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If you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection.

Two-time Grammy winning rap artist, Lecrae, learned this lesson through more than his share of adversity—childhood abuse, drugs and alcoholism, a stint in rehab, an abortion, and an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

Along the way, Lecrae attained an unwavering faith in Jesus and began looking to God for affirmation. Now as a chart-topping industry anomaly, he has learned to ignore the haters and make peace with his craft. The rap artist holds nothing back as he divulges the most sensitive details of his life, answers his critics, shares intimate handwritten journal entries, and powerfully models how to be a Christian in a secular age.

This is the story of one man's journey to faith and freedom.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published May 1, 2016

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Lecrae Moore

17 books218 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 719 reviews
Profile Image for Maureen.
507 reviews4,199 followers
February 6, 2017
If you couldn't tell by my incessant updates with every nugget of wisdom, this book was incredible.
I've been a pretty casual listener of Lecrae's music but always a huge fan of the person he is and what he stands for. This book just gave me more insight into what he actually went through growing up and makes his testimony that much more powerful. I cried quite a few times as so many things and phrases and ideas hit home.
I'm seriously so blown away by this book and I REALLY WANT YOU TO READ IT.
Profile Image for Michael.
1,215 reviews111 followers
June 19, 2016
I never been a huge fan of Lecrae. In fact,I thought He was very overrated,besides a few songs I heard from Him.However this book convinced me to give his music a second chance. Being raised rough with only his mother,He turned to drugs,sex,alcohol,etc to fill the void of having an absent Father. Constantly reprimanded to get his life together,before he became another statistic.

By the Grace of God,his entire life changed drastically when He encountered Jesus for the first time. Now he uses his music to get people to turn to Jesus for fulfillment.

I loved everything about this book,but the main aspect was how authentic it was. Lecrae was not a self righteous hypocrite trying get people to change their life,but a fragile person that need the same Grace we all do. Battling legalism taught him to approach people with Grace,rather than to point fingers.

Vivid testimonies,touching photos and a remarkable novel. I am a picky rater in general,but more picky with Christian based novels because of the cliches and unoriginal content. Yet this exceeded my expectations,very impressed!
Profile Image for Josh.
576 reviews33 followers
February 9, 2017
Lecrae is an interesting person, and this is an interesting book. I have been ministered to greatly by the artists of Reach, including Lecrae. Contrary to the many who have seen his progression as a move away from faith, I have been encouraged by his evolution from youth group rapper to frontline missionary. I have also enjoyed listening to his music as it has progressed greatly from Rebel to CC3 (I wasn't around for Real Talk, I'm a band-wagoner).

In Unashamed, Lecrae tells his story. It is a story that many young, black men are living, but it is still a story to which all can relate. He tells of growing up fatherless, enduring physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. living in San Diego with gangs and north Dallas without many people who shared his color and culture. He tells about his struggles with drugs and alcohol, his pressuring a girl to have an abortion, and his desires to end his life. But through it all, he tells the story of a great God that had a plan and a purpose for Lecrae Moore.

And his struggles did not end when he became a believer. What I found most encouraging, probably because it was more relatable to me than being a fatherless black boy on the streets of San Diego, were his struggles after becoming a believer. His immature interactions with unbelievers, his legalistic and self-righteous deeds to improve his status with God, his difficulty in being a loving (see: gentle and respectful) husband, the persecution from within the visible church he endured when following the Lord in a manner that didn't match their expectations, etc., all are struggles to which I can relate to one degree or another. And seeing how he endured them, moved past them, and used them as means to love God more was a great encouragement.

Lecrae lays himself bare, and he does so to the glory of God. He doesn't glorify his sins or his struggles, as so many radical testimonies often do. He doesn't credit himself with his successes and salvation. He doesn't encourage people to follow him (seriously, there are more than enough Lecratians, already). Rather, he looks back and recognizes that he was chief of sinners and that sin cost the Lord his life; that he was saved and blessed by the glorious, unmerited, undeserved, immeasurable grace of God; and he points away from himself and towards the person of Christ and says, "Follow him! Honor him! Praise and glorify him!"

