Trip Lee may have a baby face and a youthful affinity for rocking his cap to the back, but dude is seriously wise beyond his years.
Though Trip is probably known best for the silky, southern, hip-hop drawl that he lays on tracks as a Reach Records artist and founding member of Lecrae & Co.'s 116 Clique, there is so much more. He's a preacher, a teacher, a blogger and - as of last May - an author.
Trip is a crazy amalgam of sorts - the twenty-something multi-hyphenate who would rather spend evenings at home studying the Word with his wife than engage in any of the fruitless behavior that society suggests a man of his age is "supposed" to be doing.
And that's just how he likes it.
See, Trip has big plans. He wants to finish his degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Boyce College. He wants to pastor a church, and he wants to write a few New York Times bestsellers. More importantly, though, he wants to brag on His Lord (as the title of his blog implies) and show the world how awesome He really is.
As for the dope rhymes and the hot beats? They're just a vehicle. A means to utilize his God-given talents en route to a Christ-focused end.
According to his official bio, Trip was a boy in Dallas when he decided to pursue rap as his lifetime hustle. He started tightening his skills, but there was absolutely no substance in the delivery. "I rapped about random stuff-how hot I was or how many girls I could pull," Trip said.
Everything changed, however, when Trip accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at age 14. "One day, I just decided I'm only doing music that honors God," he said. "Rappers like Ambassador and Da Truth helped provide a model for how I would begin to do that." And it was all a whirlwhind after that.
"In 2004, Trip met Lecrae at a concert; months later, after talking and building with each other, Lecrae began to disciple him," reads his bio. "While still in high school, Trip was given the opportunity to pen a few devotionals for the Reach Records website that dealt with theological matters. Trip would then sign with Reach Records, and his debut album, If They Only Knew, hit stores nationwide a few days after his high school graduation. His first full-length album introduced hip-hop fans to his distinct southern sound, unique delivery and gospel-saturated lyrics. That same year, Trip was also featured on the Dove Award-nominated, timeless classic "Jesus Muzik" with label mate Lecrae."
Trip has since released his second and third studio albums (20/20 and Between Two Worlds, respectively), all the while gaining more fans, more accolades, more awards. With his fourth project, The Good Life, Trip also dropped his first literary work, bearing the same title.
The Good Life book is a pointed critique of the mainstream and its influence over the masses, and a direct call to action for folks to learn the truth, turn and go in the other direction.
"I think we've been lied to," Trip writes in the opening pages of The Good Life. "No one wants to be deceived, but we have and we didn't even notice it. They told us that the good life means seeking our own happiness at all costs. They taught us that our goal should be a life free from worries. And we believed them."
Trip has been down that road himself, he writes. Listening to his favorite rappers, he once found himself fantasizing over the materialistic conquests they glorified - the cars, the money, the girls. So his tome is no whip-cracking, back-breaking how-to. Trip's advice is gift-wraped in loving compassion and delivered in an intelligent, yet digestible, way that should easily resonate with readers.
Cause let's be honest: If anyone is living the good life, Trip Lee certainly is.