Grammy-Award winning artist, Lecrae, lit up the Mobile Civic Center on Wednesday, March 2. His Higher Learning Tour brought soul, hip-hop and funk to downtown Mobile.
The show featured opening artists Liz Vice and DJ Promote. Vice’s sultry, soulful voice got the crowd on their feet. She sang original pieces, and she also covered two classic songs, Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit” and Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” DJ Promote really hyped the crowd up. His dubstep beats and remixes had the crowd jumping and swaying to the music.
The crowd was large. The entire Civic Center Theatre was filled with audience members spilling into the balcony. The audience was also diverse. Old, young, black and white, all were present. Lecrae’s fan base is divergent. By the time Lecrae hit the stage, the audience was really charged. People were singing along with the Lecrae, rapping his lyrics with almost the same intense veracity of Lecrae himself.
When the show was over, the audience demanded an encore. They were screaming and shouting Lecrae’s name. Lecrae gave the audience what they wanted and performed another song.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the concert was the fact that there was an extremely Christian message behind it. Both Liz Vice and DJ Promote spoke about positivity and faith. Lecrae’s lyrics contain inspirational messages and are faith-based. He raps about real life situations without the cursing, heavy drug influence or demeaning of women. It’s a refreshing change to the majority of mainstream hip hop.
Lecrae hit the stage in an all-black ensemble with a cold cross around his neck, a testament to his faith. His urban look matched his urban beats, while his gold cross highlighted his faith that is so present in his lyrics.
Lecrae’s faith is present not only in his song lyrics but also in his show. Before he came on stage, Lecrae played a video message describing his charitable work. For his Higher Learning Tour, Lecrae partnered with Food for the Hungry, a charitable organizations that seeks to “end all forms of human poverty.” Lecrae encouraged audience members to sponsor children in Uganda and East Africa. He asked that they join his pledge of $35 which could in turn help seven children. There were people handing out packets and donor forms. Several audience members took the packets and made the pledge of $35.
In between songs, Lecrae spoke to his audience. He spoke about his life and his experiences. He gave advice on life. Lecrae’s performance was engaging, fun and inspiring.
Lecrae commanded the stage and set the theatre’s energy level to an unbelievable high. At the end of his show, Lecrae said, “Give it up to the most High,” and then left the stage. The show was so eclectic. It had soul, techno/dubstep, and hip hop, but despite the musical differences, it all relates back to God and faith.