If you love hip-hop, pick this book up. If you love rags-to-riches success stories, pick this book up. If you love hearing someone extol the virtues of our great God from the first page to the last, definitely pick this book up. You'll be glad you did.

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,894 reviews1,927 followers
November 3, 2016
Rating: 3* of five

I voted for this book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. There's no obvious reason I'd vote for some christian crapola over the memoir of Gloria Vanderbilt and her gay son Anderson Cooper, except I really can't relate to rich people's problems any more. On the dull side, frankly.

Lecrae's problems aren't dull. They include a laundry list of every social ill I've been able to dream up. He ticks every box and then, one fine day, gawd reaches down and saves him. My eyes rolled so hard I was dizzy for a week.

But I voted for the book because I felt the sincerity and passion and belief oozing from every bit of this story.
Profile Image for Jeanie.
2,851 reviews1 follower
April 25, 2016
What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6...It was like a blindfold fell off my eyes. I'd been celebrating the things I should have been ashamed of, and I had been ashamed of what I should have been celebrating. I had been set free, but I was still living like a slave to my old life and old habits and old ways. I had been liberated from slavery, but slavery had not been liberated from me. I saw Jesus as my Savior, but not my Lord. I thought because God had given me grace, I could do whatever I wanted. But doing whatever I pleased was only going to bring death. Surrendering to God was the key to receiving life.

I have been a big fan of Lecrae for several years. I have gone to several of his concerts that are high energy. What I enjoy about his concerts that families come together, they dance, and they hear the word of God. I would go further to say that his music can be a whole sermon. That his theology is sound. He is working out his salvation by surrendering to who God is and who he (Lecrae) is not. This is his story. How he grew up in fatherless home, a mom that never gave up on him, and how he came to know the truth. How he fights temptation and pride. His struggle with acceptance and how the Gospel truly saved him. How is music as revolved to not being relevant to us but how we are relevant to the Gospel.


Listen to his music and be encouraged by his story and be unashamed by the Gospel. It is only by being unashamed of the gospel can we live freely. By engaging the culture for God's glory, we make the gospel available. That is the journey that the Lord has given to Lecrae.

A Special Thank You to B&H Books and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.

Profile Image for Addy S..
170 reviews64 followers
April 24, 2019
Unashamed, for me, was a story that encouraged me immensely. Lecrae’s story is not fiction, but it is the story of his life, and all that he’s gone through. He grew up fatherless, and got into drugs and alcohol. He ended up getting so depressed he tried to overdose on pills. Yet, through it all, God was working (and IS working!) in his life. It’s amazing to see what Lecrae has come out of.

A few content details younger readers should know:
-Talk of attempted suicide
-Talk of abuse Lecrae experienced
-Lecrae got so mad he wanted to kill someone… but he ended up driving himself to the hospital and admitting himself into rehab

It was amazing getting to read a personal, raw account of how God saved a man’s life. I will be reading this again and again. It’s so cool to see how far Lecrae has come. His songs are powerful as well, and though I don’t usually prefer loud rap music, his lyrics don’t hide anything.

Thank you, Lecrae, for sharing your testimony of God's faithfulness in your life, and for being unashamed.

Soli Deo Gloria.
Profile Image for Margaret Carpenter.
283 reviews15 followers
May 12, 2016
God bless 'em.

This book challenged my opinions and biases of lots of stuff, especially my feelings about CHH. No one can say that Lecrae hasn't been through his fair share of fighting off the genre boxes, not after reading this.

Unashamed is deeply, sometimes painfully, honest. I can't connect with much of his experience, but his insight on struggling to be a Christian with a body, with a mind that has never been baptized, this was resonant in my heart, and powerful.

