Hip hop artist Lecrae used to spout the negative lyrics glamorized on the rap music scene. But after committing his life to Christ, he now makes music from a different perspective, and he's finding success in both Christian and secular circles.
Many know him as a ministry leader, co-owner of a record label and a highly popular Grammy nominated hip hop artist.
Lecrae Moore is his official name but on stage he is simply, "Lecrae."
His latest album, called "Gravity," soared on iTunes and Billboard charts. It sold more than 100,000 copies in the first three weeks of its August 2012 release. The record has also been nominated for a Grammy award for Best Gospel Album this year.
The multi-talented artist told CBN News while he is surprised by all the success he is seeing he is humbled by it all.
"I'm just always humbled because you never know what the Lord will do with anything you put out there," he said.
As the secular hip hop industry begins to take notice of Lecrae, he credits years of hard work, dedication, and excellence to his craft.
"I haven't been doing this, like, two months, you know. I spent a lot of time doing it. I've been sharpened over the years," he said.
CBN News met up with Lecrae in Hampton, Va, during his recent Unashamed Tour, which sold out at venues across the country earlier this year.
Crowds of fans say that while they are first attracted to the sound of Lecrae's music, it is his message in the music that keeps them coming back for more.
"I give people the opportunity to hear something that's inspiring, that's edifying and that's encouraging," Lecrae said.
The message of this rapper is biblically inspired and it is connecting with people from all walks of life.
"It's just good to stay away from all the negativity that other rappers bring and just the deep lyrics are really encouraging," fan Seth Daly said.
"Lyrically he competes with the best of them," another fan Sam Leggett said. "He's truthful in all his lyrics but then he opens up about himself and his inadequacies, his problems that he's had in his life, and let's people know that if he can make it, anybody can make it."
Professional athletes Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin are also huge fans of Lecrae's positive vibe.
But the rapper, prefers not to be labeled as a Christian artist. He said he wants his music to reach listeners from in and outside the church.
"I think it's important to first and foremost do great music that everyone can resonate with and say, 'Man, this is good,'" he said.
"I also think that Christians historically have been good at talking about sanctification and salvation, but life issues we typically don't have a voice on. So we really don't speak up on, like marriage or violence or murder or genocide or politics," he added.
"We've been mute on a lot of those things and we should have a perspective and have an influential voice in culture," he continued. "That's why I do music that resonates with everyone because some people don't have a perspective on that. And non-Christians, when they hear a perspective on it, may say, 'Huh, I never thought about it that way,' investigate more and, Lord willing, come to the faith."
Artist Andy Mineo also performed on the Unashamed Tour. He said that while hip hop as a whole conjures negative images, he believes it can be used to offer a refreshing alternative.
"Let's not discount a whole culture because some of the representations of it have been wicked. But let's just find the redeemable aspects of it, which if Jesus comes into it, he can redeem and transform and change anything," Mineo said.
He said they have seen first hand the difference their music is making in the lives of others.
"I've heard other people say, 'Man, I wanted to go investigate who Jesus was after being dragged to one of these concerts," he said.
"The testimonies are endless," he explained. "It's just crazy what the Lord is doing through the music so I mean glory to Him."
Lecrae agreed. He said seeing the gospel change lives is what sets them apart from other artists in the hip hop industry.
"Sometimes people come up and tell ,'You know, man, this has really changed my life,'" he said. "'I've been listening to you since I was 14. I'm 22 and everything about me is different,' and you're like, whoa, that's crazy."
See more of the intervew with Lecrae:
Andy Mineo shared more of his personal testimony below: