Underrated: "Bar For Bar, Line For Line, He's One Of The Best"
Thursday, Jan 3, 2013 12:05AM
[Each week, SOHH asks two entertainment personalities to name who they feel is the most underrated emcee in hip-hop. After M16 gave Andre 3000 the title earlier this week, rapper Lecrae crowns eLZhi SOHH Underrated.]
Off the top, I'm picking eLZhi from Slum Village for SOHH Underrated.
I think he's, for me, bar for bar, line for line, he's one of the best emcees that I've ever heard. I think cats don't even recognize or realize it. If you listen to a little eLZhi, you'll be blown away by his lyrical gymnastics.
Even before he was a part of Slum Village, Slum Village was just kind of featuring all kinds of Detroit cats and so you would just catch him featured on all kinds of stuff. You'd hear him on stuff with other guys from Detroit and you'd say, "Yo, who 'is' this cat? He's murdering it!"
So yeah, shout-out to eLZhi, man.
For the typical music fan, Lecrae's hard demeanor and crunk beats might belie what his lyrics are really about, his adoration of Jesus Christ. The main tenet influencing his mission and music is taken from Romans 1:16 of the Bible, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel." Although he was born on Houston's south side, Lecrae grew up in Denver, CO, and San Diego, CA. It was at the age of 19 that he decided to give his life to Christ. Using conventional methods to spread the Gospel, he has worked for ministerial services, including his presidency of ReachLife Ministries, conducting Bible studies and many other projects. However, Lecrae's success has come from his up-and-coming Christian rap career. In 2005, on Reach Records, he released his debut album, Real Talk, and as a part of the 116 Clique, he put out 116 Clique: The Compilation Album. The following year, Lecrae dropped the acclaimed After the Music Stops in July. It debuted at number one on the Christian Music Trade Association's R&B/Hip-Hop chart and peaked at number five on Billboard's Gospel Albums chart. His 2008 effort Rebel would top that same chart for two weeks while his 2010 release, Rehab, would top it for one. The latter would be nominated for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album at the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Check out eLZhi's music: