SFPL Exclusive Interview: Trip Lee Talks Mainstream Hip-Hop, Taylor Swift, Lecrae and more…


In the pack of fresh, and talented christian rappers, comes a Fly individual by the name of Trip Lee. This God-fearing individual is no stranger to many, but may be new to some. Check out our exclusive interview below…

Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Trip was the one to watch even since the tender age of 16, coming from the music home of Reach Records — co-owned by Billboard 200 chart-topping artist, Lecrae . To add to his list of creds, Trip was nominated for two Dove Awards and won a Stellar Award for Best Hip Hop Album in 2011, based off his 2010 album, ‘Between Two Worlds.’ After a long hiatus, Trip is now back to reclaim his throne of positivity, and bring the realness of life back to music; speaking on issues that he feels is untold. If you didn’t know he was back, just check his recent official visual, “Shweet” from his new album ‘Rise’ below…

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Trip’s Interview 

What have you been up to?

I just had a new album come out on Monday called ‘Rise.’ It’s my 5th record and I’ve been working on it for a little over a year and I think its my best work yet and I’m excited about it.

You have released a lot of music. What keeps you going to stay on track?

One of the things is love for music. Even though I just finished this record I just feel the urge to write. Even though I’m battling the stuff that come with a new release like, pride and insecurities and stuff like that. I’ll get 1,000 comments on Twitter and that one review saying, “I didn’t like this one part of that song” makes me go, “ugh”. But even as I think about that, it still makes me want to write. That’s just how I express myself, I love hip-hop. I just heard Logics album and its dope and that is what inspires me to keep going. I just have love for the art form.

How hard was it for you to make the transition from church music that taught you what you know, to making Christian Hip-Hop?

I think it’s a change that is still happening. I think it a thing that happens with mainstream Hip-Hop and with Christian circles. Christians are like, ‘oh, y’all are Christians too, but it’s a little too much Hip-hop for us. When we think Hip-Hop, we think other stuff. So we don’t know what to do with y’all’.  Mainstream Hip-Hop is also like, ‘y’all are Hip-Hop but we don’t know what to do with y’all either. Y’all talk about God a lot but we don’t know if people want to hear that or not’. I feel like we are stuck in the middle. What is happening is older folks recognize that we are not faking and pretending to be Christians, they see that I love God, I’m married to my wife and faithful to her. Then Hip-Hop is like, ‘oh they can spit and they are dope’. As it goes along further people get a better look at it and realize that it isn’t what they thought it was at first.

You know it’s hard for any Christian rapper to hit the top of the charts. Do you feel the pressure to get there since Lecrae has officially hit the #1 mark?

Just the excitement I feel for him because that’s my dude, and it’s like 10 years later. We came a long way and we never would’ve thought…and he did it. He did it, being himself. I’m like dang I wanna do that too, but Taylor Swift has dropped as well, so that’s not going to happen (lol). But I want my music to be there too but I cant assume that that is the only thing that success looks likes.There is always going to be someone who is more successful than you.

Lecrae can be looking and comparing himself to what Taylor Swift’s numbers will be looking like in her first week of sales, and Taylor Swift could be looking back and comparing her numbers to what people used to do back in the day. We can drive ourselves crazy for our entire lives because there is always going to be somebody to do something that you haven’t done yet and if that’s how I measure success then I’m going to drive myself crazy and I’ll never be content. Instead, I make it about making the best kind of music that I can and trying to impact lives in the way that I do.


What made you go the positive route instead of mainstream Hip-Hop?

It’s because its what I’m passionate about. When I sit down and write, it’s hard for me to write about nothing. I think and I’m a thinker. It is about what music has been for me. Music is more than something to turn-up to at a party, its something deeper than that. Not only do I enjoy it and it makes me bob my head and dance, but it also makes me think. It’s an incredible work or art that I get to appreciate. That effects how I approach my music. I want to give people what other people gave me. There is some music that I listen to and it gives me a new perspective on life, it makes me change the way I think about life. There are not a lot of MC’s who will not use their music to talk about things that matter.

I can listen to turn-up and ratchet music on the radio and enjoy it, but I need some variety. In hip hop I would be sad if I were in a place where I could only talk about this fantasy world where everyone is rich and we are at the strip clubs every night and we have all of these women. Can we talk about real life? That isn’t anyone’s life. Can we talk about hard stuff we are dealing with? Can we talk about God? I am married and I have kids. Can I talk about that? Or do I have to pretend that I have baby mama drama because that’s the only picture we get. Can we leave space for what life actually looks like and for different people with different perspectives? I think we have to if Hip-Hop is going to survive, otherwise it is going to heartless and fake and it is going to die off. Those things are not what made Hip-Hop what it is.

What can we expect from you in the future?

One thing I am trying to do with this record is to make a fresh sound. Kind of like when you listen to a classic hip hop record and it has a specific sound to it, that’s what I am trying to do with my sound; make it unique. The producer that I am working with is named Gawvi, and we wanted to create a sound influenced by soul samples from early 2000’s Hip-Hop but make it sound like now. We created out own vocal sample to make it feel current and fresh. Like Kendrick Lamar’s new record, “I”, it doesn’t sound like anything else. It doesn’t sound like what you regularly hear on the radio. Its sounds new and fresh. That what you can expect from me- a new sound and music that will make you think. Its music that challenges you to make you think about you life and think about god. I plan to use my music to make people think.

What’s fly to you?

Dope music is a huge part of my life. It’s hard for me to go 5 seconds without having to hear dope music. I love clothes and fashion too. Family is definitely fly! I think Hip-Hop is missing more images of family.

What’s the one piece of clothing that you can leave home without?

No matter what I have on, my kicks got to be right and everything has to fit properly.


It was so good to speak with Trip here at SFPL! Great interview!

Photos by Bernard “Beanz” Smalls

Purchase ‘Rise’ on iTunes HERE.

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