This book was actually bought to be a gift to someone else, someone who needs to hear this message more than I did. I hope he does.
Profile Image for Donna.
3,903 reviews21 followers
September 4, 2016
I loved this book. What a great autobiography! There were some great quotable quotes in this and even though I am so not a fan of rap, I could identify with many of the things he said in these pages. Reading this makes me want to go check out his music.

Lecrae Moore's autobiography felt authentic as he detailed his upbringing and his sense of abandonment. His need for expression was well written. I also liked that he is "Unashamed" and boldly makes his faith a visible part of who he has become so far. He also didn't come across as preachy, judgmental, and condemnatory.
Profile Image for Cornell.
69 reviews13 followers
May 13, 2016
I enjoyed reading (or rather, listening to Lecrae read) this book. It is a deeply personal account of the rapper's journey to faith and his journey in faith. It is an autobiography of sorts, mostly focusing on how Lecrae came to faith and why he does "ministry" the way he does.

The book finally (hopefully) puts to rest why the rapper insists on being referred to as "a rapper who happens to be a Christian" instead of the generic "Christian rapper." You see, Lecrae's relationship with rap and hip hop predates his conversion. What happens at his conversion, he explains, was a change of worldview, not a change of trade (or talent).

The best way he knew to express himself is through rap, and just because he became a Christian doesn't mean he raps because he is a Christian. He raps despite being a Christian. It is a subtle difference, and many might miss it. I hope Lecrae will forgive many of us for missing that difference.

Being a personal account, Lecrae does not shy from revealing gory details about his past failures. What stood out is the fact that his sinful life does not just precede his conversion, but transcends it. I was comforted by this, especially considering the many times I have found myself "sinning more" after my conversion than before. I relate, Lecrae.

Even so, I couldn't help but feel like Lecrae was defending himself in this book. He was succumbing to the pressure to "explain himself" and why he is the way he is. I am no judge of whether this was warranted, but I am grateful he did it.

I also couldn't help but feel that, for someone whose mantra in life is about not living for people's acceptance, by writing this book he seemed to still want us to "get" him, and, in a way, accept him.

The only significant doctrinal qualm I had with the book is in Chapter 10: Kicking Down Hell's Door. Lecrae uses Matthew 16:18 to segue into why he feels called to reach the culture. He infers from Jesus' words... "upon this rock I will build my church" that this is speaking about Jesus building the church "upon the rock of the culture". Well, that's quite a stretch and I didn't buy it.

This was a good read. I recommend it.
Profile Image for Theresa.
39 reviews
July 8, 2016
I am floored by Lecrae's transparency and willingness to share about his past and how God transformed and continues to transform his life. He is truly unashamed of the gospel and how he has been uniquely created.
Profile Image for Lainie.
8 reviews
February 13, 2018

"My prayer is that you'll make music too. Maybe not with your voice, and maybe not on a stage, but hopefully with your life."

Lecrae grew up in one of the toughest crowds, his earthly father left him at a young age and he was exposed to all sorts of immoralities constantly. Music quickly became one of the many things that helped him cope with loneliness and heartache but in every situation he was influenced by, his craving for acceptance was critical. It took Lecrae years to realize that it "if you live for people's acceptance, you'll die from their rejection." His heavenly Father was there every step of the way and God's story for him was bigger than his urge to fit in. God embraced him and all his impurities and saved him from the life he thought he could never escape.

He is now sharing through his music that "We all bring our sacred callings into a world that God created and called "good" and that has been tainted by sin, but where God wants to use us to impact for His glory."

I loved learning how Lecrae is now living not for himself, but for his Savior, completely unashamed.
Profile Image for Sarah.
42 reviews27 followers
August 18, 2016
The intro of the much anticipated 2016 released book Unashamed gives us a brief glance of Lecrae attending the Grammy’s and his appearance at Jay-Z and Beyonce’s Roc Nation Party. Since most of us will never touch foot on the carpet rolled out to be graced by Louboutins or eat hors d’oeuvres on the same silver platter Jay-Z and Beyonce ate from this is some pretty exciting stuff! In the past, Lecrae had won “Best Gospel Album” and “Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance” but this time, he was up for a title that didn’t hint at anything religious- “Best Rap Performance.”

