California Freemason: Prince Hall, Then and Now

Meet Trevor Lawrence Jr., the Keeper of the Beat

Drummer Trevor Lawrence Jr. Puts Masonry Squarely in His Spotlight

By Brian Robin

Above: Trevor Lawrence Jr. has performed with some of the biggest names in popular music.

The breadcrumbs, as Trevor Lawrence Jr. calls them, are plainly there to see. And he wants you to ask about them.

For instance, there’s the Masonic hand sign he flashed to 101 million television viewers while playing drums for Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and others during the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show. There’s the square and compass that adorns his bass drum while he’s on tour with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Mary J. Blige, and the dozens of other A-listers he’s played and recorded with. In each case, they’re meant to start a conversation.

Lawrence, a multi-Grammy-winning artist, recording engineer, and performer, is a firm believer in sharing his passion with his audience. Since 2015, when he joined Thomas Waller Lodge № 49 in Los Angeles, that’s included Freemasonry. Waller № 49, named for the famed jazz musician (and Mason) Fats Waller, has counted several other iconic musicians on its rolls, including Nat King Cole, T-Bone Walker, and Victor Lewis. To this day, it retains a reputation as the Prince Hall musicians’ lodge—a heritage Lawrence is proud to carry on. 

But it wasn’t the arts that brought Lawrence to Freemasonry. It was family.

 “My grandfather was a superhero to me in my life,” he says. “There’s so much of him in me. So when I learned he was connected to Freemasonry in Philadelphia, it made joining even more of an affirmation.” 

As for his family, Lawrence clearly inherited a lot. His grandfather was a pioneering figure in gospel music, and both his parents were members of Stevie Wonder’s band, Wonderland. His mother later played with the post-Diana Ross-era Supremes. He began playing the drums as a small child, eventually landing a session-recording gig in high school that produced the theme song for the television hit Martin. That, in turn, led to a wide-ranging career that has included recording credits with Boys II Men, Dr. Dre, and an impressive list of chart-toppers across jazz, R&B, hip-hop, and rock. He’s also released a solo album, appropriately titled Relationships

Since joining the lodge, he’s put those relationships to work, taking on a sort of ambassador’s role for Masonry. And between the nearly 22,000 followers on his Instagram account—many of whom reach out to ask him about Masonry—and his world travels, Lawrence has ample opportunity to have those conversations. In his words, he wants to “talk the talk and walk the walk” about an important facet of his life. 

“I have a saying: Out of light, out of sight,” Lawrence says. “I’m not seeking to be the loudest, most obnoxious person. But if we don’t connect people to the organization, the organization will eventually cease, because nobody will see a need to join.” 

That idea informs Lawrence’s view of Freemasonry, combined with a bit of the showman’s flair. “Our conduct should speak for who we are. But if there’s no way to connect that conduct to the organization, then it really doesn’t garner interest for the organization,” he says. What it boils down to is, “I’m not shy in letting people know I’m a Mason.”


Read more profiles of California Prince Hall Masons here:

Gary Ransom Blazed Trails in California’s Court System

Your Honor: Judge John Weller Keeps Things on the Level

For Senior Grand Warden Aaron Washington, History’s in the Making

Meet Trevor Lawrence Jr., the Keeper of the Beat

Photography by:
Mathew Scott

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