For the night, Lecrae joined Fallon’s house band, The Roots, for musical interludes between segments. He rapped portions of songs from his new album, including “Nuthin,” “Fear,” “All I Need is You,” “Say I Won’t,” and “Welcome to America.”
The Tonight Show posted a clip of Lecrae explaining his inspiration for the lead single on Anomaly. “I made a battle cry for substance in music,” he said.
Following the show, Lecrae posted on Facebook, “It’s a lot to take in. I haven’t had time to download it all. I am so grateful for the support. I know I represent something much bigger than me. Thank you! I thank God for a voice into culture. I pray I use it wisely.”
To borrow some popular lingo, Christian rapper Lecrae is blowing up.
His latest album, Anomaly, topped iTunes on the day it was released and took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200—a first for a Gospel act.
On Thursday, Lecrae will become the first from the resurgent ranks of Reformed rappers to appear on a late-night network show when he sits in with The Roots, the house band for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He is expected to perform his single, “All I Need is You.”
Lecrae’s Tonight Show gig follows recent features on MTV.com, the Billboard site, and the front page of the Washington Times. CT interviewed Lecrae in 2011 on how he went from addiction to self to Jesus becoming his “drug of choice.”
As Christian hip-hop grows in popularity and theological depth (and also develops a critical edge), Lecrae is celebrated an artist who can entertain both Christian and mainstream audiences; last year, he toured with a hip-hop festival featuring secular artists such as Wu-Tang Clan, Kendrick Lamar, and Common.
Previous Christian acts who have made late-night appearances (under Fallon’s predecessor, Jay Leno) include Third Day, Switchfoot, and For King & Country.
A 2013 CT cover story examined the leaders of Christian hip-hop and how the movement could call the American church back to the gospel—and hip-hop back to its roots. CT also spotlighted the centrality of Reformed theology to Christian hip-hop.
CT coverage of Christian hip-hop includes what Shai Linne’s takedown of Joyce Meyers suggests about Reformed rap, a defense of using the n-word in certain songs, a Katy Perry ripoff lawsuit, and the lack of female artists.
Earlier this summer, the magazine also celebrated Jimmy Fallon’s new comedic tone on The Tonight Show.