Yet he didn’t fit in.

Sure he was nominated without the Christian title, yet it became all too apparent that those in the “biz” couldn’t forget the Christian factor.

"In nearly every interview I do with the media, people struggle to talk about my actual music. Instead, they want to know if I smoke or drink or cuss.”
Lecrae also mentions “that part of being human means not fitting in and the only solution is learning to look to God for ultimate recognition.”

And so begins Lecrae’s story.

Lecrae candidly speaks about “Daddy issues” and the hole subsequently left by an absent father as well as the highly sensitive topic of sexual abuse. From the pages, we get a taste of the ache inside of Lecrae to find belonging. He was able to find that belonging in the hip-hop culture where father issues were widely set to lyrical fashion and put to a good beat. Yet his newfound skill in music as well as gaining a substitute yet intangible father in the hip-hop community wasn’t enough. Lecrae further talks about his journey to faith, his life-changing stint in rehab, and his early years as a Christian with embarrassingly dogmatic words. I’m glad he was so forthright on his initial years as a Christian, trying to figure out the truth yet with a tongue that hurt. How many of us have been there yet want to hide those days away?

One of the most striking features of the book is Lecrae’s stance on STILL living an unashamed life. You can read the remainder here: http://bit.ly/LecraeUnashamed

I was given a free review copy from B&H. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Justin.
125 reviews27 followers
December 23, 2017
I loved reading this primarily for his transparency. He conveyed what he wanted to say in very readable fashion too. While our stories our very different, his urban, mine suburban, I could relate on many levels. We are all longing for identity and affirmation and when we do that apart from Christ it doesn't go well for us. There's so many rich things I get from his testimony, but to be brief..... I love the point of being "unashamed of the gospel" ....we often say that with pride....like we are rooting for our most beloved sports team or something.....but when we say that we really need to say I am unashamed of the gospel because it's the power of God to pull me through. I'm weak, and I am just unashamed to admit that. Just a great point. He describes it better than I can say.

He shares his struggle between wanting to engage culture and be relevant to it and the demands the Christian industry/fans can place on him. He's right that we do need to engage the culture, not every one of his songs needs to represent the gospel. My concern is that he'll stop proclaiming Christ overtly in any of his songs. That has happened to other artist. We are called to redeem culture, we should be involved in several good non-church things in our culture, but we also at some point have to be about the gospel. It's just gonna come up. If I can offer any encouragement to Lecrae is that many of us believers share in that struggle too. It's a hard line to walk. A balancing act. But if we never proclaim Christ in small or big ways, the world will never know what we're about. Only that we are nice church going people at best.

Anyway this is a good read. I really enjoy Lecrae's music, so I it was neat to hear more about his life.
Profile Image for Peter Krol.
Author 4 books50 followers
May 16, 2016
A very good look into the life of an exceptional musician. Lecrae tells a gritty and gripping story of his rescue from sin and self. I knew of his history with drugs, sex, and abortion. I didn't know he was on his way to murder an antagonist when the Lord finally broke through to him. Wow.

Lecrae also explains his departure from typically "Christian" hip-hop (why his last few albums sound more "secular"). I appreciate his defense, but his commitment to excellence is what first drew me to his music. The fact that his music stands on its own—that it doesn't have to tell Bible stories in order to win an audience—makes Lecrae stand out. When I first heard tracks like "Tell the World," "Give In," "Nuthin'," and "The Good, the Bad, the Ugly," I was hooked. My sons and I just enjoyed blasting his music on a long car ride this afternoon. I can't wait to see how God will use this man in the future, and I hope I get to meet him someday.
Profile Image for Victoria.
345 reviews
March 29, 2017
I may or may not have read this book in one morning! My friend Shauna invited me to raid her bookshelves. Twice. Then, she started recommending suggestions. She convinced me to give this book that I was skeptical about an honest try. I'm so glad she did! This gray morning that I spent cuddled up on her pull-out sofa reading about the life of this man that has inspired me through his music, his ministry, and his passion for the glory of God for the better part of my life has turned out to be one of my favorites from my vacation so far.

