Lecrae is transforming the perceptions of rap music through inspiration and spirituality. He’s the first Christian rapper to win a Grammy, and the first Christian rapper to perform at the BET Hip Hop Awards. He’s even collaborated with traditional R&B artists like Chaka Khan, making him the most universal Christian rapper thus far.

But no matter what opinion you may have about the Atlanta based rapper, don’t mistake his music for “Christian hip-hop.”

“I tend not to call it Christian hip-hop because I think it would be limited to being only for Christians,” says the 33-year-old. “I think it’s responsible hip-hop. I think it paints a broad picture of life, and it doesn’t just limit life to just kind of instinctual pleasure, power pleasure and possession.”

This responsible version of the historically controversial style of music is progressing beyond the churches and typical religious arenas to athletic courts and fields around the country.

“He just raps a lot about the gospel and Christian music. I really enjoy his lyrics as well so if you’re a big lyrics guy I think that [Lecrae] will be a good fit for you,” says Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, who told Fuse that Lecrae is his favorite rapper.

Lin isn’t the only athlete praising the Houston rapper; Lecrae is often requested by NBA teams to conduct prayer sessions before tipoffs. The Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson is so impressed by Lecrae that he handed out copies of Lecrae’s latest album, “Gravity,” after a game.

Professional athletes from various disciplines are aware of his gift, his progress, and how his inspirational lyrics can affect growth and change. Over the years Lecrae has built both spiritual and personal relationships with well-known athletes.

“Bubba Watson and I are pretty close,” says Lecrae, listing his celebrity friends in Christ. “We hang out from time to time, and he comes to Atlanta, where I live, and I go out to Phoenix, where he lives. Dwight Howard and I are buddies, Justin Forsett who plays for the Houston Texans, Anthony Tolliver who’s now on the Hawks — there are a lot of guys. Nolan Smith from the Trail Blazers.”

Lecrae’s relatable past and urban image is comforting to athletes. “It’s good for the athletes when somebody looks like them, talks like them, grew up how they grew up and dealt with some of the pressures in some ways. That’s always hopeful…I’m relating to them, just giving them insights on life.”

As perfect as athletes appear, they’re lives aren’t as whole as we believe; they’re just as flawed and insecure as we are. “…at the end of the day, these are guys, these are people, and they don’t have it all figured out. They’re playing professional sports, and there’s a lot of demands on them, and so you just want to be able to be in their corner and serve them.”

Because of his service to athletes and believers across the globe, he’s making waves throughout the entertainment world and the NBA is now one of his homes.