Church Clothes

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This article is about the hip-hop album. For the type of clothing, see Dress clothes and Formal wear.
Church Clothes
Cover of Church Clothes
Mixtape by Lecrae
Released May 10, 2012 (2012-05-10)
Genre Christian hip hop
Length 61:35
Label Reach/DatPiff.com
Producer 9th Wonder, Big Juice, Boi-1da, Charlie Heat, Courtland Urbano, DJ Efechto, Don Cannon, Heat Academy, Red on the Beat, Sarah J, Street Symphony, S1, ThaInnaCircle, Tha Kracken!, Tyshane, Wit
Lecrae chronology
Rehab: The Overdose (2011) Church Clothes
(2012)
Gravity
(2012)
Singles from Church Clothes
  1. "Church Clothes"
    Released: May 3, 2012
Music sample
The song "Church Clothes" drew controversy over its attack on Church hypocrisy over issues such as fashion.[1]

Church Clothes is the first mixtape by Christian hip hop artist Lecrae, released for free on May 10, 2012, and hosted by DJ Don Cannon. It was noted for featuring No Malice of Clipse on the song "Darkest Hour", and for including production work from 9th Wonder, Boi-1da, S1 and Street Symphony. Label-mates Tedashii and Andy Mineo, as well as other fellow Christian hip-hop artists such as Dre Murray, Thi'sl, Swoope, Christon Gray, and Braille, also made appearances on the album. The mixtape was downloaded 100,000 times in 48 hours, and met with critical acclaim. It received controversy in Christian media upon its release due to its condemnation of hypocrisy in the Christian Church and Lecrae's collaboration with the mainstream producer Don Cannon. A shorter, remastered EP version was released on iTunes on June 25, 2012. The EP debuted at #10 on the Billboard Christian Albums and Gospel Albums charts.

Release and reception[edit]

On May 3, 2012, Lecrae premiered his music video for the title-track of his Church Clothes mixtape online on XXL.[2] The video was noted for including cameos by Kendrick Lamar and DJ Premier, and attracted almost 20,000 views in less than a day.[2] The mixtape itself was subsequently released for free on May 10, 2012 on the website DatPiff.com, and within 48 hours reached 100,000 downloads.[3][4] It reached 250,000 downloads (rated platinum on DatPiff) in less than a month.[5] Bun B was also noted as promoting the album.[4] Artists featured on the mixtape include No Malice, formerly Malice, of Clipse on the song "Darkest Hour", fellow labelmates Tedashii and Andy Mineo, as well as Dre Murray, Thi'sl, Swoope, and Christon Gray.[6][7][8][9] Propaganda, Odd Thomas, and Braille from Humble Beast appeared on the track "Misconception", with Humble Beast member Courtland Urbano providing production.[10][11] Braille, Odd Thomas, and Courtland Urbano all are members of Beautiful Eulogy.[12] The mixtape also included input from notable producers 9th Wonder, Boi-1da, S1, and Street Symphony.[7][13] The day before the release of Church Clothes, DaSouth stated the album "may be the most important Christian hip hop album in history."[14] In support of this opinion, the writer cited Lecrae's collaboration with Don Cannon, the featuring of No Malice along with the producers S1, 9th Wonder, and Street Symphony, the fact that the album was free, and Lecrae's more "relational" lyrical approach.[14] The single "Church Clothes" was also chosen as a Staff Pick for the week of May 7, 2012, by iHipHop.[15] On June 25, 2012, a remastered version of the mixtape, without DJ Don Cannon, was released as an EP for sale on iTunes.[16] Due to issues with sampling, this version was much shorter with only seven songs.[16] Upon its release, the EP was noted by Rapzilla for reaching #5 on the iTunes Hip Hop/Rap charts, and it debuted on the Billboard charts as #10 on both the Christian Albums and Gospel Albums charts for the week of July 14, 2012.[17][18][19]

Controversy[edit]

