Be the Bridge with Lecrae

Host & Executive Producer – Latasha Morrison
Senior Producer – Lauren C. Brown
Producer, Editor & Music By – Travon Potts
Transcriber – Sarah Connatser

LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE

Podcast link: https://podlink.to/BeTheBridge Social handles/links: Instagram: @LatashaMorrison  Twitter: @LatashaMorrison

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LatashaMMorrison/  Official Hashtag: #bethebridge





The full episode transcript is below.

Latasha Morrison  0:00  

You gotta bring popcorn to your comments now. (laughs)

Lecrae  0:03  

I have a gift for triggering people. I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t try to, I promise you, Tasha. I don’t try to.

Narrator  0:05  

You are listening to the Be the Bridge podcast with Latasha Morrison. 

Latasha Morrison  0:15  

[Intro] How are you guys doing today? This is exciting! 

Narrator  0:18  

Each week, Be the Bridge podcast tackles subjects related to race and culture with the goal of bringing understanding, 

Latasha Morrison  0:25  

[Intro] …but I’m going to do it in the spirit of love. 

Narrator  0:27  

We believe understanding can move us toward racial healing, racial equity, and racial unity. Latasha Morrison is the founder of Be the Bridge, which is an organization responding to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. This podcast is an extension of our vision to make sure people are no longer conditioned by a racialized society but grounded in truth. If you have not hit the subscribe button, please do so now. Without further ado, let’s begin today’s podcast. Oh, and stick around for some important information at the end.

Tandria Potts  1:03  

[Voiceover] Hello everyone. I am Tandria Potts stepping in again to guide you through another episode of the Be the Bridge podcast. And this one is super special y’all. Be the Bridge’s founder and host Latasha Morrison had an awesome conversation with today’s guest. He is a world renowned and respected hip-hop artist, songwriter, music executive, actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He co-founded and co-owns Reach Records. On his mantle, you’ll find a Billboard Award, two Grammys, three BET Awards, three Stellar Awards, four Soul Train awards, and a whopping eight Dove Awards, which explains why he’s a multi-platinum artist. Who am I talking about? Lecrae Devaughn Moore, known around the world as Lecrae! Lecrae’s success has given him broad appeal. I love Latasha’s conversation with Lecrae, and periodically I will guide you through their discussion. And as a bonus, I will give you some new terminology that, if nothing else, will make you a little cooler to your kids, nieces, and nephews. So, first things first, I won’t assume you know Lecrae’s music, and secondly, I won’t assume you understand why he is so popular. We’ll highlight his music throughout the podcast periodically. To answer the question, why is he so popular? That’s simple. He spits bars. Okay, here is some new terminology for you. Spitting bars simply means he is adept at reciting clever metaphors and similes that rhyme and rhythmic patterns that are in sync with a heavy beat and music. Okay, so in other words he’s a really talented rapper. As an example check this out:

Lecrae  3:01  

[Audio Clip of Lecrae’s “Gimme a Second”] Hey listen, hey look. Cole talk that college talk, Wayne talks gangs, Jay be talkin’ money mayne, and ‘Ye talk fame. And people say I talk about the same ole thang. The reason why I sound the same is ’cause the truth don’t change. Look, people get it twisted like a lemon in the spirit. If I ain’t talking killin’ I must be talking ’bout healin’. And I ain’t talking bout how Jesus gonna make me a million. With my hands to the ceiling I got the spiritual feelin’. My head bowed down, my knees to the floor. Are you a Christian and you rap? That must be the way you flow. No. I talk reality like mama on her deathbed. The birth of a child. A soldier losing his left leg…

Tandria Potts  3:36  

[Voiceover] Bars. That man spits bars and that was called a freestyle, meaning he was making those lyrics up as he went along. This is where I could use the idiom “off the top of the dome,” but, we’ll save that for another day. Let’s move on. Now that you know and understand Lecrae’s level of talent, let’s find out what drew him to the art form and culture known as hip-hop.

Latasha Morrison  4:03  

[In Conversation] A lot of people, especially Christians, when they think of hip-hop, you know, they think of like foul language, misogyny, violence, all the things. And as a Christian, what drew you to hip-hop in the first place?

