When one thinks of Christian hip-hop, one of the first names that comes to mind is Trip Lee. No doubt, Trip Lee has played a big role in increasing the popularity of the genre. Since his debut album in 2006, he has grown in both talent and recognition, winning the Stellar Award for Best Hip-hop Album in 2011. Trip’s fourth studio album The Good Life focuses on redefining what the “good life” really is. Concerning the new album, Trip says, “Though the world, the flesh, and the devil lie to us about what the good life is, we don’t have to be controlled by those lies…I want to challenge the lies we’ve been told, and present a new and more glorious picture.”
The album begins with Trip Lee saying, “I was told that living the good life meant getting everything I could. But I’ve been shown the brand new picture of the good life and its glories.” He then launches into a head-bobbing opener “New Dreams” which features J.R. and Sho Baraka. The first single off the album is “Robot,” a song that relates letting Satan control us as to being a “robot.” Trip firmly states that he is no longer a robot, because Jesus has freed his soul. “I’m Good” features fellow hip-hop veteran Lecrae and is definitely the main highlight on the album. Trip and Lecrae rap about not being afraid of persecution, because “to die is gain” and the Lord will reward us for standing strong through the pain.
In “War,” Trip raps about a war between Life and Death, with Jesus being the leader of the army of our army. Though it seems as if Jesus has been defeated, He conquers death, giving us eternal life. “Falling,” featuring J. Paul, is the song of someone who has fallen in sin again and has become discouraged, but the Lord picks us up every time we fall and gives us grace. “iLove” talks in an allegorical way about the addicting behavior involving.
Featuring a softer tone, “Know Me” urges everyone to truly know God. “I’m talking ‘bout the Word / Yeah, and if you don’t know Him you need to / Study His ways and they will keep you from evil.” Another highlight on the record “One Sixteen” has a strong beat and features Reach Records artists KB and Andy Mineo. They are all in the group 116 Clique whose theme (as well as the theme of this song) is about being unashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16). Trip Lee explains in “Heart Problem” that money, sex, and power are not sins in themselves, but that people use them in sinful ways.
Jimmy Needham sings with Trip Lee in “Take Me There” and both express their desire to be in heaven with the Lord. Guest singer V. Rose always provides a beautiful addition to the songs she is in, so it is nice to hear her join Trip Lee in “Beautiful Life.” Trip brings up the very serious topic of abortion and reminds us concerning the baby that “God already knows his name.” While urging people to avoid abortion, Trip also tells those who have already aborted their baby that Jesus provides healing for their pain, and forgiveness.
“Fantasy,” featuring Suzy Rock, warns us against living in a dream world and trying to gain much in this world, for “Those that gain the world only lose souls.” Andy Mineo again appears on the album, this time in “Love On Display” in which Trip expresses awe towards the amazing love of Christ. Along with Jai, Trip states in “For My Good” that although we go through trials and pain, God will work all things together for our good. Finally, the album wraps up with “Good Thing” where Trip lets his wife know how much he loves her and conveys his excitement for their future baby.
Trip Lee puts in this album everything a Christian hip-hop fan needs to greatly enjoy it! The record features both smooth and strong beats, fast and slow rhythms, and convicting and encouraging topics. One of the reasons why this album is so good is that Trip brings along popular and talented guest singers, such as Lecrae, KB, and Andy Mineo. If you like Christian hip-hop, you just can’t miss this album!