Trip Lee Says ‘A Lot’ of New Music is Coming as He Shows Folder with Tons of Songs [Interview]
Last week we said “Hello” to Trip Lee for the first time in a while! In part one of this interview, Lee spoke about coming back to Christian rap, leaving behind pastoring (for now), and his new book. This article will focus on all the music that’s coming!
Talk about the new stuff you’ve been doing. You’ve dropped two singles now. “You Got It” and “Supernatural,” both with visuals along with them. So there’s a lot to unpack there.
“You Got It” came out on the summer playlist that Reach put out this year, which I was really excited about. It was really dope. I mean a lot of really dope music on it. I was excited to get this one out, I had the idea for that song for a long time.
There’s a spot in the gospels where Jesus is talking about communion, eating His flesh, and drinking His blood. And people would roll out. He looks at His disciples like, “Well, are you all going to leave too?” And they say, “I mean, where else can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” And every time I read that, it hits me. It strikes me. So I wanted to make a song along those lines, like where else can I go? The things that I need most, what my soul needs, there’s nowhere else for me to go to get that.
In the verses, I’m playfully telling my stuff I could do. Might get me a Beamer, might throw a charity benefit, keep all the money. Might like, pretend I’m a gangster. Stuff that, a lot of it being typical rapper stuff too. But what I really need, there’s nowhere else for me to go and get it. I was excited and got to do the video too.
And then, there was one reason that song was special. It’s the first song I produced to come out.
Me and my homie, Marcel, produced that one. I started producing in the past few years. It started very strangely. I didn’t think it was going to lead to this and was just trying to write some different kinds of songs. I was like, “Well, I guess I should learn how to play at least some chords.”
Just don’t want to have to wait for people to send me something, so I started to learn that. I started to learn keys a little bit. I was like, “Oh, what if I did this?” And then it just led to me producing. So I was able to start song without having to wait on nobody to send me nothing.
Wow. So you never were an instrumentalist before? You never played anything before?
No. I mean, I made beats on FL when I was a little kid. They were terrible. I had the demo versions. You couldn’t really save them right. But now, I wish I would have. Maybe if I would’ve done music with my career, I would’ve…
Yeah, it’s a new way for me to enjoy music, to be able to play some stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Robert Glasper. It’s a new way for me, a new creative space. It almost feels in some ways like it did when I was in high school learning to rap for the first time. Or it’s like, “Oh, what if I tried this. And I could do this.” It’s just fun things to learn and explore as I’m creating. It’s just put me in a dope place creatively.
And so Ace, hooked me up with Marcel, as I was just working on some stuff. Me and him would work on a lot of stuff together. So “You Got It,” was one that I produced and he added some stuff too. And then, “Supernatural,” that we put out today, me and him co-produced that, and Juice Bangers, he added a little, sprinkled some seasoning on it too. Yeah, I’m really excited. It makes this new stuff feel a little bit even more special to me.
Yeah, that’s super dope. So now, I’m making a connection because in a visual of “Supernatural,” there’s a guy learning how to play the organ.
That’s right but that was not tied to me producing. There’s some stuff in that video. It says, “To be continued,” at the end, that I want to leave open to interpretation without over-explaining because I want people to enjoy that one and the ones that are coming next, and all that.
Okay. Timeframe- you stopped music in 2016-ish. And so, now you’ve got new stuff coming out. How long have you been writing these new songs that we’re hearing? Is it just recently? Or is it stuff you’ve been working on for a couple of years now and you’re just now finally putting it all together?
So here’s the thing. I have a folder on my phone of songs. This is not a fake. It’s just a lot of stuff. The cool things. I was just in a good place and was just making stuff for fun. I was not trying to work on music to release. And because I was dabbling with production, it was trying something new every day. And so, that’s where it started me. So yeah, some stuff is a couple of years old. Some stuff I wrote recently. Some stuff I took and changed. I was like, “Oh, I thought this was dope,” but it wasn’t, but there’s a seed of something good in there.