Lecrae  4:19  

What drew me to hip-hop? Okay, so that’s a good question. For me, you know, hip-hop is this culture that was birthed in the 70s from a group of disenfranchised kids. You know, Black and Hispanic kids. And so, they talked about the woes of their community and the issues they struggled with. And oftentimes they were like, what you will call the grids and the people who gave the news in the community. So you were hearing stories that you could relate to that you wouldn’t have heard in the main stream media because it wasn’t on the radios and whatnot. And so, being a kid who grew up in this urban environment and grew up around, you know, a lot of the things that didn’t make it onto the news at nighttime. This music was like, the way I could hear stories I understood and I related, and it was like, Oh, I know this story. And this relates to me. And so, that’s how I first began to fall in love with hip-hop. Now, when some of those stories were commercialized, and a lot of the gang violence, and a lot of the shootings, and the misogyny was commercialized, it really wasn’t until the suburbs started to eat it up, and it got commercialized where people started telling me stories again and again, in order to exploit. They exploited these stories in order to make money. And so that became the prevalent voice in hip-hop. There’s so many things that the culture, we’re a diverse culture, but a lot of the subject matter lands on these type of topics, because that’s what seems to sell, unfortunately. But that’s not all of who we are. Obviously I exist, and I’m not about those things. So that’s, you know, that’s my kind of journey into hip-hop.

Tandria Potts  6:15  

[Voiceover] Okay, here is some music terminology. CCM is short for Contemporary Christian Music. CCM is to Pop what Gospel is to R&B. Most CCM artists are white. And the main hub for CCM is Nashville, which also doubles as the center of the Country Music universe. Gospel Music doesn’t really have a hub and is dominated by Black artists. With that said, one might think that Lecrae mainly dominates the Gospel chart. Not so. Which is why Latasha asked this question:

Latasha Morrison  6:51  

[In Conversation] As you’ve journeyed through this path and navigated through the Christian space, I know when you first started out, you were in a lot of CCM spaces. What was that like? And if you could do it all over, what kind of things would you do over in that space?

Lecrae  7:10  

Oh, that’s a good question. I’m glad you asked that. You know, for anybody who doesn’t understand music. I have to talk about music in general first to set it up right. Music, for all intents and purposes, when it became popularized in America, when Black people, African American people started doing music, they will call what we did race music, right. And so if music was done by African American people, it was it was called race music. And then, as our white counterparts started adopting the music or remaking it, it would fall into different categories. And so, what typically would happen is you would have these categories that were not necessarily based off genre as much they’re based off race. And so, R&B was was seen as Black, even if the artist like a Beyonce did a Pop song, she was an R&B artist. And then here comes these rappers, these Christian rappers, and people don’t know what to do with them. Right? And so it’s like, well, they should be Gospel, because they’re Black. Right? Because Gospel’s the Black genre, and Southern Gospel is white, or Contemporary Christian is white, by and large. And so, people didn’t know what to do with me. So at first I was categorized as Gospel, but then the Gospel community was like, “Well, he ain’t Gospel, he don’t sing.” You know. (laughs) They were like, “I mean, we love him. That’s our little brother. But he don’t sing.” So you know, there wasn’t a lot of movement for me in the Gospel space. And then, of course, a lot of moms and dads in the suburbs, white moms and dads, were looking for music that their kids like. And their kids were in hip-hop, their kids are into rap music. And so it was a natural progression to introduce their kids to Christian rappers. And so now a lot of these white kids are listening to Christian rap. And that’s what we find ourselves in front of consistently because the traditional Black church doesn’t quite know what to do with this rap thing. Like wait a minute, hold on, you know. Hold on little brother. And so that’s a whole nother story. I had to like campaign amongst the mothers of the church, the grandmothers, and say this is what your baby need to listen to, okay. And so I found myself in front of a largely white CCM audience, and initially I thought it was great. I was like, hey, I’m just happy that somebody wants me, somebody wants to listen to music. But over time, I began to realize, to some people, I was a novelty and it wasn’t that they appreciated all of who I was and all of my story. It was almost an appropriation, of being objectified, in some sense, where we want what you give, but that’s about it. I will take the music, but not everything else that comes with it outside of your faith.

