When the Billboard charts came out last week, there was a rap album that debuted impressively high (No. 3 on the Rap Albums chart, No. 17 on the 200) despite not having much mainstream hip-hop exposure. That project was The Good Life, the fourth album from Trip Lee. The rapper is signed to the growing independent label Reach Records, an Atlanta based team of six Christian artists that has garnered momentum in recent years with a string of well-received and commercially successful album releases and tours. Here, Trip Lee explains his religious awakening and how it reflects in his music, what it means to be preachy, and why it doesn’t matter if he ever goes platinum. — Adam Fleischer (@AdamXXL)
Name: Trip Lee (@TripLee116)
Reppin’: Dallas, TX
Label: Reach Records
On the response to The Good Life:
With every album that comes out, I’m always blown away by the responses. This one, more than any other, I’ve gotten incredible responses. Before it came out, the dudes I roll with, everybody told me they thought it was my best record. Then when it came out, it seemed like all the fans thought it was my best record, too. To see it up on the iTunes charts and then to hear how well it did on the Billboard charts, it just blows me away and excites me. I work hard on the music and I want people to enjoy the music. At the same time, I talked about stuff that matter, so I’m hoping it helps people to think and that it’s an encouragement to folks.
On finding God in his life and music:
I was always a music lover ever since I was a little kid. My dad was playing soul and [other] stuff that he grew up on. I fell in love with hip-hop at 10 or 11, and then started writing raps. Jay-Z was the dude that influenced me the most, because he was one of the first dudes that made me paid attention to the lyrics and realize how thoughtful he was. When I was 14, that’s when I had this heart change, where I wanted to stop rapping about myself and how tight I was, and wanted to look at the entire world. When I had this heart change, that’s when I became a Christian and started following Jesus. I started to think, “Okay, what does my writing has to do with what God’s words?” From that point, I was rapping at different spots around Dallas and recorded a little mixtape in my room. I met the dudes at Reach when I was about 15 or 16 years old. I built a relationship with them and have been rolling with them since then. Started my first album when I was 17. It came out just a couple days after I graduated from high school and I’ve been able to keep going. This is my fourth one.
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