If you haven’t heard yet, GRAMMY winner and faith-based hip hop artist, Lecrae, has a book set out to release this May. The book is titled ‘Unashamed’ and has been promoted for several months by the artist and his label, Reach Records. Now that release day is looming closer, we finally get a sneak peek of what lies inside. Read an excerpt from the life of an individual trying to minister to the masses of a world consumed with the super celebrity lifestyle:
The paparazzi’s cameras were flashing, but their lenses were all pointed at someone else.
I was at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, attending the 2015 Grammy Award ceremony. I’d been nominated for “Best Rap Performance,” and was competing against the likes of Eminem, Drake, and Kendrick Lamar. I had already won two Grammys, but this was different.
Many people don’t know that all Grammy awards are not created equal. An unspoken hierarchy exists in many circles, and some categories are more respected than others. Within the music world, if you tell someone you won a Grammy, the first follow-up question is “Which category?” Though I’m grateful for my wins for “Best Gospel Album” and “Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance,” as you might guess, some consider those closer to the bottom of the list than the top. But this nomination for “Best Rap Performance” had a different kind of significance. It told the world that an alternative voice with an alternative message was being considered among the biggest artists of our time. It said that the industry had finally recognized a new way of making hip-hop.
That’s why I was so mad at myself when I arrived late to the red carpet after promising I’d get there early. It was a rookie mistake. The biggest stars show up just before show time, so all the younger and lesser known artists know to arrive early to avoid competing with Katy Perry for interviews. Even a few minutes can make a difference between landing a blurb in Rolling Stone and hearing crickets.
When I stepped out of the car, I thought to myself, You are at the Grammys, man. I tried to just be in the moment and not to look at the stands where fans were sitting and pointing and criticizing every fold and shade of fabric. There I was taking a coveted walk and rubbing shoulders with John Legend, Kanye West, Chris Brown, and Meghan Trainor. It was difficult to believe that after all of the writing and rapping and refining and recording and touring and promoting and praying, I stood there.
But as it turned out, walking the red carpet at the 2015 Grammys was a more complicated affair than I had imagined. People kept passing on interviews and some were painfully attempting to not even make eye contact with me.