As Lecrae’s fourth studio album Rehab blared through a Louisville strip club, a bouncer told Rachelle Starr that he heard the Christian rapper, whose music she had just introduced him to, curse.
“No, I can assure you,” Starr laughed, “there’s no cussing in the album.”
Starr is the founder of Scarlet Hope, a non-profit organization that shares home-cooked meals and the gospel with dancers in Louisville strip clubs.
Every Thursday night, Scarlet Hope’s women enter 18 clubs, which all blast music. Starr, a fan of Lecrae, bought 10 Rehab CDs from Amazon, hoping the clubs she frequents would play them.
“The lyrics that [Lecrae] is writing are very tangible for [dancers] to grasp,” Starr said. “It’s a lot of what they’ve been through. It’s a lot of what they seek. It’s very relatable. … And he presents the gospel very well through his music.”
Many owners and DJs have come to appreciate her ministry over its six years of existence, earning her the clout to ask for such a favor.
On March 12, Starr handed Rehab to the DJ in two clubs and asked them to play it. One club lacked the capability to play CDs, so the DJ took it home. The other needed permission from the owner, who was absent that night.
The next week when the owner was present, Starr asked again.
“Lecrae’s a Christian rapper,” Starr said, as she held another CD because the DJ lost the other one. “He just won a Grammy, and I think you guys would really like it.”
The owner approved, so the DJ asked Starr what song she wanted to play. Starr chose track No. 2, “Killa.” This is when the bouncer approached her to ask whose music was playing.
He had never heard of Lecrae — or imagined that he would love hip hop made by a Christian. Neither did others who asked about the music.
Starr proceeded to serve the dancers dinner — chicken fettuccine Alfredo, garlic bread, salad and banana cream cake — and Rehab continued to blare.
“They haven’t taken the CD off!” Starr told another Scarlet Hope worker. “This is awesome.”
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