Lecrae’s new album goes mainstream

Christian rap started in the 1980s with most mainstream hip-hop fans giving it little consideration. It wasn’t until groups like DC Talk started becoming mainstream that the world started to listen. Still, an expectation for mediocre beats and rhyming skills left many to mock the genre and dismiss their convicting lyrics. It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that rappers like BB Jay, GRITS, Trip Lee and Lecrae changed how Christian hip hop-music was perceived. The envelope was pushed even more when Lecrae’s latest album Gravity dropped on Sept. 4. Many people expected big things from the 32-year-old Houstonian whose first mixtape Church Clothes was released for free on May 10. Many considered this to be his jump into mainstream hip-hop music with producers like Don Cannon, Boi-1da and 9th Wonder behind him. Audiences loved it with 100,000 downloads in less than 48 hours, but the Christian media had a few concerns. Several thought that Lecrae’s work with secular producers would mean him “selling out” to mainstream audiences and the loss of his Christian convictions in his songs. This could not be further from the truth, with most fans finding Church Clothes to be an amazing and real commentary on the church and non-believers. In light of the controversy, Gravity emerged with critics waiting to see Lecrae’s next move. What they got was mainstream beats and sounds with all the poetic, Christ-filled lyrics that Lecrae fans expect to hear. The first single from the album, “I Know,” is one of his most upbeat songs to date. The production value is higher with multiple layers not heard in Rehab or Rebel. Songs like “Lord Have Mercy” show how different this project really is for Lecrae with tough lyrics and a haunting chorus. The second single, “Tell the World,” has a catchy hook and gospel-focused message that make this song an automatic hit with Christians and non-Christians alike. Any fan of Lecrae will love Gravity from beginning to end and will find the lines between Christian and mainstream hip-hop music blurred. This is a very good thing. Getting the message of Christ to people through the medium of hip-hop is a great opportunity. AllHipHop said that Church Clothes had the “ability to focus on the Christian values without coming off as preachy, or even Bible-thumping.” Mainstream hip-hop audiences are listening, and rappers like Lecrae are presenting the gospel through secular sounds and modern beats. Gravity is going to be Lecrae’s latest push into the headphones of...

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SGA implements creative ideas from students

With the school year in full swing, students are already looking toward the future. Ideas of change are in the air. One group of student leaders isn’t just coming up with plans, but putting them into action for the rest of the university. They are the Student Government Association, made up of six officers from each class and multiple representatives from around the campus. It also includes an executive cabinet consisting of the student body president, internal vice president, external vice president, director of finance and organizations, director of programs and public relations, director of spiritual life and director of resources. “SGA is the gateway for change on this campus,” Internal vice president and senior social work major Caitlin Hiett said. “Student Government is the bridge between faculty and students.” The cabinet of students takes their job seriously because they are students as well and want to see things change. “It’s a way for me to serve the school,” External vice president and junior Christian ministry major Eddie Kahler said. “It’s a way for me to help make things better and make things easier for the student body.” Expectations are high for this year’s group of student leaders in SGA, with many excited to see what is being produced. “If people were born to be in a position, they are all in the right position, and you don’t get that every year,” SGA adviser Tiffany Wurdemann said. “We have people who are devoted. They’ve set this high standard for themselves that I don’t even have to set.” For all in the group, a Christ-like mentality helps their positions be more than just getting things done. “It’s all about service, and you have to be humble,” Student Body President and senior international business major Kassidy Harris said. “It’s a lot of behind – the – scene work and bridging that gap between the administration and the student body.” With a good cast set up in the organization this year, the only thing that is missing is ideas from students. Change will only come if students step out and get their voices heard. “The student body needs to remember that change is also in their hands,” Hiett said. “Although we are the voice of the student body, we need their ideas as well as our own to make positive changes.” Students in SGA are open to suggestions and are in the organization to serve the university. “I’m here if people just need to come and talk about their ideas about what we could change on this campus,” Harris said. “My goal is just to be Jesus’ hands and feet, and do...

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