Following its release, the mixtape garnered controversy in Christian media. Fears were raised over Lecrae's collaboration with the "secular" Cannon and the possibility of him losing touch with the Gospel and "selling-out" to a mainstream audience.[20][21][22] His harsh view of the Church, particularly taken in the song "Church Clothes", also drew concern.[1][2][20][22] Lecrae responded that his song "Church Clothes" was written in the third-person and was voicing a non-Christian's view of the Church.[3][22] He also explained that the song was meant to expose hypocrisy both in the Church and in the view of the Church by unbelievers.[3] In a video interview with The Source, Lecrae said that "just because you're inconsistent doesn't mean the Truth isn't the Truth."[23] Paul S. Morton, Keisha Allen, and Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr. have all come out in support for the song.[1] As for his move into the mainstream, Lecrae has explained that he is attempting to move out of the stigma of being a "Gospel rapper" and reach out to a broader culture.[24] In a blog post designed to clarify his stance, Lecrae wrote: "[Christians] limit spirituality to salvation and sanctification. As long as we are well versed in personal piety and individual salvation, we think we're good. But most Christians have no clue how to engage culture in politics, science, economics, TV, music or art. We tend to leave people to their own devices there."[25] Rapzilla supported this stance, with Chris Lassiter saying "I pray that the Christian Hip-Hop community would have such a vision for the glory of God in music, production, videography, lyricism, etc., that anyone that wanted to experience Hip-Hop at its highest art form would have to come to the Christians."[26]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllHipHop 8/10[7]
The Christian Manifesto J. F. Arnold: 4.5/5 stars[20]

Nick Ahern: 4.25/5[20]
Michael Wildes: 5/5 stars[10]

DaSouth 4/5 stars[27]
FNFLive 9.2/10 (Classic status)[11]
Indie Vision Music 4/5 stars[28]
XXL XL (4/5)[29]

The mixtape was praised by critics, particularly for its production and lyrical content. AllHipHop rated the album eight out of ten, praising the album's "ability to focus on the Christian values without coming off as preachy, or even Bible-thumping."[7] The Christian Manifesto in an audio review called the production solid and praised the emcee work on "Misconception", but stated that "No Regrets" failed to match the energy and intensity of the first half of the album.[20] J. F. Arnold rated the album 4.5 out of 5, while Nick Ahern gave it 4.25 out of 5.[20] Ahern stated that he previously was not a fan of Lecrae, but that his opinion changed on this release, mainly due to Lecrae's "fierceness" and speed.[20] A written review by Michael Wildes for The Christian Manifesto rated the album a complete five stars and nominated it for that website's annual Lime Awards.[10] DaSouth, which rated the album four out of five, viewed "No Regrets" more favorably, calling Suzy Rock's singing "top-notch" and regarding the collaboration of Big Juice and Street Symphony as a "near perfect backdrop".[27] Both DaSouth and AllHipHop leveled some criticism at "Darkest Hour", with AllHipHop calling the hook "cheezy" and DaSouth viewing the track as a personal low-point, calling it too slow and stating that they expected more from No Malice.[7][27] Mike McCray from The Fayetteville Observer was favorable to the album, stating at the end of his review that "I never thought I’d hear the day gospel music sampled Pimp C, but I’m glad I did. Church Clothes is 'come as you are' music, presenting faith as a defining theme without being pious. The project may ruffle some feathers, but its wider appeal can’t be overlooked."[30] Jam the Hype Radio highly praised the mixtape, stating, "It contains some of the best hip-hop songs of the year and is totally worth the listen!"[31] StupidDOPE was highly favorable to the album, praising Lecrae's mic skills and noting that he "is finally stepping onto the mainstream stage" with his collaboration with No Malice on "Darkest Hour".[8] XXL gave the album an "XL" rating, the equivalent of four out of five, calling Church Clothes a "strong release in that it helps deliver a message without beating the listener over the head with religious propaganda".[29] The production was highly praised by the magazine, which noted the appearance of 9th Wonder on "Rise" and "Long Time Coming" but stated that the more unknown producers Big Juice and Street Symphony on "No Regrets" and Tha Kracken! on "Rejects" stole the show.[29] Indie Vision Music rated the album four out of five, praising the songs "Church Clothes", "Sacrifice", and "Rejects", among others, but leveling some criticism at, among others, the songs "APB", "Special" and "Rise".[28] The mixtape was also chosen by iHipHop as a Staff Pick for May 14, 2012, with staff member jGerson writing that "I might have to agree with Serge. There was nothing I was feeling more this week than Lecrae's mixtape Church Clothes mixtape."[32] jGerson listed the track "Rise" as their favorite on the album.[32] Vibe viewed the album favorably, stating that "The dude can surely spit, but Church Clothes starts off sounding very boxed in and predictable. However, once you get to the middle—and get into some of the impeccable production... ...Lecrae proves to be a promising new talent with some amazing tracks under his belt."[33] Vibe listed standout tracks as "The Price Of Life," "Inspiration," "Darkest Hour," "Rise," and "Church Clothes."[33]

