Lecrae, two-time Grammy award winning artist, is bringing his “Higher Learning Tour” to Wheaton College on Friday, Feb. 19. The talented chart-topping hip-hop artist, who recently released his latest album, “Church Clothes 3,” uses his platform as a way to speak truth in a world where truth can be hard to come across. According to Billboard, “For the typical music fan, his hard demeanor and crunk beats might belie what his lyrics are really about: his adoration for Jesus Christ.” This unashamed artist influences people worldwide and Wheaton College is excited to welcome Lecrae to campus. As you anxiously wait for his arrival, check out the exclusive interview The Wheaton Record had with Lecrae about who he is as an artist and what he has to say to Wheaton College students.
The Wheaton Record: Can you describe what your mission as an artist is?
Lecrae: My mission is to change the way people see the world. Everybody has a perspective or a lens they see things through, and hopefully I can adjust that lens or change that lens so that they see things from a different perspective, a different lens.
WR: Overall, has the music industry nurtured or damaged your faith?
L: I think it’s nurtured. I don’t think the music industry has done any damage — it’s probably strengthened it because it’s made me see how necessary and relevant it is. I think if you don’t keep your guard up, obviously there’s a lot of potential for being half-hearted throughout the whole process because you can compare yourself to other people instead of the ultimate standard.
WR: What is the purpose of the “Higher Learning Tour”?
L: The “Higher Learning Tour” is about inspiring people to be what they were created to be. (It is) more-so built for people to come, enjoy good music and be inspired to learn beyond what their institutes of higher education are giving them. College teaches you how to make a living but not how to make a life, and so that’s what I’m hoping to inspire people toward.
WR: Many students in colleges are constantly dealing with the issue of purpose. How do you deal with this issue and what do you think your purpose is?
L: I think everybody has a purpose. Everybody is made to be a picture of how good and glorious God is, and I think sometimes we’ll get it confused and think because we mess up, we make mistakes or we have some blemishes in our record, that our purpose is somehow messed up. But actually that only serves to further paint a picture of how good God is when he uses people who are messed up just like me — I mean, if anybody is messed up, I am that guy.
WR: You have said that, “Christian is a wonderful noun and not a great adjective.” Some students at Wheaton think that their vocation must include the adjective “Christian” in it. What would you say to students who are dealing with this issue?
L: I’d say number one, I don’t see that anywhere in the Bible — I don’t see that mandate. Every time you see the word “Christian” in the Bible, it’s referring to a person, not a job or an adjective. Then number two, the earth is the Lord’s and everything therein — so everything belongs to God, so you just can’t leave stuff to just be. You can’t just say, “Oh, if I can’t be a Christian politician, then I don’t want to be in politics.” It really just doesn’t make sense. Be a Christian and enter politics. And be a Christian and enter whatever field.
WR: What would you say to any college student who’s struggling with the issue of identity?
L: I would say you’ve got to find your identity in God — in God alone — because everything else is a false sense of identity. He’s the one who made you, he’s your designer and your work and your value is found in him and not in anything or anyone else.
WR: As you see God moving in your life, what is the biggest disappointment that he has given to you?
L: Man, that’s huge. There’s so many — there’s a laundry list. I’ve made so many crazy mistakes and done so many terrible things, I don’t know. I’d just say I’m grateful for every mistake and every disappoint that I’ve had to experience — that I’m still loved and still cared for, that he’s still here for me. And yeah, there’s nothing you can do that’s too great. There’s no condemnation for those who are in him. And regardless of what my past is, my last night is, there’s nothing that can happen to strip me away from his love, so I’m just grateful for that.
WR: Crazy out of the left field question for you; we have an ongoing column at The Wheaton Record that has dating advice where faculty and staff give a short statement of advice for the student body. What dating advice could you give to Wheaton College students?
L: I’d just say run after God. Be who you’re created to be, and you’ll run into the people who are doing the same thing, and those are the people that you’ll want to be with. And I’ll also just say, develop relationships in the context of community instead of just like exclusive solitude. Like, do it in community so that way you really get to know a person and people and there’s not this pressure. Just be friends, and if you have a good friend in somebody, then take it to the next level.
Friday, Feb. 19 — Lecrae “Higher Learning Tour”
Lecrae will be speaking in chapel, holding an exclusive Q&A period at 5:30 p.m. before his show and his concert will be held that evening at 7:30 p.m. at Edman Chapel.
To attend the exclusive Q&A at 5:30 p.m. pre-buy his upcoming book “Unashamed” at UnashamedBook.com and bring proof of the receipt.
Find the ticket link on Lecrae’s website at: lecrae.com/tour.