Tandria Potts  10:28  

[Voiceover] That was a perfect segue. Let’s keep going in this direction.

Latasha Morrison  10:32  

[In Conversation] If you could do that over again, and I know that’s a story that a lot of us have, as we’ve intersected into predominantly white Christian spaces. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Lecrae  10:44  

Yeah, I think what I would do differently is, I would have been very conscious of the African American individuals who needed to hear my voice as well. And I would have been very, you know, there was a time period where I was doing, one free show a month in the Black community, just because it was like, yo I’m not seeing my people. I thought that that was enough. But I didn’t realize like, I needed to be way more intentional about the African American community. And I think, and I would not have, I would not have tried to make my white brothers and sisters feel comfortable. I would have been my full self and had to challenge them and allow them to be stretched. And seeing that, hey, this is what it means to have a Black friend. You know, instead of me kind of code switching and assimilating, I would have dealt with that tension early on, so people know what they’re getting when they deal with you.

Tandria Potts  11:50  

[Voiceover] I’m pretty sure you are familiar with the concept of assimilation. You just heard Lecrae, use the phrase, code switch. Let me explain. In America, people that identify as being a part of a specific cultural or ethnic group, often use colloquial terminology specific to the group with which they are speaking. The reason for this is that within each group, certain terms, phrases, and idioms carry specific meanings that are often only understood by those who are part of that cultural or ethnic group. This is a great place to dive into the dichotomy of code switching and assimilation. Listen:

Latasha Morrison  12:26  

[In Conversation] And a lot of times, you know, a lot of people hearing this, you mentioned the word code switch and assimilation. This is what a lot of us do in order to survive and in our own ways kind of thrive in those spaces, but it wears you down. It beats you up. In what ways has it, did it wear you down? What ways did it wear you down?

Lecrae  12:53  

Well, I come from a background where my mother was very adamant about education. You know, from her coming from the projects and living in dirt poor, when I say dirt poor, I mean she ate dirt on occasion to keep her stomach full. So her biggest fear was me being in prison or not being able to survive in this world. And so, education became primary. Well, as I would move forward in these educational spaces, these academic spaces, I learned quickly that the Blacker you sound, the less educated they think you are. And so it’s almost like if your doctor walked in, and he did not speak in what we would say, an articulate, American, almost white voice, you don’t trust that doctor.  So if your doctor comes in and says, “Hey, what’s going on, man? How you doing today? How you feeling, bro?” It’s like, uh, I don’t wanna go to this doctor. But if the doctor comes in and says, “Hello there. How are you? Are you feeling okay?” So I think I learned that if I don’t do that I won’t be taken seriously. I won’t be accepted in these white spaces and places. So the hardest thing for me was you know, knowing who I was, and that whole process. Like what, which one, who’s the real me? I’ve been code switching for so long. I don’t even know what the real me enjoys anymore. Because I’ve been in these spaces and laughing at jokes that I don’t really, you know, like, I don’t watch Frasier. I don’t watch Seinfeld. But I have to participate in these conversations. And you don’t feel compelled to talk about Martin or The Fresh Prince of Bel Air with me. And you don’t want to talk about you know, things that are happening in my world, but I have to know about things that happening in your world if I want to continue to coexist. And so, the hardest part for me was losing a sense of self. I think that was the toughest part and just realizing, like man, I don’t know who I am anymore in the midst of all this.

Unknown Speaker  15:15  

[Audio Clip from News] Breaking news, folks at six o’clock. Multiple people shot in northwest Atlanta at two separate locations.

Unknown Speaker  15:20  

[Audio Clip from News] News edge at 11. Stopping crime on Atlanta’s westside.

Unknown Speaker  15:24  

[Audio Clip from News] Abandoned houses on every corner. Cars with suburban tags in and out of this area known as the Bluff.

Tandria Potts  15:31  

[Voiceover] Now, here’s a little something that you may not know: the Bluff. The Bluff is a part of Atlanta that most native Atlantans know to avoid. This area of Atlanta’s westside has often been ranked as the number one most dangerous neighborhood in the Metro Atlanta City area. And in 2010, it was number five on the list of most dangerous areas in the United States. Okay, well guess who’s on the front line trying to change that?

