Un-Ashamed by Lecrae Moore

A note about book reviews from the archive:
These book ‘reviews’ can range from book notes to summaries to my thoughts on the book as a whole. Anything written before 2019 is considered ‘from the archive’, and therefore may not be as polished or complete as I would like it to be. However, I have still decided to post them as I work to improve their content and structure.

This book shows how Lecrae got from growing up to where he is now; it is divided into three sections: growing up, figuring out his life, the third part. I began with a summary of the book, followed by some of my favorite quotes, and ended with a my own thoughts on everything he wrote.


My summary is a very broad overview of what he wrote. This will give you an idea of what the book talks about, but the actual book itself has much more detail and rich content. Here is how I would briefly sum things up:

Growing up

In the beginning of the book, Lecrae talks in depth about what it was like to grow up in ‘the hood’, and described his environment as a neighborhood no one wanted to get involved with. He talked openly about the abuse he witnessed and endured, and which people helped him and influenced him at a young age. He said that, even as an adolescent, he was creative and talented, but rejected his interest in theater because he knew it would not be welcomed by his family and friends. Because of this, among other things, he says he always felt like an outsider.

Figuring out his life

As he grew older, Lecrae admits he became heavily involved with drugs, sex, and any vice he could find. He started getting involved in Christian events around campus, and faced internal conflict about how to live his life. He said he would often times waver between being a perfect Christian, trying to convert anyone he encountered by any means necessary, and being sad when he didn’t see rewards from that, causing him to backslide into his old ways.

Acceptance was something he struggled with, and attributed that to being fatherless his whole life. In college, there was a school play where he was supposed to kiss a girl; he was still confused as to what was right by God, and this confusion lead him to refuse the kiss, drop out, and go to rehab. He struggled with what it meant to be Christian, and started making rap music for “super-Christians”, using a lot of theological language in order to be accepted by the well-known and well-educated pastors and congregants. Furthermore, he became heavily invested in Christian books, educating himself on the subject.

The third part

He began making money off his music, and with the recognition that followed, had to figure out how to accept success while staying humble. At this point, he was already married with children, and described how he and his wife would argue at night and preach Jesus during the day. He was taking a closer look at his life, and felt this was something that needed to be remedied.

Once he began winning Grammy awards, he said he felt like he could finally start being himself in his music; he felt he could preach less, and let his message show for itself his relationship with Jesus, rather than trying to prove it.


The last few chapters of the book talked about what he believes now, using Bible references to back up what he was saying. He touched on how Jesus told Peter that the gates of hell would be powerless against the church Peter was going to preach at, meaning that nothing could stop the church from entering, even hell. This related to how he and his wife would help whoever and wherever they could, without discrimination.

At some points in his career, he said that he would perform with big names on stage, specifically mentioning Kendrick Lamar. His Christian fans thought he was a sellout, so he clarified that he was often losing money in those instances, as the Christian community paid him extremely well. However, he wanted to reach these places, too, spreading the message of Jesus as far as he could. He seemed to have connected with them, as he noted :“rappers would often come find me after a show—sometimes high and out of their minds—and ask me to help figure out what God wanted for their lives.”

Favorite quotes

“Everyone would be hanging around just like the other parties, but they weren’t getting drunk or high. They had their own songs and vocabulary. They would dance and tell jokes, and it was actually fun. I thought of it like drinking non-alcoholic beer—it had a similar flavor to something I liked, but some of the contents had been stripped out. Same taste, different effect.”

Lecrae, on attending Christian “Praise Parties”

“If you’re going to call the shots, Lecrae, you’re going to have to take them, too. For every one thousand people you influence, you’ll have one hundred critics. And many of them will call themselves Christians. That just comes with the territory.”

Rick Warren, a pastor

“A good example of a biblical worldview is Daniel. I like Daniel. If he were alive now, we’d probably hangout.”

Lecrae, on Daniel from the Bible


I was excited to read this book, as I had listened to some of Lecrae’s music beforehand and was interested to see what he had to say. It certainly did not disappoint, and I found this book extremely engaging and well written. Like the title says, he was extremely open with what he shared, and it is clear he came a long way from the boy he once was.

It wasn’t super Christian pushy, as in it didn’t feel like he was forcing me to convert to Christianity if I hadn’t already; but, there was a constant Jesus theme throughout. He said he used to be a little self-righteous and a hint of that came through at the end, although it wasn’t too off-putting. Furthermore, I could tell he was extremely well-educated on Christian texts and the Bible, and it felt like his beliefs came from his own research and self-searching rather than handed down from a church or pastor.

This book is encouraging for young people, and those who feel lost or like they have nothing and no hope. I could tell after reading it that he had God on his side, because anyone who lived like him could’ve failed so many times and never got back up. However, he always made it out the other side and prevailed to tell his story. I’m happy things worked out for him; he seems like a really kind soul who just had some demons to work through. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book; it is a smooth, engaging read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

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