Lecrae – Rebel

By Luke J on January-31-2009 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , | Share

Lecrae – Rebel
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
4.7 (3 votes)

Artist:  Lecrae
Album:  Rebel
Label:  Reach Records
Release Date:  September 30, 2008
Reviewed By:  Luke J.

Being counter-cultural these days is extremely hard.  Everything around you says “do things this way” or “if you have this item you need nothing else”.  The Bible calls all Christians to something different, to be counter-cultural.  What if we lived a lifestyle unashamed of Jesus Christ and no longer conformed to the patterns of the world.  Or in this case, the culture.  We would then line up with the teachings of the Bible and be better equipped to live a life that is set apart, unique.  We will also find our music taste may change and we will find ourselves listening to more hip-hop.

A music review for Rebel by Lecrae; written by a white kid from Saskatoon, SK, Canada, nothing is more counter-cultural.  For some reason there seems to be a theme running through these words, but bear with me.  When I listen to hip-hop I usually lean towards East-Coast stylings, so it’s really interesting that I find myself being “all about” a West-Coast album.  There is something really satisfying when “truth” and “honesty” are woven into lyrics, no matter what style of music it is.  Rebel starts, like most hip-hop albums, with an intro track.  But this intro track is arguably the best lyrical track on the CD, and introduces themes of transformation, rebellion, servant hood, and anti conformation.  The effective use of sampling a sermon containing these themes makes this one of the best intros I’ve ever heard in hip-hop.  Track 2 is highlighted by Lecrae’s honest lyric “…show the world that Christ is Divine/ that’s why it’s Christ in my rhymes/ That’s why it’s Christ all the time/see my whole world is built around him He’s the life in my lines”.  God has blessed Lecrae with an amazing talent to make these lines flow smoothly, suited perfectly to the genre.  Track 5 is even more honest when we hear an argument between Lecrae and sin in the lyric, “Lets go smoke a Kool or sumthin/Talk and sip a brew or sumthin/Naw man I aint trusting you/Aint nothing but lust in you/Thanks be to God I obeyed the teaching I was entrusted to”.  The use of biblical language abounds on the CD.  Track 14, titled “The Bride”, portrays the role or goal of the church in modern hip-hop language that communicates the Bible to the culture, “Yeah she may look gritty/When her man come back she gone look so pretty – She the Church/You might see her acting crazy, be patient with her tho cause she still God’s baby – She the Church”.  Challenging.

Musically, Rebel is distinctly West-Coast.  You hear it in the pounding bass, catchy R & B choruses, and smooth raps.  Even through the cover, you can tell that Rebel will sound very “thug”.  As you listen more to the CD you can immediately compare Lecrae to 50 Cent, Cam’ron, or even Tupac.  Christian comparisons may include any of the Cross Movement dudes or any of Lecrae’s label mates; Trip Lee, Tedashii, and Sho Baraka.  Production and listenability are very strong on Rebel, you can listen to the CD repetitively and never get sick of it or be dissapointed with the quality.  Isn’t that what good music is, freshness and uniqueness?

The summation of this review is served up good through the last line of the album, “Go, go, go (run with those beautiful feet)/Go, go, go You hold the truth that saves so run and shout it to the world/They can’t believe in something they ain’t never heard/Go, go, go and run with those beautiful feet”.  Is that counter-cultural?  Let this serve as a challenge to all of us, let’s go, let’s be a Rebel.

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Lecrae - Rebel, 4.7 out of 5 based on 3 ratings

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About the author Luke J

I work as a Music Manager for a great Christian Bookstore chain in Western Canada called Scott's Parable Christian Stores. I live in Saskatoon, SK, Canada and I'm age 29. I'm married to my beautiful wife Melissa and have been for almost 5 years now. Please send me an e-mail anytime, I'd be glad to talk music or life with anyone! View all posts by Luke J

22 Responses to 'Lecrae – Rebel'

  1. Colt says:

    Great review.
    If you enjoy any kind of hip-hop/rap/R&B, go buy this album right now. For real.

