Christian rap has a place in the music business. There is a fan base that wants Hip-Hop music without its negative and ungodly tones. In the past few years the platform for Christian-based Hip-Hop music has been growing and becoming a staple. With Kirk Franklin being the most recognized Gospel artist that implements Hip-Hop into his music, the floodgates have opened and Trip Lee has taken the reigns. Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Trip has been making music for the love of God. With Jay-Z as one of his major influences he has set out to create a lane for himself. Releasing his fourth studio album, The Good Life on Reach Records, he gives his fans his meaning of the good life and some more of the good music that he longs to be recognized for. Sitting down with Trip on a sun-covered New York City, he talks about his music, his love for life and what the good life is.
Parlé Magazine: Four albums, deep. Are you where thought you would be?
Trip Lee: When I started, I wanted to talk about stuff that mattered. I have toured around the world, I have many supporting fans and I’m doing what I love. I didn’t think it was going to be my career but I did it and I’m grateful.
Parlé: What was your career goal then?
Trip Lee: I started working on my first album when I was 17 years old, at that time, I didn’t know what I was going to do. I wasn’t rapping about the average stuff and I wondered if there was going to be a market for me to grow.
Parlé: What are your expectations of this latest album?
Trip Lee: I did it to challenge the idea of what the good life is. Hip-Hop has strong opinions of what the good life is and we see it all the time and I wanted to paint a new picture. One of my expectations is I wanted people to think about life. Each album the platform has grown and people are starting to take note.
Parlé: Why did you choose Hip-Hop?
Trip Lee: I don’t feel if there was a moment to question it, I love hip-hop.
Parlé: Describe the content of your music.
Trip Lee: I’m a Christian and I went to church early on. There was switch in my life where it went from enduring the service to actually understanding who Jesus was. When that happened for me everything changed for me and I started talking about life from a new perspective.
Parlé: What was the change that came about?
Trip Lee: A lot of people have dramatic stories but I started to get involved in the youth church and everything switched and I started understanding.
Parlé: Do you think religion and Hip-Hop can mix?
Trip Lee: Absolutely, I think Hip-Hop more than other music forms in a special way can hold a message. We say more words so we have a better way to relay the message but I think Hip-Hop is a bolder art form.
Parlé: What’s your motivation?
Trip Lee: The stuff that I talk about in my music are things that I have been taught and have learned. One thing that motivates me is putting people on to what I have learned. My perspective changed about the good life and I have to pass it on to other people. Another motivation is that I love good music and with each album I’m trying to outdo my last one.
Parlé: What was the concept behind, “I’m Good” the track featuring Lecrae?
Trip Lee: We were sitting in the studio and I thought about doing a song that showed that we’re anchored in something that is deeper than money, girls and cars. I went in thinking I might not sell a million records but that’s not the most important thing for me at all.
Parlé: What was your mind state in creating The Good Life?
Trip Lee: I try to be a student of culture and I’m always looking at a different perspective of things. I felt that everyone has some kind of concept in their mind about what the good life is.
Parlé: Describe your good life.
Trip Lee: I’ve been an artist for 8 years without a gold album, no radio play, I drive a Honda Accord, I’m married with a son on the way, every Sunday I go church and I’m giving my life to serve people. The good life is living in light of things that are actually good.
Parlé: What does this album mean to you?
Trip Lee: I’m taking people on a journey with me and making them grow with me.
Parlé: What’s else is on the agenda for Trip Lee?
Trip Lee: The album, The Good Life released on April 10, a tour in May and I’m writing a book called The Good Life.