[INTERVIEW]<br />
Lecrae Brings Love and God to Hip-Hop<br />
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the stigma.

EBONY:You reference mainstream artists such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, and J. Cole in your music. What would you say to people who would think it's hypocritical to listen to mainstream rap, in your position?

Lecrae: I would say, seriously for Christians who have a problem with that, maybe it's something you shouldn't do. I know for me as an artist, I think I do myself and my listeners a disservice, if I don't listen to some of the best music out there. If I was an architect or a carpenter, I'm going to want to study the best architects and carpenters and I'm going to appreciate their work, because they're going to inspire me to do well. And I just look at them as great architects and I just appreciate the gift that God gave them.

EBONY: In your recent blog post you wrote, "Most professing Christians have no idea how to direct their careers with biblical lenses, but instead of praying for and offering solutions, we usually just shake our heads and dismiss 'these sellouts and compromisers.'" Can you speak more about this?

Lecrae: We traditionally haven't done a great job of having representation in various aspects of culture. When it comes to salvation, we have something to say about that. When it comes to church, yes we have something to say about that. When it comes to fashion, I don't know. When it comes to television, huh, I don't know. Instead of trying to be involved, I think what we tend to do is try to create our own little niche. A lot of times, it's poor in quality; instead of trying to learn, get involved, and be apart of. And I think you see that in so many people and groups. Just how so many African-Americans have integrated culture and said, we're going to have representation in the world at large. So the President didn't say "I only want to be the President of Black people," he said "I want to be the President of the United States and have something to say about the United States and my perspective and my lens is going to affect my judgment on everything" and that's the way a Christian should be. I'm going to invade culture and my lens and perspective is going to influence culture just as much as anyone else's.

EBONY: Speaking of President Obama, he's a Christian and he's been receiving backlash for supporting gay marriage. So do you think this is an example of a disconnect between some in the church, and people who are in the forefront who have to represent everyone?

Lecrae: Oh it's tough. Anytime you're dealing with moral issues, in a government position, you're dealing with some sticky stuff because everybody's morality is different. So you may be a Christian and say "my morality is based on the Bible." But if it doesn't line up with the way they think it should line up, now you got a problem with them. And then you can say, "I'm more in line with the Bible," but you don't care about the Bible, so they are like 'why are you imposing these difficult rules on me? I don't even believe in that.' So you just have an interesting and sticky situation. And then at the end of the day, my hat goes off to anybody trying to run for president, or trying to be president, because you're never going to please everybody, it's not possible.

EBONY: Lately, I've noticed a media fascination with famous people who aren't traditionally shown as leading a Christ-filled life such as Tim Tebow, and Jeremy Lin.

Lecrae: I don't know, maybe the consistency of it all happening at once maybe have something to do with it. I'm not sure. But one thing I will say is that there will be no one paying attention to Tim Tebow or Jeremy Lin, if they weren't good athletes. There would be nobody paying attention to Lecrae if he couldn't rap. So I think that's part of it and that's what's important for people, especially for believers and Christians to understand is that you got to do well at your craft ultimately, especially if you know that people are observing you and watching you and you don't want to get out there and produce subpar work. Because that's how people look at it. They don't just look at you as an athlete, they look at it as o you're an athlete and you're a Christian, what's happening now?

EBONY:In the past other Christian artists in the genre of gospel have been able to make the crossover to R&B like the Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, and Mary Mary. You don't have anyone to look up to on the hip-hop side of things and you're kind of on the front of that. How does that feel?

Lecrae: I don't feel