You were just so ready to pull out your phone and show me all your files!
My phone was just sitting there. It just happened to be. I just have this folder of bounces, that just have all this random stuff. I’m like, “Man, someday, I need to,” because there’s so much around that you remember. But it was like, I’m just in a good creative place, and then I’ll just hold on to it and see if there’s something to it later.
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So you’ve got this new project coming out. Can you give us a hint at anything else? Are you going to be producing most of the stuff on there?
Well, I haven’t said I have a new project coming out…
There’s definitely more music. I can say that for sure. I am producing a lot. Because a lot of the songs, I’ve been working on. I just started them and then, honestly, I was like, “I don’t know if this is good. I’m not a producer.” That’s another thing about the pandemic because is it was like you’re not allowed to go anywhere.
Even pastoring, I’m still at the crib. I was just having a good time. So I was just making a lot of stuff. I had health challenges during that time too, so my health is up and down.
Once I am trying to at least work on some music and I link up with Marcel, and I’m like, “Is this even good?” He’s like, “Oh, this is dope. All it needs is a little da-da-da-da.” And the stuff I’ve been vibing to, he vibed with too.
I’m not really interested in just making stuff I’ve already made or stuff that already exists. Now, whether or not I will succeed, that’s another question. But I’m very bored with just putting some random stuff out. I’m like, “I want to have something to say and I want to go somewhere different creatively. I want to put something to the world that isn’t there already.” He was on the same vibes as me.
I’m in a little psychedelic rock phase. I was listening on some random Pink Floyd stuff. And somebody would be like, “Ah, I don’t know. That’s weird.” But he wasn’t like that. All the weird stuff I mentioned, he was on tune. I feel like we were able to make some cool stuff. Yeah, I think it’s some cool stuff on the way. I’m producing a lot and working alongside others. It’s fun. It’s exciting.
So you’ve got “Supernatural” to be continued, so it’s going to be connected to something else?
That’s right. There’s definitely more music on the way. And there’s a lot of music done. So it’s not like The Waiting Room, where you’re left waiting. There’s more to come.
Talk more about “Supernatural.” Do you feel like it’s been well-received? I think a lot of people are happy you are back.
Yeah, I feel like it’s been well received. It hasn’t even been 24 hours. I’ve been encouraged. It seems like people enjoy the song. There was a lot of like, “Ah, should I put this one out, or that?”
And I’m very happy with the video. I tend to be very particular with the way I want things to happen with this video, vibes, production, all of that. We had a cover and more stuff on the way.
The two songs are very similar…For instance, in the other one, you’re talking about, “I might get a Beemer, I might stack the green…” “You Got It” is about how you’re going to put up a front, but “Supernatural” is more about trying to heal people. I feel like they talk to each other, these two songs.
I didn’t think about it like that in particular, but I see what you’re saying. Definitely want to be able to have many different angles and ways to talk about true things. I don’t want to be a one-trick pony. I want to be able to talk about important stuff in a lot of different ways. Sometimes lighthearted, sometimes serious, and sometimes emotional.
This one is the kind of song I wanted to write for a long time. It took form a little differently than how I imagined, how I wanted to write this kind of song someday. But really, really happy with how it turned out.
Well, I really appreciate the creativity in the performance too. Because you’ve got some melodic waves in there. You sound modern. I mean, you had a modern sound to you always, but this, just it fits! It doesn’t sound like, “Oh, Trip Lee from 2006, just copied and pasted this into this year.” It fits naturally. I really appreciate it. It’s really dope.
Yeah, thanks, bro. That takes work. It’s like, Hip Hop changes more than other art forms. There’s a lot of waves. In some ways, you got to learn how to write, be lyrical all over again with the way flows shift. The stuff that changes, man, I work hard at trying to…I don’t want to sound like just me from the last time I put a record out. I want to keep evolving. It’s fun too.