How have the fans and your followers on Facebook and Twitter been, and how important has social networking and media been to you?
Our fans are like a family. We call ourselves a movement. My fans look to us as a voice for them. [We speak] for them to address the issues that they feel like aren’t being addressed; [we]say the things they want to hear said. They’re real heavy behind us and they’re fighting for us, pushing for us. Facebook alone, I think I have 300,000 fans. Twitter, just consistently keeping them encouraged and updated with what’s going on. Some agree with the content, some don’t. At the end of the day they like it. I think this is just a picture; for some this is their reality that they always hoped they would hear. For others it’s not but they really enjoy the music. I haven’t been shot nine times and I didn’t grow up in Queens, but yet there was something I appreciated in 50’s music. I couldn’t necessarily relate to every circumstance he talked about, but yet it was good music so I appreciated it and listened to it.
What was the experience like performing in Haiti one year after the earthquake? You also donated the proceeds from your song “Far Away” right after the earthquake hit and went there - talk about your personal connection with the people of Haiti.
I see myself as an activist. That’s basically what you are seeing is my relationship with God being flushed out in every aspect of my life. So in my music and in my home and abroad, that’s what you are seeing. I wanted to get there myself, figure out what was going on and figure some ways to help. So I went out there right after the earthquake hit, came back and got with some people, created a song, put the song up and rose awareness, and then we raised about $50,000 and we invested it into people who are in Haiti who had wanted to do something for Haiti. There were some faith-based organizations that were there and from Port-Au-Prince, so they got the money so they started making changes. So when the Haitian people said “Man, thank you for helping us,” they weren’t saying thank you Lecrae, they were saying thank you to these organizations, their own people there, and I thought that was real important for them to see their own people give them a hand and help them out.
Explain the feeling or sense of joy from being nominated for a Grammy. Was it a sense of culmination of all your efforts? How does that compare to being nominated for the Dove awards today with 2 nominations?
Lecrae: The Grammy’s were fresh, I enjoyed it. It was a great experience and you’re around so many incredible musicians who are doing their thing, and it’s also a world where they probably look at someone like me and don’t understand what I’m about and where I’m coming from, so I thought it was real important for me to be there and in that world so they can understand what I’m about and the contribution I want to give to hip-hop and to the world. So they understand that I’m for them and I’m an advocate and I’m here to serve and to be a friend and I’m not here pointing fingers and any of that type of stuff. It was great being out there and walking amongst all these people with the type of acknowledgement was helpful to just establish some relationships and I think that’s just beneficial for the future. I’m out there because I love the culture and I love the people and I want to serve so that’s what was dope about being at the Grammy’s. I got to meet a lot of people, a lot of rappers that I have listened to over the years, so that was fresh.
Have you reached out to any rappers or producers or have they reached out to you to collaborate?
I got to hang out with B.O.B for a second and I know he’s in Atlanta. There’s always great conversations to be had; it has to make sense. I know that’s how the game goes, a lot of times as artists this will be fresh or this will do numbers but for me it’s about it being real. A lot of producers I got relationships with, I talk to Boi-1-Da every so often; S1 out of Dallas who did Kanye’s “Power” is a friend. There’s plenty of people that I know and have talked to and we’ll see what happens in the future. Right now, I’m just trying to tell a story and I want it to be told right.
Talk about your EP, Overdose, that dropped on 1-11-11 and what direction you are taking your music in this new year.
I put out Rehab which was the feature album and people were loving, but it was an eclectic mix of all different types of music and I was just experimenting with different stuff. I threw Overdose out there just a few months later to just give them some raw hip-hop, a little more rugged sound so my fans can enjoy that. That’s just the beginning of something; I think my catalogue is just really getting started even though I’ve been doing this for a little while now. I’m really just starting to understand where I’m going as an artist and how I’m doing what I’m doing. I think moving forward it’s going to be crazy, I’m excited to see what happens. I’ve grown as an artist, as a lyricist, producer and I think people will be a lot more excited about what I put out moving forward.
Will you be releasing an album this year or are you in the studio working on any new material for future release? Will you be going out on tours this year?
Lecrae: This year I’m doing an international tour. First, I’ll be doing a little quick stadium tour with some rock bands like Jars of Clay, a big rock band back in the day. I’ll do stadium tours because I got a real diverse fan base then I’ll do an international tour with my whole crew from Reach Records. We’ll go to Australia, Europe, and then come back and get to work on an album that will probably come out in 2012. This year is just heavy touring, national and international, and then coming back in 2012 with a new project.