“I’d like to welcome everybody to the Destination Tour,” he said at Concord Music Hall in Chicago on Thursday. “We wanted to create this intimate environment where we could talk to people and invite people in times like these to come together to have a destination, to have a place to come to just to breathe.
“See, no matter where you come from or what your background is, you are accepted here tonight. No matter your lifestyle or what you’ve been through or your ethnicity or your politics, you are accepted here tonight. This is a destination for you — real unity, not pretend unity.”
Lecrae wore a T-shirt that read “We Will Not Lose.”
As a brand, “lose” has not been in Lecrae’s vocabulary for years.
He’s won two Grammys and an abundance of other awards. His last studio album, Anomaly, topped Billboard and went Gold. His first book, Unashamed, debuted as a New York Times Best Seller. He also landed a deal for himself and his label, Reach Records, with Sony Music-owned Columbia Records.
As a human, however, Lecrae’s last three years have been littered with loss.
His cousin died. His close friend, DJ Official, died. And black men — Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and more — died at the hands of police who had sworn to protect them.
Lecrae grieved publicly about the killings. Many members of the largest demographic of his supporters, evangelicals, disliked how he grieved.
“It felt like every time I turned on the television, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a nephew, a brother was being gunned down,” Lecrae said at last week’s concert. “It broke my heart, to be honest with you. And I guess I was under the impression that being vulnerable about that and articulating that pain would have some sort of collective, ‘We feel that,’ or, ‘We see where you’re coming from,’ or, ‘Don’t understand, but, man, I hate that for you.’
“But that wasn’t what I was met with. I had no problem ever, ever, ever in the history of my career being bold about what I believe in. Matter of fact, that’s why people liked me. But unusually this year, I was bold about something that people didn’t quite like. And it’s no secret. I’m talking about the racial division and disparity that exists in this country.”
“You are accepted here” is not the message that Lecrae heard from evangelicalism, and this response to his pain inflicted further pain.
When he wrote lines like “I was so depressed,” “I started to doubt God” and “I started to question my purpose” in his latest single, “Can’t Stop Me Now”, he did not exaggerate.
Here is an excerpt of Rapzilla.com’s interview with a transparent Lecrae before his Destination Tour show. He shared just how low he fell, as well as how he came to the place where he was again able to say, “We will not lose.”