Since Anomaly started its meteoric rise, there has been much discussion of whether Lecrae is a Christian rapper or just someone who "never becomes a bad Christian, lyrically," as Grantland's Rembert Browne put it. The terms of this debate stem from the old, enduring conundrum Christian recording artists often face: They’re either hemmed in by the genre label of “Christian music,” or they reach the mainstream by keeping religion in their private life beyond the occasional, “Jesus Walks”-type statement.

Lecrae wants to transcend that dynamic. "My music is not Christian—Lecrae is," he said. "And you hear evidence of my faith in my music."

He also said he sees himself as counter-cultural, but perhaps the better term is "cross-cultural." His music troubles the stereotypes of both Christian music and mainstream rap—it doesn't really feel wholesome or sanctified, but it's also filled with self-deprecation and explicit warnings about immoral behavior. He also has a role in the recently released movie Believe Me, about four students who try to exploit church-goers to raise money. Again, it's Christian—but not in a way that's predictable.