In a time where the majority of music is about making money, doing drugs, or having sex, it is complicated for music concerning other topics to gain attention. However, there are always a few jewels that beat the odds. Lecrae, the stage name of a Christian lyricist who piously centers his music around the teachings of Jesus Christ, is one of those jewels. In all of his songs there are explicit references that all of his energy is channeled into doing the will of God. Typically Lecrae’s genre of music is overlooked by the majority population because it lacks the pizazz in the beat that popular music has. As a result of this millions of people get deprived of the content of Christian music which has the power to change one’s perspectives for the better. Fortunately, Lecrae is one of very few artists who are able to blend the attractive rhythms of pop music with lyrics composed of the deep Christian concepts. In Lecrae’s “Chase That (Ambition)” the beat of the song alone captures listeners’ attention followed by critical lyrics of Lecrae convincing listeners that satisfaction in life would not be reached by chasing their own desires but by rather chasing to live a life after Jesus Christ.
In the song Lecrae tells the story of how he used to rap and make cliched songs about money, drugs, and sex until he realized that those endeavors were short-lived; he then tells that he found enrichment in rapping about Jesus. Lecrae connects to listeners when he explains how he used to rap and live the pop lifestyle. “All I wanted was the money and the fame and the new, somebody on my arm when I walk inside the room,” (33-34 sweetslyrics.com), explains how he used to chase after the same things that most individuals his age does and by doing so Lecrae
establishes credibility to those listeners. Lecrae knows that when one hears him openly confessing about his past, they will become more interested in his purpose. Therefore it is a part of Lecrae’s rhetorical strategy because it establishes a gateway for Lecrae to now talk to the listener about Jesus. Lecrae offers an alternate perspective than most Christian artists by revealing his darker former life but then always rebuttals throughout the song with lines like “But I was sleeping on the Sun like the Days Inn” (pun for Son) (16). After predominately talking about what he used to live for in the verses, Lecrae makes sure to end them with a line like the previous quote as a reference to the notion that everything he said in the verse had no meaning because it did not include God. This is a rhetorical strategy used by Lecrae as a way to implicitly persuade listeners that living a life without God is worthless.
Each verse is structured in chronological order that correspond to the events of Lecrae’s life. He begins the verses saying what his ambitions were before becoming Christian, “to battle rapping for status up in the school halls”(2), and then the verses transition into him rapping about how their was still something missing “..finna go berzerk” (10). He ends each verse with a reference to how God fulfilled that missing position. For example at the end of the first verse he makes this reference by saying “But I was sleeping on the Son like the Days Inn” (16). Lecrae uses this structure so that listeners could parallel their lives with his and then realize that the missing avenue which they were looking for in their life can be found with God. The lyrics go beyond just telling a story; the reason Lecrae saves references about God for the end is as a rhetorical strategy to save the best for last. He could have easily structured the verse by just talking about God the whole time, but then the song would just sound like another cliched
Christian song. Saving the best for last is a rhetorical strategy Lecrae uses to build tension throughout the song and make the impact of the final statements significant. He gives across the...
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