LeTesha Wheeler  15:59  

[In Conversation] But one of the things I read is that you’re buying up a block on the westside, known as the Bluff, which has historically been a challenging underserved community here in the Atlanta area. So you’re buying vacant properties. Because I’ve been in that area, and it’s nothing that can produce hopelessness as if you’re walking to school, or you’re living in a community where every other house is vacant or abandoned. And so you’re buying up some of these properties, and you’re rebuilding new ones, but you’re not buying them to live in them. So it’s kind of like this reverse gentrification that you’re doing, where you’re helping the community through credit education and financial literacy, to change this mindset around poverty, where you want those residents to reinhabit those homes. So could you tell us a little bit about that? Because I know people do not know this about you.

Lecrae  17:12  

You know, first, I mean, because I think at the end of the day, there are some superheroes that don’t have a stage and a microphone and millions of followers that inspire me, you know, people in the community of English Ave, you know, Erica Brown, and Benjamin Wills.

Tandria Potts  17:35  

[Voiceover] I want to introduce you to Benjamin Wills, the founder of Peace Preparatory Academy. Listen:

Unknown Speaker  17:41  

[Voiceover of Benjamin Wills] So in 2012, after moving back to Atlanta and teaching in the inner city, I just began to really wrestle personally with what was happening in our public school system, and what was happening in our neighborhood. And as schools began to close, and families began to really continue to live in crisis, we just began to be burdened for that. And so we spent 40 days and 40 nights in prayer during Lent in 2012 just asking God, how could you use me the way that you’ve uniquely created me and gifted me to impact your kingdom and impact this neighborhood. And through that, the vision for the school came out of that, which was that we would educate whole children, support whole families, and provide growth and change opportunities for the whole community.

Latasha Morrison  18:28  

[In Conversation] You mentioned, Peace Preparatory Academy, and I’ve heard you mention that a couple times. It’s a school K through five. Tell us a little bit about this and why you’re involved and why is this project important to you?

Lecrae  18:43  

It’s important to me for a multitude of different reasons. In 2015, I was with my good friend Benjamin Wills over in English Ave., the Bluff. The heroin capital of the South, prostitutes running around, addicts running around everywhere. It was a hard place. And there was no school in the community. School that was there have been shut down. And there hadn’t been a school there in 20 years. So kids were either not going to school. Or they were getting bussed out and having to take the city bus and in dangerous circumstances and conditions. You know, we’re talking about little kids. And so, Benjamin had this brilliant idea to build a school in the community. And, man, I said, all right, if you believe it, if you have this much faith, then let’s do it. And so I was able to just partner with them and help establish a school. And now, five years later  that we started with kindergarteners, and now we will be going into the first year of middle school. So K through sixth coming up this next year. It takes work. It took effort and it still takes a lot of effort. But it was all about believing that these kids deserve dignity. Another thing is, you know, it’s not just a it’s not just about educating and taking care of the child, it’s taking care of of the community. So it’s the whole child. So the spiritual, the social, the relational, and the emotional, because it’s a lot of trauma. And that is being dealt with, and then also the community. So how do we take care of mom and sister and everybody else? And so if there’s food, this is the one meal that they get every day that they know is coming. There’s so many unique opportunities here. So, for me, it was a no brainer to get involved. I recommend anybody, if you want to support the school, please. Peace Preparatory Academy. peaceprep.com check them out. And it’s just a lot of great work done. And then just for them to see, African American principals and teachers is a huge thing for these kids. For me it’s figuring out how to use what I have to serve other people. And so if I have the opportunity to invest in the community by getting properties, then let’s do that before somebody else does and exploits the community. If I have the opportunity to invest in, high quality but low cost housing for people, then I want to do that. Because when you build high quality homes, everyone’s saying, “Oh, here we go, gentrification.” But then we say “No, there is an income that people must have in order to live here. So if you make more than that you can’t live here.” And they’re like, “Wait a minute, you mean, this is for people who don’t have a lot of money. But this looks too nice for people who don’t have a lot of money.” “Nah, it’s for y’all. We just want to help y’all in this whole process. So let’s go through this financial literacy program, in order for you to get into the building, that way there won’t be issues with you understanding how to credit and all these particulars. We just want to serve y’all. Because you have dignity, you made in God’s image.” And, so being able to partner with Oaks ATL, being able to partner with Grove Park Renewal, of course, Peace Preparatory Academy. And, just different realtors in the area in order to do some of these things. That was the stuff that we dreamed about. We want to see these kids grow up. I’ll tell you one quick story, I took my boys. You know, we invested in this family. And I took my boys with me to help move this family out of their one bedroom apartment, and it was about six of them in one bedroom. My kids had never seen anything like that. They didn’t know that people in their own backyard were living in these type of conditions. And so it was eye opening for them. But then they also got to see the smiles and the joy on that families face when we moved them into their first home. And we’re moving them into their first house and these kids are saying, “Wait, this room is for just me and my sister?” “Yes.” And the joy. And so even for my kids, they were like, “Wow, Daddy, like, wow. I appreciate things so much more.” And those kids are no better than my kids. And my kids are no better than those kids. So everyone, all of them have dignity and deserve to have those moments where they feel valued.