Yes. You read that. Victoria, the girl who loves to read, but hardly does when she travels, is glad she got to spend most of a morning by herself devouring a book in a couple of sittings.

So...This book. Like I said, I've been listening to Lecrae since he released his first album. I didn't grow up in the ghetto, but I always found his lyrics and his story relateable. The pain he experienced was the same pain I was still wrestling with when that first record made its way into my collection. Over the years, I've watched as the label has grown and divided and grown again. People find out I'm into hip-hop and immediately bring up Lecrae. I get unexplainably happy whenever I see a 116 and can spot them ANYWHERE. My friends and family have declared me THE Reach Records PR. I've even had people "confess" that I'm responsible for getting their country/folky/rocky selves into hip-hop. When I found out Lecrae had a book deal, I was excited for him but SCARED to pick it up. I wasn't sure if it would be a collection of lyrics that he expounded on or a poorly done take on the life of an artist or worse. I saw the book. I checked to see if my library had it (they do). And I decided that MAYBE someday I might read it. And then I found myself in Shauna's kitchen on the first night of my visit. We devoured giant bowls of salad and skipped the small talk. It had been six years since we'd seen one another in person, but facetime and Bible study and book club and FB kept the friendship going and we picked up right where we left off. She offered the book and I decided I'd get to it before I left.

She assured me that it is good. That it is more than lyrics turned into a book. That she learned things and was challenged and that she was sure that I'd enjoy it. So, I saw her off to work at 6:45am, brewed a cup of tea, snatched the book off of her shelf, and settled back into my spot on the sofa to dig in. Two hours later, I realized that I was beyind ready for breakfast. Only, I didn't want to put the book down. I read a little longer and finally took a breakfast break. I tidied the kitchen and hurried back to read the rest! This is the story of birth to NOW. It tells the whys and whats of WHO Lecrae is and the how of his journey to this point in his life. You'll learn about Reach and his hip-hop story. You'll learn about the sins he struggled with all along the way and the grace God sent his way. This is the story of a man who has been led by and taught by God. Whether you are a fan or not, this book will be encouraging, challenging, and inspiring. It's the story of the hand of God at work in the lives of His people.

So...Dig in! You'll be glad you did!
Profile Image for Nora St Laurent.
1,392 reviews74 followers
January 4, 2017
This is a heartfelt, transparent look at the life of Lecrae, a Christian rapper. He says, “Some of life’s struggles are so severe that even music is powerless to overcome them.” He knew he needed something more. He would later learn that the something more was Jesus.

He talks about the challenges of being raised by a single mom and how she worked hard to provide a good home. He spent summers with his grandmother so his mom could work two jobs. Growing up without a dad always made him wonder if he had done something to make his dad leave and/or stay away? Through the years, Lecrae realized he had hole in his heart no one could fill. Oh, He tried to fill the emptiness with all types of things. He tried to fit in and be accepted in a variety of ways but alas there was no place for him. But he kept searching!

Summers with his grandmother; who was the living example of the hands and feet of Jesus as she delivered supplies where needed. She never beat Lecrae over the head with the bible, instead she allowed him watch her share food and the love of Jesus her community.

When he was in college and desperate for something to do, he’d go to a bible study. He thought of church more as a social thing nothing more. Lecrae talks about the bible study he went to, “I thought I had heard it all, but I was encountering stories for the first time.”…(he discovered that ) ..people who came to the study weren’t lame like I thought Christians were. They didn’t look unpopular or dress weird and some of them were really cool. Over time, I kind of enjoyed going, but it was still more social than spiritual for me.”

