Lecrae “Gravity” (album review)

Reach Records (September 4, 2012)
Review by LaRosa
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Lecrae has been garnering a lot of attention in 2012. First he dropped a highly anticipated mixtape called Church Clothes hosted by DJ Don Cannon. With more than 350,000 downloads of his mixtape, attention immediately turned to his next studio album and what we could expect from it. Would he begin to compromise his message now that’s found acceptance in the secular realm? Listening ears & fans were waiting to find out. So, with plenty of hype & anticipation, from believers & unbelievers alike, Lecrae has launched his latest studio album on Reach Records titled Gravity.

So, how would one summarize the theme of Gravity? It could best be described as the human desire to ascend to greater heights, but always being brought back down by the reality of gravity. With this album, Lecrae sets out to bring this concept to life not from a scientific perspective, but from that of those who are chasing after the kinds of things that they see pushed through the media. In addressing these heartfelt issues of the culture that he loves, Gravity really becomes a statement album for him. What’s the statement? That he is the antithesis to everything that is popular in today’s hip-hop culture & rap music. This becomes prevalent as you listen to each track & hear Lecrae pointing out something that many of today’s rappers like to promote in their music, while simultaneously offering an alternative view that is rooted in faith in Jesus Christ. “Fakin'” and “Confe$$ions” are obvious examples of songs where Lecrae does this. For good or bad, Lecrae takes a bold stand for his faith and denouncing the ills of the culture, even with all eyes on him.

For all that critics & fans will have to say about the content, Gravity is a hip-hop album through & through, and a good one at that. Stylistically, this album falls right in line with what is currently popular on the radio. It has a very commercial & pop sound, which is what many expected to hear given the anticipated audience. So, for those that like radio friendly singles & lots of singing on their hooks, this album will be right up your alley. That being said, Lecrae did not leave his lyricism and swag at home. Quite honestly, from a purely lyrical standpoint, this is the kind of album that some of the hip-hop purists have been wanting from Lecrae since his debut release. The hunger & ferociousness that many felt was lacking in previous efforts is certainly brought on Gravity. Taken together, Lecrae has the ingredients for a winner.

Now, for all that’s good about this album, it’s not without its flaws. One in particular is that this album feels very similar to what he did with Rebel just a few albums ago. On the surface, Gravity does appear to break away from the typical mold of a Reach Records release in terms of the content, but upon further investigation it definitely resembles Rebel as he tries to get you to buck the culture. Lecrae could have very easily taken this album in a direction that could have set it on a level all its own. And, to mention the singing again; there feels like there is an over abundance of it on some tracks, so much to the point that you sometimes forget that Lecrae even rapped on the track. A couple of examples here would be “Buttons” and “Tell the World.”

All in all, Lecrae has put forth a very worthy effort in Gravity. For all the attention that this album will receive, it is all well deserved. From start to finish, the music & lyricism are top notch. Every fan of hip-hop should be able to find something to enjoy. But, whether you’re a fan of Lecrae or not, this is one album that you are going to want to have in your collection, at the very least for all the history that surrounds it. Big ups to Lecrae for not compromising & repping the 1-1-Six to the fullest with the entire world watching.