Tandria Potts  23:27  

[Voiceover] This is so good. Aren’t you loving this conversation? We’re gonna take a quick break. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.

[Advertisement]  23:35  

[Ad for BetterHelp] Friends, life is hard. And sometimes we need a little help navigating the stress of setting changes and income, health complications, and or the loss of someone close can be overwhelming. Not to mention the stress of the tense time of political and social disharmony. Honestly, at this time, we all could use a little help. Well guess what? There is help. There’s help through betterhelp.com. That’s better H E L P. Betterhelp.com makes professional counseling. It makes it accessible, affordable, and convenient for anyone who may be currently struggling with life’s challenges. If that’s you, you can get help, anytime, anywhere. Betterhelp.com offers access to licensed, trained, and experienced and accredited psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers and board licensed professional counselors. We want you to start living a happier life today. As a listener, and as a Be the Bridge listener you’ll get 10% off of your first month by visiting betterhelp.com/BetheBridge. Again, that’s betterhelp.com/BetheBridge. So you can join over 1 million people who have taken charge of their mental health. You guys, it’s a difficult time. And we need these tools. And we need a little help to encourage us on the way.

Tandria Potts  25:16  

[Voiceover] Thanks for staying with us. Let’s get back to our conversation.

Lecrae  25:20  

[Audio Clip of Louie Giglio speaking at Passion City Church] I think the other side of it is true with our nation’s history. We miss, we understand the curse that was slavery, white people do. And we say that was bad. But we miss the blessing of slavery, that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in. And so a lot of people call this white privilege. And when you say those two words, it just is like a fuse goes off for a lot of white people, because they don’t want somebody telling them to check their privilege. And so I know that you and I both have struggled in these days with hey, if the phrase is the trip up, let’s get over the phrase. And let’s get down to the heart. Let’s get down to what then do you want to call it and I think maybe a great thing for me is to call it white blessing.

Tandria Potts  25:48  

[Voiceover] Whew. Okay, it’s time to go here. You may or may not be aware of the previous statement by Passion Church Pastor Louis Giglio. With racial tensions being at an all time high outside and inside churches around the country, Louis thought it would be a great idea to have two of his friends sit down and have a conversation on race. He invited Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, and you guessed it, Lecrae. After that “white blessing” statement was made, unfortunately, Lecrae did not respond at the moment. Louis received backlash, but so did Lecrae. So let’s pick up the discourse here.

Lecrae  26:53  

[In conversation] That was a very tough circumstance for me. You know, that was very challenging. And, not because I didn’t feel equipped to address all the things that were being spoken about. But also because the entire environment, the entire mindset that I had to navigate, it almost felt like there was no win in that situation. One, I should have been up there with Dr. Bernice King, who was unable to make it that night. Two, I thought it was going to be more about me sharing and talking. And me giving the insight and not people who don’t have the range to communicate about racial injustice in America. So that was that was hard. And then, of course, just curveballs spoken out of ignorance. You know? Maybe genuine? But still lacked understanding and education, and now having to process. For me, I think where on the fly, what I didn’t consider was, hey, there are African American people who need your voice in this moment. But I’m only thinking about the immediate audience in front of me. And so it’s just that that tension and that dance of trying to be loving and gracious, but at the same time, also saying, man, this is not okay. And so it’s like working through that tension. Because I never want to want to function as a hateful person. I always want to function as someone who’s gracious and wants people to wrestle with nuance and ignorance. But there’s a place to do that. And oftentimes it’s not in front of the camera.