Track listing[edit]

Mixtape[edit]

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "Co-Sign"   Heat Academy 3:10
2. "APB" (featuring Thi'sl) Charlie Heat/Sarah J 3:32
3. "Church Clothes"   Wit 2:24
4. "Cold World" (featuring Tasha Catour) Street Symphony 3:33
5. "Welcome to H-Town" (featuring Tedashii, Dre Murray, & VonWon (uncredited)[10][27]) Wit 4:32
6. "Inspiration"   Wit 2:30
7. "Rise"   9th Wonder 3:12
8. "Darkest Hour" (featuring No Malice) ThaInnaCircle 2:37
9. "Black Rose"   Tyshane 2:56
10. "The Price of Life" (featuring Andy Mineo & Co Campbell) Symbolyc One (S1) 4:00
11. "Special" (featuring Lester L2 Shaw) ThaInnaCircle 3:29
12. "No Regrets" (featuring Suzy Rock) Big Juice & Street Symphony 3:31
13. "Gimme A Second"   Boi-1da 3:33
14. "Long Time Coming" (featuring Swoope) 9th Wonder 3:17
15. "Misconception" (featuring Propaganda, Beautiful Eulogy, & DJ Efechto[34]) Courtland Urbano[35] 4:31
16. "Spazz"   Charlie Heat/Sarah J 3:24
17. "Sacrifice"   Red On The Beat/Sarah J 3:58
18. "Rejects" (featuring Christon Gray) Tha Kracken! 3:32
Total length:
58:04

EP version[edit]

Samples listing[edit]

EP chart history[edit]

The Church Clothes EP debut at #10 on the Billboard Christian Albums and Gospel Albums charts. Released on iTunes, it was reported by Rapzilla that the album reached #5 on iTune's Hip Hop/Rap chart.[17]

