Rapper Lecrae’s memoir Unashamed (out now) documents the turbulence-turned-triumph of the two-time Grammy award winning artist. The rapper reveals everything about his life in this grippingly honest book, from drug and alcohol abuse and a stint in rehab to STDs and a suicide attempt. Along his journey, Lecrae found God and therefore found himself. He credits his unwavering faith as what brought him happiness, success & self-worth. I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Lecrae to break down his book. Check out our sit-down and some gems he dropped along the way.

“There aren’t [enough] thinkers and innovators and culture-shapers in hip-hop.”

When asked why he chose to write a book versus filming a movie or biopic, Lecrae simply spoke to the need for more scholarly efforts in our culture: “We need more authors.”

“I’m a terrible ‘you,’ but I’m the best ‘me’ there will ever be.”

Identity and self-worth are central themes throughout Unashamed. Lecrae details the process of growing up and struggling to then immediately finding his niche and calling in life, but he speaks of his spiritual awakening in terms of what it personally achieved that for him: “You can only find happiness for yourself.”

“When people see your scars, they believe their wounds can be healed.”

Lecrae puts it all out there in this book—like all out there so, as a reader, you should take its title very literally. He puts his scars on display so that one-day you don’t have to be ashamed of yours: “I put it out there. STDs, everything. It’s in the book!”

“Christian is a good noun, [but] it’s not that great of an adjective.”

Lecrae details the numerous ways he’s been shunned because of his outward faith. Having experienced everything from awkward red carpet treatments to ignorant comments from labels and NBA players, Lecrae believes the industry needs to embrace its spirituality more: “Hip-hop, a lot of times, is a science and a social, but not a spiritual.”

“No God, no good.”

Self-explanatory. Though Lecrae knew that people would simply assume that the book’s title only referred to his faith, he promises it encompasses so much more: “If we’re just a cosmic accident out here existing for no reason at all, don’t even eat breakfast because you don’t matter and neither does your health, but if there’s a God, then there’s good, there’s purpose, there’s meaning.”

Interview | Lecrae

Lecrae is an award-winning hip-hop artist whose 2014 album Anomaly debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. His book Unashamed is available both in-store and online at retailers including Amazon and iTunes.