By Prince Malachi
4. Lecrae has charisma AKA swag: ‘Walk like a King, to get treated like a King.
In everything Lecrae does, he walks in confidence. Some christians take confidence out of context. They think it’s a bad thing because they confuse it with arrogance. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. See Arrogance is not attractive but Confidence is. We are drawn to a person with confidence and charisma. Not only can you have confidence in your art without being arrogant, it’s a must if you want to be successful. And yes Yeshua (Jesus name in the language he spoke) walked in confidence. Confidence is found in how you carry yourself and how you speak. You will have a certain aura about you that people can see. It’s not about you bragging about how dope you are. That’s arrogance. Arrogance repeals people from you, but confidence attracts people to you. Confidence inspires, encourages, challenges and leads. When a person has confidence he knows where he stands. He does not need labels that say “look at me!” nor does he need to brag about his position or strengths. He is aware and grateful for his gifts, and determined to use them to the best of his ability, and for the glory of Yah.
Here is a little break down in the difference between confidence and arrogance.
Posture. An arrogant person carries his own spotlight because he wants to draw attention to himself as often as possible. He is difficult to approach because of his aggressive attitude. A person with confidence walks like a warrior. He is always approachable, he has an open and easy posture. He does not see a need to be flashy. He just wants to be himself.
Conversation. An arrogant person spends way too much time bragging and not enough time learning. The more time you spend talking, the less time you spend listening. A person of arrogance does not ask many questions because he thinks he knows everything. A person of confidence ask questions and then listens for the answers. He does not feel the need to disagree or respond.
Relationships. The difference between a person of confidence and a person of arrogance will probably be highlighted in relationships. An arrogant person brags on himself while belittling others. The arrogant person feels threatened by the success of others so he turns it into a competition. But a person of confidence knows his strengths and weaknesses. He is also cool with the strengths and weaknesses of others. He has no problem celebrating the success of others, as well as his own. In fact, he shares his success so when he is winning, we are all winning. That’s one reason people like to be around him.
History. Arrogant people talk big game but it’s usually nothing but air. He is always talking about his strengths, but when those strengths are needed you can’t find him. For him it’s about image not real success. Confidence knows how to grind, and he let’s his grind and his achievements speak for themselves. If you look him up, you will see consistency.
Now check this out. A truly confident man is also a humble man. That is exactly what Lecrae thought Derek Minor (fka PRo) when he began to mentor him. Lecrae allows his art speak for him. He does not speak for his art.
5. Lecrae is always building solid connections.
Having the right connections is vital. It’s impossible to blow up without networking. When I say networking here, I’m talking about who you know and what they could do for you at the present time. And yes that is even true for the Christian rapper Lecrae. His first album was “Real Talk”. It had a little buzz but Lecrae as we know him started when he inked a deal to distribute his 2nd album though Crossmovement Records. See Crossmovement was the Reach Records of that time. They were the dominant brand in Christian Hip Hop. Lecrae made two key moves that changed everything. First he inked that deal. Second the first single of that album was an insane banger called “Jesus Musik.” That song did for Lecrae, what “In The Club” did for 50 Cent. I was over a friends house a short time before the album dropped, working on music (yeah I tried to be a rapper…) and they asked me if I heard this new joint from this new guy on Crossmovent. When I said no he went to Crossmovement.com where there was a splash page promoting Lecrae’s next album “After the Music Stops”. The song playing was “Jesus Musik” and it just blow all of our minds. That beat was amazing for that time.
But unlike most Christian Rap artist, Lecrae does not have an issue with working with secular artist and producers. That leads me to my next point, the man I consider Lecrae’s secret weapon, a key to his mainstream success. The producer Street Symphony. From what I understand, Street Symphony is a Christian, meaning he has accepted Yeshua (Jesus) as his Lord and Savior. But he is not a Christian producer like say Dirty Rice or K – Drama. Lecrae and Street Symphony were former college classmates. They reconnected with each other in 2009 at a time when Lecrae was plotting and planning to expand his audience. Street’s production style along with his connections were just what he needed to take things to the next level. ( I would also argue Lecrae’s relationship with Derek Minor fka PRo, also helped him step his lyrical game up.) Over the past two years Street has worked as an A&R executive for all of Reach Records projects and as an executive producer for Lecrae’s albums and mixtapes.
Connections are vital! Yeah I know, we can all post a video on YouTube and promote on facebook and twitter but if that is the sum of your marketing plan, you will fail! You need to know social influencers. You need to know people with extreme power, influence and a lot of followers who will share your music and give you more buzz. Thats why Lecrae’s music get’s heard with pretty much zero radio play!
He also built a solid following out of big name white evangelicals like John Piper.
6. Lecrae see’s the power in branding.
When Lecrae is ready to put out an album, he has a full concept for it, a logo and a theme. He markets the album as if it is it’s own brand. He unites his T-shirts, hats, packaging, and all marketing into one solid theme to give his brand the necessary image required to launch marketing initiatives dedicated to building grow his following. When you do this you have to begin by asking yourself these questions:
Is our branding unique?
What is our customer demographic?
What do we want our following to represent?
Is there a value, tradition or custom we have incorporated into our branding that we can use that will unite our customers.
Can we associate our colors with anything that our fan base will really enjoy?
How can we make our brand more ‘human’?
What type of packaging is our targeted customer responding well too?
What slogans and catchphrases can we use in our advertising, presentations and everyday conversations to reinforce our branding?
PLEASE VISIT TOMORROW TO READ PART 3
Tyran Johnson A.K.A Malachi Is the founder and CEO of The Oracle. theoraclemag.com is A valuable resource for Christian Hip-Hop on the internet featuring daily news, interviews, reviews, multimedia, free mixtapes, a fast growing community and other interesting content.