If the iTunes charts are to be believed, Atlanta-based holy hip hop MC LeCrae’s “Church Clothes Vol. 2” mixtape is the best selling digital album in the US. The sequel to 2012’s “Church Clothes” was released this week and is available for free on download sites like Datpiff.com. But supporters of LeCrae’s mission and music are snapping up the album on the paid service for $9.99 and have made it the no. 1 album on the iTunes download charts. (The top 10 is currently missing Eminem’s “Marshall Mathers LP 2″.)
On Thursday the album was no. 2 behind Eminem and on Friday had snatched the top spot. The mixtape version, featuring DJ Don Cannon, has also generated more than 70,000 downloads on Datpiff.com so far this week.
Earlier this year The Atlanta Daily World caught up with LeCrae outside Creative Loafing’s Best of ATL party after a performance with rapper Scotty ATL. The Houston-born new Atlanta resident talked about his philosophy, his faith, the state of hip hop and what fans can expect from LeCrae in the future.
Check out the interview below.
ADW: You’re coming off a huge album – you had the number one rap album, won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel album, you were the first holy hip hop artist to do that. What’s next for you?
Lecrae: For me, it’s just continuing to make good music. I’m gonna work on the album, I got a mixtape, “Church Clothes Vol. 2″ coming out with Don Cannon, and for me it’s just bridging the gap between the faith world and the world that is…that doesn’t really explore faith in music. You know what I’m saying? So, for me it’s about bridging that gap and stepping outside the box.
ADW: What can people expect from the new album and the mixtape? And where are you in the process with each of those?
Lecrae: I’m about near done with my mixtape, so you should look forward to that real soon. The album I’m still in grind mode, so we gonna be working on that for quite a while, but I’m excited. I’m still bringing the same passionate content that I brought in the first place, but now it’s a little more mature, a little more well rounded.
ADW: What guest stars do you have lined up, because I’m sure everyone wants to work with you now?
Lecrae: On the mixtape, got great production from the likes of people like David Banner, from Boi 1da, features from people like King Mez, Paul Wall and some other surprises that I won’t mention just now, so stay tuned. And of course my label mates, shout out to Reach Records, 116 all day.
ADW: Talk to me about the condition of holy hip hop and of hip hop in general. In your opinion, what is the state of music, from the Christian side and from the secular side?
Lecrae: My thing is, I applaud anybody who wants to be very explicit in saying, “Look, I do Christian music.” I applaud them. For me, I’ve gone through a season of giving my philosophy of faith, you know what I mean? And now I’m in a season of putting some action around that philosophy. So I’m not gonna explain to you why you should love your brother, I’m gonna tell you a story about me loving my brother. I’m not gonna give you a Bible doctrine on why thou shalt not kill, I’m gonna do a song like “Fuss and Fight” with Scotty ATL [which he performed at Creative Loafing's Best of Atlanta party] where we articulate why and the detriments of killing.
So, I think hip hop is in the same shape that I’m in, that everybody’s in, that is a part of the culture. Some of us are healthy and well and some of us are sick and need help and so I’m here to help the sick.
Read the full interview here.