  2. Manuel says:

    One of my favoriter albums of the year. However, correction: Lecrae is an east coast rapper, and his music (trust me, I listen to a lot of Hip Hop) clearly holds an east coast tang.

  3. Luke J says:

    Don’t agree with you on that one Manuel. His music is definitely West-Coast. Just listen to any of that hip-hop from LA. Thanks for the kind comments Colt!

  4. Eric says:

    Nice review dude. I used to listen to a lot of hip hop back in 2002-2004, but then for some reason I just grew out of it. Until now, when I’m starting to get into some stuff I hear now and then, and this guy’s definitely one of the ones I can get into these days. Wish I had it. Another album I’m digging is the new Grits. I’ll probably post my review of that sometime next week.

  5. Luke J says:

    Thanks very much Eric! I appreciate the newest Grits way more than there other more recent stuff. Looking forward to the review!

  6. Levi G says:

    After reading this, I think I must have my coasts confused or something. :-P My brother claims one reason he likes Lecrae over people like Redcloud is because he prefers “east coast” and southern varieties of hip hop.

    This was a pretty good review, but I kinda wish you would’ve commented more on the actual musical stylings, like comparing his style to contemporaries. For instance, one song on that album is very closely styled with Kanye West’s “Stronger,” and so on. Lecrae is a good rapper, his music is solid and extremely well produced, but other than strong lyrical content it brings nothing new to the table. Of course, it’s not necessary that he has to. What he does, he does very well. Still, he has more of a mainstream feel. I enjoy it, but I tend to lean more towards the underground.

  7. Luke J says:

    Agreed Levi. I just assumed the reader may do some research into the different styles between coasts. I also love underground a bit better than most stuff.

  8. Brandon says:

    Excellent review. It’s good to see some positive Hip Hop getting covered here on IVM.

  9. John says:

    uh, i think you guys should get an editor? there are “some” grammatical mistakes here.

    anyway, i liked the album overall, though the parts with melodies are gimmicky and strip the feel of true hip-hop from the album. it’s more like hip-pop. loved the lyrics though.

  10. Gabe says:

    good review.

  11. Kyle (imprezagm4) says:

    I’m not a fan of rap/hip hop but great review and much respect to artists such as Lecrae. The honest and straight forward lyrics are to be applauded! Sounds like a man bold in his faith, always good to see.

  12. Manuel says:

    “Just listen to any of that hip-hop from LA.”

    I do. A lot of it, haha. Agree to disagree, though.

  13. tyler h says:

    strangely enough i feel like even i should give him a chance and i havent listened to rap or hip hop in a few years

    also: no east coast west coast wars here

    besides its all about left coast punk rock woo!

  14. Eric says:

    Tyler, I believe you mean “Punk Rawk.”

  15. Ian says:

    what is the distinguishing element that makes something West-Coast sound-wise?
    Would The Ambassador be East-Coast?

  16. tyler h says:

    thanks for the translation, Eric, I thought I was speaking to the unconverted in their terms hahaha :)

  17. Luke J says:

    Stylisticly Ambassador would be West Coast. Not sure where he is from though.

  18. Ian says:

    Ambassador is from Philly,
    but I thought that west coast sound was like Dre and 2Pac, which is pretty…hard
    and I was thinking that East Coast was more party-like, which is what I put Lecrae and Cross Movement
    i dunno, Im trying to understand

  19. Luke J says:

    Well according to Wikipedia, West Coast is characterized by lots of bass, straightforward raps, and maybe a little R & B. East Coast is characterized by more turn tables, more sampling, and more intricate rhymes. That is how I understand the two styles anyways!

  20. Manuel says:

    *sigh* I’m not even going to get involved…

    (then why post this message? just close your browser now, Manuel)

  21. Luke J says:

    I’d be interested to hear your take Manuel!

  22. Ian says:

    does Manuel know something we don’t know?

Comments closed.

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