Lecrae: S1, who’s done Kanye’s “Power” and worked with Beyoncé. We just clicked really well, we just get each other. Cobra, which is a phenomenal team, who’s done most of my project. And then Track a Dot who did a lot of stuff for Gravity and got some stuff on Meek Mill’s project and 2 Chainz’s.
Hip-Hop Wired: So you’re obviously working with the IT producers, have you considered working with the “maintstream” rap artists?
Lecrae: What’s funny is that prior to doing the project, I’d reached out to Kendrick and Elle Varner and Nipsey Hu$$le. We all had gotten on the same page about doing some music together. But what happened was as I got to writing, the album got real personal and it got to a place where it would have been a forced feature if I was like ‘yo, Nipsey, this song is about my heart and my pain, see if you could put a verse on here.’ And I just wanted to take a page out of some of the albums that I love [like] The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, OutKast’s original album, even Illmatic where it was them and you got to know them. You got a feel of who they were. And those were classic Hip-Hop albums to me that I just kinda wanted to revisit as well. You don’t get that a lot these days. You get these feature heavy albums, here today and gone tomorrow.
Hip-Hop Wired: Being the kind of rapper you are, someone who looks at things from a different perspective, religious so to speak, when you’re crafting up a verse, do you look at it like “I need to body this verse” or like “I need to get my message across”?
Lecrae: It used to be about “I gotta get my message across.” And sometimes I think you sacrifice the art because you’re so focused on trying to get a message across. And sometimes, messages are for books and sermons, lectures and not for music. Music is music. And if the message comes across authentically, cool. But [I] focus on making dope music. That’s what I wanted to do on this album and what I’ve been trying to do for the last few projects. Focus on making dope music and if it’s in [me], then it’ll come out of [me]. Don’t force it.
Hip-Hop Wired: Who do you hope to work with in the future, what’s a dream project?
Lecrae: I really feel like, production wise, me S1 and my man Joseph, Joey P, production wise, because they get me. It’s hard to find producers that just get the artist.
I think Cole and Kendrick they share a sense of, like, being themselves on a track. And we may not all have the same value systems, but everybody’s like ‘man, I’m ok with being honest about my issues.’ And those are some guys, I think, would be dope to work with.
Hip-Hop Wired: You’re going on tour again, in conjunction with the new album. Lecrae in the booth and Lecrae on the road –– how do those two differ?
Lecrae: All I know how to do is give 100 percent. But it’s hard to divide that up both ways. I never write my best music on the road and I never put together my best shows when I’m at home working in the studio. So when I’m on the road, I’m on the road. I’m committed; I’m fully into it. What I also want to do –– I went to the Yeezus tour and what I saw was an experience. It wasn’t a concert, it was an experience. A lot of other genres have been giving “experiences” for a long time and Hip-Hop had always been two turnables and a mic. Nothing’s wrong with that, but I’m anticipating giving people an experience. So, it’s going to be intense.