Latasha Morrison  28:53  

If you could replay that moment, what would you say now?

Lecrae  28:50  

Yeah, I mean, I think the biggest thing is like, hey, right now you’re wanting to change the term white privilege into white blessings, right? And I would say, you cannot take that upon yourself to change the title to accommodate you, right? It’s like, you can’t like, hey, let me change the language so I feel accommodated. The whole point of this conversation is to create a level of uncomfortability so that we can grow. You can’t grow without tension. And so it’s better for us to try to understand why we’re uncomfortable, versus saying, hey, let’s say this in a way that makes me feel comfortable otherwise, I don’t want to have this conversation. Well, you would never survive in any kind of serious friendship or relationship if it was all about feeling comfortable. And so oftentimes, we have to recognize that if we’re dealing with people and out of love, then we can say all right, well, I know this person loves me, so let me be uncomfortable in this moment and see where this train goes, you know? And I think that would have been a first thing is this saying, hey, you don’t you don’t get to change the terms. And then also, you know, just being able to say, listen, I don’t know what you mean when you say this, but regardless of your intention, what you’re saying is extremely hurtful. What you’re saying is extremely inappropriate. And you may be speaking out of ignorance, but it hurts just the same. So we need to address that in this moment.

Tandria Potts  30:35  

[Voiceover] March 31st, Lecrae, posted on Twitter quote, 

Lecrae  30:39  

“I love Jesus. But I’m not churchy.” 

Tandria Potts  30:41  

Oh, and he took it a step further and added, “I used to be embarrassed by that

Lecrae  30:45  

but now I realize it’s okay to love God and not fit in with church culture.”

Tandria Potts  30:51  

Whoa. Okay, let’s explore that.

Latasha Morrison  30:53  

[In conversation] But what you said resonated with so many. And I get it. Can you explain for those who didn’t see the posts, and especially knowing your background and kind of losing your identity in some of these spaces? I understand exactly what you were saying. So, can you explain and what has that process been with you as you deconstruct just the thinking around that?

Lecrae  31:31  

Yeah, I think, you know, oftentimes when you, people hear what you aren’t saying a lot more than they hear what you are saying, right? So, I think people don’t realize that the American church has a culture. I mean, you would be remiss to not know that the Asian church has a culture or African church has a culture. When you walk in, you know, oh, this is different, right? This is different. And a lot of times people feel like they’re acultural, they’re like, “This is just church. What do you mean?” No, it’s the whole culture to this that I have never really connected with. I connect with the Scriptures, I connect with God, I connect with my Savior. But the culture that’s wrapped up in this I don’t connect with. And so it’s funny, my wife and I, we went to this Christian family camp, and it’s predominantly white. And they were like, “Hey y’all, we just want to spend some time in worship.” And then they instantly pull out this guitar. And I was like, I don’t want to hear no guitar. I promise I don’t want to hear this guitar right now. I don’t know why in your brain you think this is like helping me connect to the Father more? It’s not. If I told you let’s spend some time in worship and I turned up the bass and started playing hip-hop really loud. You’d probably be like, “Wait. What is this, this is not leading me to the Father. What are you talking about Lecrae?” And I’m like, y’all, that’s part of your cultural distinction. 

Tandria Potts  33:10  

[Voiceover] Tough times. As the saying goes, “when America has a cold, Black America has pneumonia.” Some of you may or may not agree with that statement. I’m curious what diversity educator Jane Elliot’s thoughts might be on my previous statement.

Unknown Speaker  33:27  

[Audio clip of Jane Elliot] thought every white person in this room, who would be happy to be treated as this society in general treats our citizens, our Black citizens. If you as white person would be happy to receive the same treatment that our Black citizens do in this society, please stand. You didn’t understand the directions. If you white folks want to be treated the way Blacks are in this society, stand. Nobody’s standing here. That says very plainly that you know what’s happening. You know you don’t want it for you. 