My son’s listened to Lecrae’s music growing up. So, when I saw he had written a book I wanted to read it. I wanted to know more about this mystery man and how he got to be a rapper. I wanted to know the stories behind his rapping and lyrics. I listened to the audio book and read the book when I wasn’t in the car. I LOVED the fact that Lecrae was the reader on the audio book. I could hear his heart, pain and wonderment as he read. Another Bonus feature on the audio book was the fact that he actually had excerpts of his songs to listen to.

Bonus material in the hard back book was the fact he had lots of pictures to share. I liked seeing pictures of the people and situations he talked about. Having both of these book materials was a win win for me. This story touched and inspired my heart. It also reminded me that God can do far more than I can every imagine. He’s done that with this young man.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from Netgalley and publisher. Audio book from the library. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org
The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com
Book Fun Magazine www.bookfunmagazine.com
Profile Image for Katie.
372 reviews5 followers
June 26, 2017
Short (<4.5 hrs on audiobook), personal, and insightful. I really appreciated his transparency about his life but not in a way that glorified the sin he had done. He reminded me of the brokenness we all carry by showing the struggles he had growing up which obviously was a very different experience than myself. I also really appreciated his journey from a Christian who sought to appear righteous and stay away from the "tainted world" to one who knows Jesus loves us all (including those who aren't currently seeking him) and we shouldn't try to "be better" than others, but love, understand, and serve them.
Profile Image for ❆ Crystal ❆.
1,200 reviews58 followers
June 3, 2016
Review for audiobook ~ 4 stars story ♫ 4 stars narration.
Well, I'm not much into rap music or religious books, but I am into unique stories where people struggle and find their own place in the world. I'd never heard of Lecrae Moore until I saw this book. I really enjoyed his life story. I think the book was written very well and told an inspiring story.
The author also narrated his book and he did a stellar job. 4 stars all the way around.
Profile Image for Lauren.
49 reviews
January 25, 2018
what a story! growing up fatherless, abused, exposed to extreme worldly ways at age 6, Lecrae truly has been through it all.

from a young age he began his path of sin, spiraling himself deeper and deeper into a hole. by God's grace, he was exposed to the light of the Gospel through his grandma, college, and ministries. once he finally accepted Christ into his heart his life turned around. no more drugs, partying, sleeping with girls, stealing from people. but it's only so hard to resist sin when you're surrounded by it. he had many highs and lows, resisting sin, then giving in, going back to his same old ways. he realized he truly had to hit rock bottom before being able to be built back up.

music was his escape, his connection and his message of hope to the world. he had to deal with hate and shade from critics criticizing his Christian walk, and people degrading him because he made "gospel" rap. they judged him the instant they heard "christian"

I'm proud of people like Lecrae who will stand through it all, and stand up for Christ, building their treasures up in Heaven and bring him glory while here on earth.
Profile Image for Larry Key.
29 reviews2 followers
February 6, 2017
Lecrae, a man whos name I know, but music I dont shares some vulnerable truth about the battles he faced as a young boy through college. This was powerful and eye opening for me. The man is a gifted writer and has a way of communicating his difficulties and experiences that just seem to reaonate even if one may not be able to relate.

I hoped for a little more detail into the explanations of how he still struggles today with the environment he is in. It just seemed brief and almost rushed towards the end of the book. Perhaps one day; we can hear more, but I am grateful for what I got.

