Lecrae is currently involved in a lawsuit filed by fellow rapper Flame. The suit claims their 2008 song, “Joyful Noise,” was tarnished by Juicy J and Katy Perry’s smash hit “Dark Horse.” The prosecution alleges copyright infringements and claims Perry’s song is laced with “witchcraft, paganism, black magic and Illuminati imagery.” However, as Lecrae prepares to release his next album, Anomaly, and go on tour, all he wants to do is distance himself from the legal battle between both parties and concentrate on his music. During his trip to NYC, Lecrae spoke to XXL about the lawsuit and his upcoming album.—Emmanuel C.M.
XXL: Tell me about the Katy Perry lawsuit.
Lecrae: The first thing I say is all love and respect to Katy Perry. I have no ill will towards her whatsoever. Even the inflammatory statements that were made, those are not my statements. All the stuff about Illuminati and stuff, those are no me. I respect intellectual property, and it’s my man Flame song that I was featured on. It’s something that he wanted to pursue. I respect his intellectual property and his rights. As far as this is concerned I’m trying to distance myself from all of this and let them handle all of that. I don’t know the beginnings or the ending or the origin of it at all. I was in Hong Kong doing a show and I looked on Twitter and said, “Oh I guess I’m involved in this situation.”
When is the last time you spoke to Flame?
I haven’t talked to him—verbally talked to him— in a while. We shared a text or two, but we haven’t really talked about it. I don’t think he’s at liberty to discuss it.
So pretty much you were as surprised as the rest of the world was. That’s crazy.
I didn’t know there was a press release. I didn’t know any of that stuff. So that’s where I’m at now.
Are you mad that this news came now during the buildup for your album?
Naw, I think the album tells its own story. What a lot of people get caught up in is sensationalism. I’m just about communicating things that are here to stay and matters that we holistically need to discuss. At the end of the day, the album is going to come out and it’s going to be a whole different story.
What do you feel this album is going to do to you?
I think if anything it will help people know me a little bit more. The vulnerability and the transparency, people can connect with that. If you can connect with me then you can rock with me. I don’t want people to be fans of my songs. I want them to really connect with me as an artist. We love Kanye’s music, but there’s something about him as well that we find ourselves drawn to artistically. I think that’s what my album will do. I anticipate people connecting—especially outside my current fanbase—[because] I’m talking about a lot of different issues. It’s not “Oh this is just a spiritual album” I’m talking about America, I’m talking about what’s going on the radio, I’m talking about relationship issues, all from my own perspective. I talk about some stuff that I’ve been through. It’s just stuff I think people can connect with on a real level. Hopefully it will open me up to folks.
You said previously that this feels like your first album.
I think a lot of times you really meet an artist on his first album. They don’t have all these huge features. They don’t have a lot of the artificial add-ons. You’re getting authenticity from them because they have so much to say. They have a lot to communicate. That’s why this feels like my first album. This is the first time I really been this open and transparent. A lot of times I given like messages or confessions. [But for Anomaly] it’s about how do I deal with or what’s going on with me. It’s really a personal album.
Why do you think hip-hop paints you and artists like Andy Mineo as outsiders?
That’s the nature of it. Life is easier with categories. It feels safe when it has a category for it. We like things in a box where we can understand it and we can criticize it. When someone doesn’t fit, we don’t know what to do, it’s outside of our sphere and it makes us insecure.