Chart Peak
position
US Christian[18] 10
US Gospel[19] 10
US Rap 75

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Jones, Kim (May 22, 2012). "Lecrae Calls Out the Church" (Web). About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c Menzie, Nicola. "Lecrae's 'Church Clothes' Video Exposes Christian Hypocrisy?" (Web). The Christian Post. William Anderson. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Arnold, Paul W (May 11, 2012). "Lecrae Clarifies His "Gimme A Second" Line About Jay-Z & Lil Wayne, Details Spiritual Advisor Role To No Malice" (Web). Hip Hop DX. Cheryl Media Group. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "[VIDEO] Lecrae’s Mixtape ‘Church Clothes’ Is Not Just Attracting Christian Fans" (Web). 102 FM JAMZ. CBS Local. May 13, 2012. Retrieved June 29, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Lecrae status update". June 4, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012. 
  6. ^ Adaso, Henry (May 10, 2012). "Lecrae Dons His Church Clothes" (Web). About.com. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Eljay, K1ng (May 18, 2012). "Mixtape Review: Lecrae’s "Church Clothes"" (Web). AllHipHop. AHH Holdings. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b James, Jesse (May 11, 2012). "Lecrae & No Malice – Darkest Hour | New Music" (Web). stupidDOPE. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  9. ^ Lynch, Sean (May 10, 2012). "Mixtape: Lecrae - Church Clothes". The Source. L. Londell McMillan. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d Wildes, Michael (May 11, 2012). "Lecrae | Church Clothes" (Web). The Christian Manifesto. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "REVIEW: Lecrae - "Church Clothes hosted by Don Cannon"". FNFLive. FNF Media Group. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  12. ^ Horton, Chad (June 9, 2012). "VIDEO: Beautiful Eulogy Reinvents Via "Entitlement"; Their "Misconceptions" Featured on Lecrae’s Mixtape". AllHipHop. AHH Holdings. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Lecrae 'Church Clothes' Mixtape Cover & Title Song Revealed" (Web). Rapzilla. Philip Rood, Chad Horton. April 26, 2012. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Sketch the Journalist (May 9, 2012). "Lecrae's "Church Clothes" the most important album in Christian rap history" (Web). Da South. Retrieved June 30, 2012. 
  15. ^ jGerson (May 7, 2012). "iHipHop Staff Picks Week Of 5/7/2012" (Web). iHipHop. Triumph Media Holdings. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Lecrae 'Church Clothes' EP (Remastered with No DJ) Released on iTunes" (Web). Rapzilla. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b "Lecrae 'Church Clothes' EP #5 on iTunes Hip Hop/Rap" (Web). Rapzilla. June 26, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b "Christian Albums" (Web). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. July 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b "Gospel Albums" (Web). Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. July 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Arnold, J. F.; Nick Ahern (May 11, 2012). "Dual Impressions #29: Lecrae | Church Clothes" (Web/Audio). The Christian Manifesto. Retrieved June 22, 2012. 
  21. ^ Arnold, J. F. (May 10, 2012). "Lecrae, Church Clothes, and Mainstream Attention" (Web). Evangelical Outpost. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b c Menzie, Nicola (May 31, 2012). "Lecrae Sets Record Straight on Christian Hypocrisy in 'Church Clothes'" (Web). The Christian Post. William Anderson. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  23. ^ Lynch, Sean (June 7, 2012). "Source TV: Lecrae On Rap's Misuse Of Biblical Terms" (Video). The Source. L. Londell McMillan. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
  24. ^ Fleischer, Adam (May 9, 2012). "Lecrae on Church Clothes Mixtape, Why He’s Hip-Hop, No Malice, Kendrick Lamar & Jeremy Lin" (Web). XXL. Harris Publications. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  25. ^ Moore, Lecrae (May 21, 2012). "Church Clothes - Purpose, Passion, Progression" (Web). Blog/News. Reach Records. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  26. ^ Lassiter, Chris (May 11, 2012). "Lecrae's 'Church Clothes' and the implications" (Web). Rapzilla. Philip Rood, Chad Horton. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  27. ^ a b c d Hill, Kellus (May 14, 2012). "Lecrae - Church Clothes" (Web). DaSouth. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  28. ^ a b Burkey, Josh (May 12, 2012). "Lecrae – Church Clothes (Mixtape)". Indie Vision Music. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  29. ^ a b c Reed, Nene Wallace (May 12, 2012). "Lecrae, Church Clothes" (Web). XXL. Harris Publications. Retrieved June 23, 2012. 
  30. ^ McCray, Mike (May 21, 2012). "Download: Lecrae – Church Clothes" (Web). The Fayetteville Observer. Fayetteville Publishing. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  31. ^ Morden, Justin (June 21, 2012). "Lecrae – Church Clothes [Mixtape Review] (May 10, 2012)". Jam the Hype. Jam the Hype Radio. Retrieved June 27, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b jGerson; Serge (May 14, 2012). "Staff Picks Week Of 5/14/2012" (Web). iHipHop. Triumph Media Holdings. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 
  33. ^ a b Higgins, Keenan (May 11, 2012). "V Playlist: Black Hippy, Birdman feat. Rick Ross, Azealia Banks, Lecrae, Cam'Ron & Vado, Soulja Boy" (Web). Vibe. Vibe Media. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  34. ^ DJ Efechto (May 10, 2012). "Make sure you..." (Web). Facebook. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Lecrae 'Church Clothes' Tracklisting Revealed" (Web). Rapzilla. May 8, 2012. Retrieved July 18, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Lecrae feat. Tasha Catour's Cold World sample of J. Cole's Work Out" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Lecrae featuring Tedashii and Dre Murray's Welcome to H-Town sample of Jay-Z feat. UGK's Big Pimpin'" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  38. ^ "Lecrae featuring Tedashii and Dre Murray's Welcome to H-Town sample of Lil' Keke feat. DJ Screw's Still Pimpin' Pens (Chopped and Screwed)" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  39. ^ "Lecrae featuring Tedashii and Dre Murray's Welcome to H-Town sample of Wit and Dre Murray feat. Lecrae, Shei Atkins and Von Won's Welcome to H-Town" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Lecrae's Inspiration sample of Faith Evan's You Are My Joy (Interlude)" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Lecrae's Rise sample of Wu Tang Clan's C.R.E.A.M." (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Lecrae's Rise sample of Jay-Z feat. Dr. Dre, Rakim and Truth Hurts's The Watcher 2" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Lecrae Darkest Hour sample of Saturnalia's And I Have Loved You" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  44. ^ "Lecrae's Black Rose sample of Barrington Levy's Black Roses" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Lecrae feat. Propaganda (Rapper), Braille and Odd Thomas's sample of Gang Starr's Deadly Habitz" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Lecrae feat. Propaganda (Rapper), Braille and Odd Thomas's sample of Nas's It Ain't Hard to Tell" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Lecrae feat. Swoope's Long Time Coming sample of High Society Collective's Take Off" (Web). WhoSampled. WhoSampled.com Limited. Retrieved August 25, 2012. 

External links[edit]