Author: Lecrae Devaughn Moore
I have always wondered what it feels like to swim in someone’s mind, let alone let them sail in mine. It’s scary!!….isn’t it?
Like I always say our greatest fear is that when we shine our darkness even the light in us will be mocked.
Unashamed places Lecrae Moore on a spectrum that emits all his colours. The rapper allows us to come face to face with his fears, trials and hopes. The tone throughout the book is stern, more like a silent plea as he allows the reader pick lessons from all his experiences. Calling his book a biography would limit the diversity that he wants to draw us into. It’s a memoir but along the way it undergoes metamorphosis and becomes a commentary.
From an early age, Lecrae is raised by a single mother which naturally leaves him with the void of fatherlessness. As a Child he finds himself seeking approval from the males in his life which in this case are his uncles.
Some of the experiences Lecrae shares with the reader are the kind we want to keep locked away in the closet. A case in point is a sexual abuse by a girl his mother trusted to watch over him as she ran multiple jobs, or the time his step father transformed into a lion of sorts.
Frustrated by the circumstances of his early life Lecrae always found himself seeking the approval he had missed in alcohol, drugs and girls. He even tells us of a girl he convinced to have an abortion, the countless heart breaks he orchestrated and a time he ended up with an STD.
The problem with holding so much in is that when you erupt you leave many pieces of you shattered. Lecrae got to this point and decided death was a better ally than having to live with depression, loneliness and rejection. Fortunate for us (because I am such a Lecrae fan) ,the suicide attempt was unsuccessful after which he found himself in rehab.
When Lecrae writes;
“If you live for people’s approval you will die by their rejection ” we all agree because his life paints the different shades of what the people you trust can become. Like any other child growing up in an urban setting, Lecrae recalls finding solace in rappers and hip hop in fact he writes
“Tupac was sort of like my second parent because he was like my mom and favourite uncle wrapped in one person.”
In a world where he found himself as a constant Anomally he tells us ;
Hip-hop gave me hope that even though I felt alone, I wasn’t. It reminded me that there is often a difference in the value people ascribe to you and your actual worth. It told me that my pain was valid.That even though I wasn’t speaking of my struggles, they were worth discussing.
As the book progresses we meet Lecrae after he has encountered Jesus. We are tempted to forget what he had gone through before and our expectations of him begin to sky rocket. This is the half of the book that sounded more like a commentary to me.
Lecrae discusses issues from self righteousness, to his decision “Christian rapper” turned “rapper who is Christian” and his struggles to please God and Christians that constantly left him drained. He felt the need, to reach out to the world more, to reach out to people that were going through what he had experienced. I like what he says about this;
Talking about wounds is important but talking about our healed wounds is just as important because scars are evidence that wounds can heal.
Lecrae argues that if he sees the world through a biblical lens he will naturally produce music that both glorifies God and impacts the world. This need for cultural engagement and inclusiveness seems to stem from his experience at the 2015 Grammys where many avoided him for fear he was going to “throw a judgmental line” and his need to reach out to the world.
What I think Lecrae wants to tell us is “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22)
As I read the book I kept nodding at the points he gives as he dissects self righteousness. His bravery and honesty as he spoke about some of the experiences in his life left ripples of sadness, especially the time his mother cried when visiting him at rehab. Unashamed for me spells hope, bravery, it tells the story of prevailing against all hope.
In fact when Lecrae speaks about his successes like overcoming depression and drug misuse, starting Reach Records, getting married to an amazing wife, reaching a wider audience and impacting more lives with the Gospel it’s as if he wants to shout out to anyone battling the same that there is HOPE.
Like I mentioned earlier one thing cannot fully explain the stories Lecrae shares in Unashamed, not even this review. You can only copy after basking in his world through the pages like I did. With each experience he attaches a formidable lesson that will not leave anyone the same
Bellows of love
© Tales of a curious mind