I recieved this book for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a review. I was not required to share a positive review.
Profile Image for Patty.
600 reviews2 followers
September 5, 2017
I picked this book up at the library to test-drive it for my youngest. He loves Lecrae's music, but from what I knew of his background I wasn't sure he is mature enough to read it. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did for myself. Turns out Lecrae and I have some things in common. We are both trying to figure out "what it means to be Christian in a world that assumes Christians are obnoxious or irrelevant or hypocritical or judgmental or ignorant or bigoted. Or any number of negative adjectives." But as he says in his book "you can't influence something you never encounter." I will let my son read it in a year or two. Some of the content is just a little more mature than what he's ready for.
205 reviews3 followers
July 19, 2020
This was really good! Very honest and thought-provoking.
I listened to the audiobook read by Lecrae himself which I’d highly recommend.
Profile Image for Jimmy.
1,012 reviews40 followers
March 9, 2017
I do not know much about Reformed and Christian rap but I do like Lecrae’s one song titled “Background” which also featured Andy Mineo. This book is an autobiography of Lecrae’s life. I was quite encouraged reading this.
Lecrae opening chapter was on “Red Carpet Treatment,” in which he tells us of his first attendance at the Grammy Awards which he was nominated for. Lecrae’s account of the red carpet reminds us that Christians are different and in some sense still an outsider even if we are “at the top of our game.” I don’t know why but I found that Lecrae was quite transparent here and I appreciated it. He tells the readers of how he would walk down the red carpet only to be stopped by security for other bigger name nominees to go first. By the time he walked the red carpet people stopped taking pictures in which Lecrae noted the contrast. Lecrae also talked about how awkward the after party was. In this one chapter I thought one can learn a lot about how true Christians will never truly please the world; and also we should not play the same game the world plays. This first chapter already had me hooked!
Lecrae then goes on to give his life story. I didn’t know the rough background that Lecrae grew up in and how he did not have a father in his life. I imagine much of his childhood are stories that kids from inner cities can relate to. I also did not know he was immersed in the hip hop culture and rapping before he became a Christian (somehow I assumed he was raised Christian though I don’t know why I should have assumed this before). Believers will find his testimony of how he gradually came to Christ encouraging. I also enjoyed his stories of his young Christian days after becoming a Christian and his honest struggle with battling sin, legalism and hypocrisy. His transparency was refreshing. I would believe Christians can identify with the battles of the Christian life.
Towards the end of the book Lecrae also talked about his move away from being a Christian artist while still being a Christian. He acknowledged how his move has caused some hurt to his fans who did not understand or thought that he was compromising; Lecrae even acknowledged that he could have done a better job explaining what he was doing which he does in this book. I was pleasantly surprised by his talk of the Christian worldview and a nuanced view of Christian view of work, culture and applying God’s truth to every sphere of life. Lecrae mentions how the work of Nancy Pearcey and Francis Schaeffer influenced him to think more critically and according to a Christian worldview.
Fans of Lecrae will enjoy this book. Those who are into Christian rap and rap in general would also appreciate his story. I realize that some who are into Reformed rap might be concern for him; I think those who are might benefit from reading this book to see his motivations and struggles in his own words. As I write this review I realize that Lecrae has stated some positive comments about the movie The Shack; I don’t condone and agree with Lecrae here and I wish he can be more discerning but I still see him as a brother and I thank God for him but I also pray for him to continue to represent our Lord and Savior Jesus with the Gospel to all his audiences.
Profile Image for Iraina LIZ  Briganty .
24 reviews5 followers
November 16, 2017
One of the most transparent, inspiring, and faithful books I have read. He kept it real the entire time and made me really get to know him, his struggles and his talent. I loved how he showed that being a Christian does not make you a saint and everyone is just broken, but holding onto the Lord and his word is the way. I loved his thoughts on worldview Christianity and how we have to bridge the faith to the world. If you need inspiration and a great real life story, this is a must read.
Profile Image for Jennie  Veazey.
233 reviews33 followers
September 7, 2020
Inspiring! Outstanding! Raw!
This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read! Lecrae is honest and up front with what his life has been like since he was a little boy. It wasn’t a rosey wonderful beginning but with his devout faith and hard work it has become a life that is truly blessed. This book made me question my thoughts and where my own heart lies. It is a story that needs to be read. Can’t wait for his next book that is dropping in October 2020!
Profile Image for Kelley.
432 reviews6 followers
May 9, 2021
So about halfway through, I pulled up Spotify to listen to some of Lecrae’s music. And I’m not going to lie, I didn’t add any rap to my regular playlists this week. (Those of you who know me can stop belly laughing now.) But this book – it was really good for my heart.