Tandria Potts  34:05  

[Voiceover] Exactly. So back to tough times.

Lecrae  34:08  

[In conversation] Toughest time in my life, hands down, the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. I think, you know, I think a lot of times people know what it’s like to go through a tough moment or to feel sad or to feel down or to be a little bit like panicky, but when your body shuts down, and you can’t do anything to control it, there’s not enough willpower in the world to get you out of that type of a situation. And so, it really made me more of an advocate for people for mental health, because now when I see people on the street, and you would think like, what is this person doing? Why is he walking the street with his shirt off? And it’s like, man, that person may be trapped in their mind and don’t have the medical attention that they need in order to be a healthy, whole person. And I know what it feels like to be trapped in my mind. I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning and there’s nothing you can do to shake off the dark cloud that makes you feel like life is worthless. I know what it feels like to wake up in the morning, and there’s nothing you can do to, or to go to bed at night and there’s nothing you can do to make yourself sleep because you’re just so panicky and you don’t even know what you’re like, why am I panicking? I don’t want to be panicky. I’m not afraid of anything. But in that moment your central nervous system has failed you. Your brain, you know, to get extra technical, your prefrontal cortex is not talking to your amygdala. Your brain’s not connecting right like it should. And so, in the same way you can have a heart condition or you can have asthma, your brain is an organ that has problems from time to time. And so, that was hard because I’m a very self willed person and can hold myself up. And oh, I’m gonna get mine, I’m gonna work for mine, you ain’t gonna tell me. And God was like, “You ain’t gonna be able to work yourself out of this one brother.” So it was tough. It was tough to reorient myself. It was tough to realign myself to depend on therapy and change my lifestyle to slow down. It was tough, but I really feel like it was the best thing that’s that’s happened to me, because I’m a better person from it.

[Voiceover] Okay. So are you curious, like I am, about what brings Lecrae joy?

[In Conversation] Joy, in this season of life, I find a lot of joy in contentment. Being content allows for me to… I’ll put it like this, I find myself content in terms of my own ambitions, so that I can be ambitious for other people. And so if Lecrae is not worried about how Lecrae can be great all the time, Lecrae can help other people be great. And so that is bringing me joy is the contentment God has given me to allow other people to be great in this season. And so if I’m not like, oh, man, Jimmy Fallon called and I got to go do Jimmy Fallon. But instead of worrying about that, man, what’s up with Peace Prep today? Let’s let’s figure out how we can do something. And you know, just that tension in that balance for me now. It’s like, man, I just want other people to be great in this season. And then, hope. You know, obviously, as a believer, the tomb is empty. So that always gives me hope. You know, the empty tomb gives me hope. My friend, our friend, Esau McCauley told me that years back. And it rattled me. And then I just started thinking to myself, you know what, when The Trail of Tears was happening, during 400 years of slavery, during segregation, the tomb was empty. And so people held on to that reality then, and I can hold on to it today. That the tomb is empty and I can keep pushing.

Tandria Potts  38:22  

[Voiceover] So Lecrae went from being influenced and inspired by hip-hop culture, to not only becoming an influencer in the genre, but an influencer of influencers in pop culture and church culture in general. If you haven’t heard his latest album, Restoration, check it out. If you don’t have his latest book, “I am Restored: How I lost my Religion but Found my Faith,” go get it. If you want to introduce more people to this phenomenal person, then send them this link to the podcast. I love, love, loved Latasha’s conversation with the multitalented and multifaceted Lecrae. And I hope you enjoyed it, too. Till next time, let’s remember to build bridges and not walls. Go to the Donors Table if you’d like to hear the unedited version of this podcast.

Narrator  39:22  

Thanks for listening to the Be the Bridge podcast! To find out more about the Be the Bridge organization and or to become a bridge builder in your community, go to BetheBridge.com. Again, that’s BetheBridge.com. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, remember to rate and review it on this platform, and share it with as many people as you possibly can. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Today’s show was edited, recorded and produced by Travon Potts at Integrated Entertainment Studios in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. The host and executive producer is Latasha Morrison. Lauren C. Brown is the senior producer. And transcribed by Sarah Connatser. Please join us next time! This has been a Be the Bridge Production.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai