just a mutual connection. I love his energy and his perspective. I was thinking, what would stretch me and what would be fun? I didn’t have to think about it very hard. I wanted to get in the studio and make great music, and it was Zay. So I hit him up and said, “Yo, what if we did a collab project?” And he said, “Bro, you don’t know how long I’ve been wanting to do something like that, let alone something like that with you.” And it’s just a big mutual respect.
How does the songwriting process work in a collaborative project like this?
We did everything from scratch. We have a real, similar chemistry. We work fast and we don’t overthink everything. And it came so quickly that we could have literally made 100 songs. We finished it in like a month. And every time he would play more music, I’d want to write more songs to it. It got to a point where we were like, all right, we gotta stop.
It’s interesting to hear that it started from scratch because it seems like there are different themes that run through the album. Did you have any of those in mind or was it just what came out in the moment?
We had some preliminary conversations about how we wanted to give the other side of the story and talk about stuff that was meaningful for an audience that gravitates to Zay’s music and the people that Zay produces for. So it was talking about stuff that we all could relate to. It is my side of the story. A lot of it is Zay’s side of the story too, but I’m rapping it.
Can you talk about the inspiration for the first single, “Get Back Right?”
“Get Back Right” was kind of me just narrating what I’m experiencing. And I was also toying with some of the same narratives, the same things that a lot of other artists who’d get on a Zay track would talk about. But then saying, though I’ve experienced these same things: the parties, the models, bottles flowing everywhere … That did not stop the pain, the hurt or the questioning of who I am and what I’m doing here. It doesn’t sound super deep when you listen to it, you just have to pay attention to catch those gems.
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Source: Relevant Magazine