Unashamed (B&H Books, 2016)

BH-Unashamed_ShareSquares (1)Ask the average person to combine the terms “Hip-Hop” and “Christian”, and you will probably get some interesting responses. Some hip-hop fans might express disdain for so-called ‘holy hip-hop’ rappers who cover up the authenticity of hip-hop culture with a shiny Bible-quoting veneer. Others in the Christian community might respond with a bit of cautiousness, as if being OK with hip-hop music means agreeing with every stereotypical rap artist who brags about having multiple cars, mansions, and women.

Lecrae, multi-Grammy award winning hip-hop artist, is attempting to change both responses.

In his new autobiography “Unashamed”, Lecrae uses his deeply moving history to show how living a life of faith in the music industry requires a rejection of both labels. He vividly describes his struggles, from growing up as a fatherless teen searching for an identity, to the streets of San Diego where he was introduced to the gritty realities of the inner city, to his crisis of faith when he found out being a Christian isn’t as easy as saying a prayer and living happily ever after. In every instance he points out how his music evolved to reflect his true self.

His most pointed comments are directed at his critics within the traditional church world, who object to his connections and collaborations with secular artists.  Lecrae makes it clear that he is no longer trying to please anyone but God with his gift.  As he states, “Critics tend to have a lot of fury, but they are short on facts.” For the working Christian musician, his stance is a refreshing reminder that we are not alone in our efforts to be true to our faith while rubbing shoulders with all kinds of people in the industry.

Lecrae’s transparency and authenticity make this book highly relevant to any reader, even those that have different backgrounds than his. The unifying theme he asserts is that we all have to learn to value ourselves and our unique story. Only through accepting and learning from his past did he gain clarity and a new-found platform for his music. His story gives hope for any creative person who is still not sure where they fit in. We highly recommend it, especially to artists and musicians of faith who need to be reminded that they have no need to be ashamed, no matter where the music leads them.

To learn more about Lecrae and his story, visit UnashamedBook.com.


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