It was good to read an origins story that could not be more different from mine. (His first college roommate “was a tall, skinny white dude. I’d never been in such close proximity with such consistency with a white dude before.”) I need to hear more stories like these. I need to be regularly reminded what a small sliver of possible life experiences I’ve been exposed to.

And it was good to read a conversion story that is rooted in the exact same hope as mine. “Even though He knew all my mistakes, God still died for me. I don’t even like God, and God loves me. Despite everything, God bought me at a price.”

Lecrae’s life has been littered with heartbreak. The hard things he experienced, from his earliest years, are not easy to read. But it’s also so hopeful. “Talking about wounds is important, but talking about our healed wounds is just as important. Because scars are the evidence that wounds can heal. That wounds don’t last forever. That healing is possible.”

It was eye-opening to hear his explanations of how gang culture and hip-hop offered hope to a kid like him, fatherless, directionless, desperate for acceptance. His longings drove him to the brink of physical, mental and spiritual disaster. He sees God at work there.

“If you don’t know you’re lost, you can’t be led. And if you can’t be honest, you can’t be healed. Before I could be rescued, I needed to realize I was stranded.”

I loved how he talked about the college ministry that reached out to him. “Art took an interest in me the first time I walked in, and since no one else seemed interested in me back then, it made an impression.”

His first days as a Christian were full of frantic effort. “You don’t want to leave doubts in anyone’s mind that you’re really a changed person, that you’re really ‘on fire,’ that you’re really ‘sold out.’ So rather than rest in God’s grace, you busy yourself trying to prove your own righteousness.”

He was all in. “The pain of sacrifice was usually outweighed by the sense of satisfaction with myself.”

It was not a sustainable way to live and he swung wildly between effort and abandon. The results were devastating. “When people try to avoid suffering by sinning, they end up sinning their way into suffering.”

At his lowest, God’s word opened his eyes to truth. Jacob the liar. Moses the murderer. David the adulterer. Peter the denier. “With such a long list of people who both followed God and stumbled constantly, why would we assume our experiences would be any different?”

His album Rehab “confessed my own self-righteousness and declared that I was unashamed of Jesus, yes. But I am also unashamed to admit my weaknesses. Unashamed to admit my brokenness. Unashamed to admit that I fail constantly and need help.”

Lecrae defines himself as a rebel kid, a lonely college student, a legalistic man. He’s a husband, a father, a Grammy-winning hip hop artist. “But more than anything, Lecrae is a child who is unconditionally loved by God. I’m a sinner who has been rescued by God from my brokenness and called to glorify the One who has never left my side.”

Lecrae is, and so am I. And it brought me great joy to read my brother’s story.
Profile Image for Karen (Living Unabridged).
991 reviews44 followers
March 4, 2023
Not a huge fan of the music (although he seems talented; it's just Not My Thing) but I do follow him on Twitter and I appreciated this book. He's honest and real and if I would approach the "worldview" question differently, that's a reflection from someone raised in the "you must have a Christian worldview" paradigm (my life) and not someone coming to that understanding as an adult (his life).
Profile Image for Kristin Murray.
121 reviews1 follower
September 20, 2019
I listened to the audio book, and Lecrae reads it. The majority of the book is his personal testimony of becoming a Christian and learning what it means to follow Jesus. Redemption doesn't come until the final pages.
Profile Image for Halley Hopson.
800 reviews52 followers
May 10, 2019
5/5 stars!

Definitely one of the most unique takes on a “Christian nonfiction” that really reads much more like just a memoir of Lecrae’s life rather than your typical Christian novel. I adored hearing his story, especially since its a testimony I’ve never quite heard before; his story and upbringing being so incredibly different from my own. I also highly recommend the audiobook seeing as he reads it himself.
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