WANT TO GO?
Winter Jam 2014
With Newsboys, Lecrae, Tenth Avenue North and more
WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Charleston Civic Center
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Hip-hop comes from a place where poverty, violence and oppression are still a way of life, but one of the recurring themes in hip-hop music is that it's possible to rise even when you're at the bottom. Despite some of the profanity, there's still a lot of hope in the music, hope for something better.
Gospel hip-hop artist Lecrae said, "Hip-hop is music from a disenfranchised community. The first time somebody gets a dollar, it may really be the first time they've ever had a dollar, and so they make a noise about it."
This might be why so many rappers spend so much time and energy dropping rhymes about their cars, the amount of money they have in the bank and what they own. Some of them didn't come from much.
Lecrae, who performs Saturday at Winter Jam, at the Civic Center, understands the roots of the hip-hop community. He's part of it. He grew up immersed in the culture, and his story reads like half of the rappers in America. He was the son of a single mother, grew up in an unstable home and around rough people.
The 34-year-old laughed about it.
"I was never really a gangsta myself," he said. "I was always the guy next to the guy who was the real thing. I aspired to it, I think, but, mostly, I was just confused."
And without a strong male role model, Lecrae said he looked up to hip-hop performers like Tupac Shakur. But he had to sneak around to see their videos; his grandmother didn't approve.