Grammy Award-winning Christian hip-hop artist and Atlanta resident Lecrae, 41, is spreading the message of restoration even during the pandemic.

At the end of last year, the artist released his latest album “Restoration,” along with his book, “I Am Restored: How I Lost My Religion, But Found My Faith,” to provide hope to others throughout the many difficult situations that 2020 brought.

“When you experience (restoration) personally because you’ve been through some trama, you want the world to experience,” Lecrae said. I think the world is going through social, emotional, and racial trauma right now and I want that helping for everyone struggling.”

Though he started the process of creating the album and book two years prior, 2020 was such an impactful year that Lecrae decided that the message fit perfectly with issues that came to a head during the pandemic. He also released a documentary to complement both projects.

“The book is for people who are struggling with hope. If you can hope you can heal. If you believe your situation is too dire and there’s no hope in then this book is for you,” Lecrae said.

“Whether it’s depression, loss, fear, financial crisis, or relationship crisis, restoration is possible and I want ppl to know that. I’ve been through a lot of trauma in my life and I want people to know to navigate through those things.”

In his first book, the New York Times best-seller, “Unashamed” (released in 2016), Lecrae was transparent about adversities experienced in his life – childhood abuse, drugs, alcoholism, a stint in rehab, abortion, growing up fatherless, and an unsuccessful suicide attempt.

“Doubt was healthy for me because doubt was allowed me to ask God questions and od gave me answers through the trials and tribulations that I endured,” Lecrae said.

In the new book, Lecrae shares how growing stronger in his faith has helped him to expand from personal restoration to creating transformation in the lives of others.

For Lecrae, the theme of restoration isn’t just about putting out music or books or even just helping out during the pandemic.

As a resident of the westside of Atlanta, he’s made it his mission to provide restoration for the people of Vine City and English Avenue, taking interest in organizations such as Love Beyond Walls, Masks For The People, You Will See Me, Peace Preparatory Academy.

“For me, I live on the Westside. I’m concerned with the westside. I own property on the westside. A lot of the westside of Atlanta has been on my heart. Not to say the whole city is not important to me but we can only take care of what we have the capacity to do,” Lecrae said.

In Atlanta’s Vine City and English Avenue neighborhoods, approximately two-thirds of its residents live below the federal poverty line and 44 percent of the homes are vacant.

In the community, Lecrae services as an active member of the Board of Advisory for Peace Preparatory Academy which has been operational for more than 20 years.

“I make sure that there’s education going on in English Ave and Vince City. Peach Preparatory is a school that I sponsor,” Lecrae said.

“I also make sure that there are opportunities for financial literacy and quality of living. A couple of apartment buildings have been constructed to take care of people based on their income. I work with an organization to build homes for people and we place families in those homes.”

(Photo: By Alex Harper)

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