Music Review: Church Clothes 3 – Lecrae
On January 14 Lecrae dropped a surprise third volume in his Church Clothes mixtape series, following 2012’s Church Clothes and 2013’s Church Clothes 2. He really brings it with these ten excellent tracks with strong vocals and infectious beats. S1 (Symbolyc One), a platinum-selling producer (Kanye West, Jay-Z), served as executive producer. He had previously produced Lecrae’s songs “Welcome to America” and “The Price of Life”. Guest artists on the album include KB, E-40, N’Dambi, Propaganda, John Givez, JGivens and Jackie Hill Perry.
Below are a few comments on each track:
Freedom ft. N’Dambi (Prod. by S1/ Co-Prod. by Epikh Pro & VohnBeatz) – a strong opener with a hook from N’Dambi indicating that “Freedom isn’t free”. Lecrae touches on child porn and Honest Abe as “another man murdered for trying to free the slaves”.
Gangland ft. Propaganda (Prod. by S1/Co-Prod. by Shindo) – effectively uses spoken parts by Lecrae as it addresses gang issues. He states that originally gangs were created to protect everyone in the community. Propaganda offers “There’s a high school in Alabama named after Robert E. Lee, and it’s 89% Black. You don’t see the irony?” He ends with:
Yeah, we are truly a descendant of a King
Only his reign is infinite
Deja Vu (Prod. by S1) – Lecrae tones it down a bit for this track, opening with comments about how the whole world’s gone crazy, citing current events (riots, abortion and people being shot by the police). The hook offers this encouragement:
And some days are a nightmare
And some dreams come true
But the Lord’s still right here
It’s just deja vu
Sidelines (Prod. by Mykalife and Ryan Righteous) – Lecrae addresses his critics who are on the sidelines while he is in the game, doing what he was born to do. He doesn’t plan to fumble the ball, the opportunity he has been given by God.
Cruising (Prod. by S1/ Co-Prod. by Epikh) – a feel-good track about cruising through his day – reading the Bible, having breakfast, playing basketball and having dinner.
It Is What It Is (Prod. by S1/ Co-Prod. by Epikh) – Lecrae constantly hears that he has sold out. But he’s getting wiser with age, and knows that some just hate. Some say he has it all now, but he knows the Bible says that pride comes before a fall. Adding humor he raps about his third tape (Church Clothes 3) and that he might drop it on a Thursday – which is exactly what he just did. Fun.
Can’t Do You ft. E-40 (Prod. by Black Knight) – Lecrae raps that he has a master plan from the Master, so he “can’t do you, cause I’m doing me”. Good vocals from Dimitri McDowell and E-40 on this one.
Forever (Prod. by S1) – Lecrae slows it down on this track, a song to his wife, his queen to whom he’s locked down until the cemetery. He raps that while any guy can try to satisfy a girl for one night, it takes a real man to take one woman and satisfy her for her entire life.
Misconceptions 3 ft. John Givez, JGivens, Jackie Hill Perry (Prod. by S1) – There’s so much here as the lyrics come fast on this powerful third “Misconception” track in the Church Clothes series. Featuring John Givens, JGivez, Jackie Hill Perry and Lecrae each taking a verse. Lecrae states that he was created to make a statement. He encourages listeners to get their education and to let the Spirit lead like He wants to.
I Wouldn’t Know ft. KB (Prod. by GAWVI) – Features Elhae on the hook and KB, rapping slower than usual on one of the verses. People are talking about Lecrae, saying he’s gonna fail, but he doesn’t hear it. He just prays that the Father keep him grounded.
Lecrae has released a long-form video with a storyline that loosely touches on the life of a teenage gang member who gets shot and his friend contemplates revenge. The video includes four songs from the mixtape – “It Is What It Is”, “Gangland”, Déjà vu”, and Misconceptions 3”. Watch it here.
This surprise release was quite a blessing. Lecrae is at the top of his game. May this mixtape be used for His glory!
Lecrae’s first book Unashamed will be published May 3.