"People could see themselves in Kanye and therefore see themselves as Christ followers," the Christian hip-hop superstar tells Billboard.
Since its Friday release, Kanye West's Jesus Is King has sparked debate and mixed reviews. It's the rapper's first-ever gospel album after launching his Sunday Service events at the start of 2019, but the stark change of direction has had fans questioning his seemingly sudden following of Christ after decades of rapping about sex, money and other "sinful" topics.
For his part, superstar Christian hip-hop artist Lecrae hopes Kanye's transition into gospel will allow other religious rappers to "appreciate the spotlight on Jesus in places where we may not have had an audience."
"Kanye is such a polarizing figure and his movements create ripple effects in culture, particularly music," he explained to Billboard. "Traditionally gospel is seen as singing. Those of us Christians who rap were removed from the gospel charts on that technicality. His deeper impact is perhaps on the Christian rap community. There is a lot more intersectionality there."