One can only imagine relocating to another city, traveling, ministering, going to school, being on your third album and lets not forget…being an artist on Reach Records. Over the last few years, life has definitely been full for our next artist who goes by the name of Trip Lee. Following the success of his latest release Between Two Worlds, Trip graciously took time out of his busy schedule to speak with Holyculture.net
Shine: Since your first album how has life changed for you?
Trip Lee: Life has changed a whole lot since album one. I wrote and recorded my first album when I was still in high school and it was a whole different time in life for me. I was expecting and praying that the Lord would provide me a platform and do things with the album, but to be honest, I never expected that He would do it like this. In 2006 when the first album came out, I definitely didn’t think it was going be anything like this. My life has changed drastically since then because I’m finishing school, I’m married now, I live in a whole different city out in Philadelphia, the Lord has widened my platform, I’m part of a different church and it’s a whole different season of life. The Lord has done so much between then and now and I’m grateful just to be along for the ride.
Shine: Why did you entitle the album Between Two Worlds?
Trip Lee: I wanted to make an album that just dealt with life and life situations. Things that we deal with everyday, I wanted to make a more reflective album, so this album is really more of a reflection on life, and the things we deal with. It’s zooming in on life in a fallen world. We live in a world that’s fallen and broken by sin. You know, how do we with deal with life now? How do we deal with relationships when we sin against each other? If you’re a believer, how do we deal the fact that your trying not to look at every young lady that passes by, but it’s hard not to. How do we deal with that? I decided to talk about things that we wrestle through and point to the scriptures and reflect on them and point to Jesus as the Hero. So I chose the title Between Two Worlds because it’s kind of where I find myself.
Shine: You have a track on the album called I love Music. Was music a significant tool that the Lord would use to lead you to him?
Trip Lee: Yeah, I would say that the Lord used music more than preaching in my early walk with Him. I remember listening to Cross Movement thinking to myself that I learned more off of this album than I did in church. (Laughs) They were so adamant about keeping Jesus in their rhymes and helping people understand the character and person of Jesus. I was blown away by that stuff. I remember when I first got Christology and Moment of Truth they both had a six month reign in my CD player because that’s all I listened to. The Lord has used music tremendously in my life because I’ve always loved it. I saw how it impacted me so I was glad to put it to work and ask the Lord to give grace to me to use it to help change other people’s lives as well.
Shine: You’ve got another song on the album called Covenant Eyes which is a favorite of mine. (Laughs) But for the readers who may not have heard the album, can you explain the concept behind that song?
Trip Lee: Covenant Eyes comes from Job 31:1 when Job said that he has made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon a woman lustfully. The song really encourages us to watch what were looking at. To not look at young ladies or just ladies of the opposite sex in a way that’s lustful because that displeases the Lord. If he or she is not your spouse then the Lord doesn’t desire you to look at them in a lustful way. Yet it can be really hard not to. Naturally what happens in our heart is that we want to look and take it in but it doesn’t please God and it’s not the plan that God has for us. He put sexual desires in a certain context where not only would it be most enjoyed but it would also bring him Glory.
Shine: How has the response been on this album as opposed to the other two?
Trip Lee: The response has been amazing. I’ve really been blown away and excited how people have responded to it. I’ve never gotten a bad response on the other two albums either and I praise God for that. With this album I’ve really been blown away because it seems like more people are buying it. When you start seeing your album chart it excites you and it means that more people are getting that truth in there system and you can’t help but be really excited about it. Some people have not been as excited about the new direction musically but that has been a minority. I hope people can stick with me and give me grace to evolve and grow as an artist then hopefully I can keep given them what they love and new stuff as well.
Shine: What was the process like putting together the The Invasion video?
Trip Lee: Well, once we decided on the The Invasion as the single we were just thinking through on who we wanted to do the video. There were a lot of people we had in mind and I really wanted Sho Baraka to write a treatment for it because I just really like how he thinks and how he works thru videos. I wanted the message of the song to be clear and I wanted it to look cool. Sho is really good with putting stories together so he came up with his treatment and his story line and I really liked it. We wanted him to team up with another director and he chose the director that he wanted to work with and they did an amazing job. We came and we did a two day shoot and when I say two days I’m not talking about 9 to 5 I’m talking about 8 am to 10 pm…
Trip Lee: It was some long hot days which were not very enjoyable in Nashville, (Laughs) but overall it was a great time. My sister and wife made cameos in the video and my booking agent also. We were trying to be resourceful and they did a great job. I was really happy with it.
Shine: Do you teach regularly?
Trip Lee: Yeah, I do teach regularly in a couple different ways. I teach sometimes at my church, either on a Sunday at the worship gathering if my pastor is taking a week off. He might want someone to preach and it may not be one of the other pastors. I teach in some of our membership classes at our church as well. In addition to that sometimes people bring me out to preach at maybe a conference, retreat, or even at their church and I love to preach and teach. If someone said to me today that we have an event for you and you can either rap or preach, I would preach one thousand times over…
Trip Lee: I love preaching because it’s clearly an opportunity to open the bible and say this is what God says, this is who God is, this is the way that God would have us to respond to his word and this is what Jesus made possible at the Cross. I love rapping and I believe in what the Lord is doing through it but if I had to choose, I would choose preaching the word of God because it’s really my primary passion. I’m looking forward to that one day the Lord would give me grace to help pastor a flock and to be able to open and preach the word of God to the same people as me.
Shine: Now you’re in school — How important do you think it is to have the degree as opposed to someone saying I’m called to preach and then they just got out and do what they want to do?
Trip Lee: (Pauses) Ok, well first I’ll separate the two pieces. Educating yourself in the scriptures is of the utmost importance whether that comes thru bible college, seminary or some other kind of intentional training. It’s necessary for you to be trained in the scriptures if you’re going to serve the Lord in anyway because if you say that God said, then He better have said it. The Word isn’t something to be played around with and it’s impossible to lead people to God without knowing his Word. Educating yourself in the Word is very important. For me, the best way at the time was to do it thru a bible college and I still think that’s a great way, but there are other ways too. Other ways like brothers pouring into me, this internship that I’m doing, thru my pastors also. Some of the greatest known pastors like Spurgeon didn’t have any training what so ever. He didn’t go to anybody’s college or seminary, this dude was just in the scripture.
Trip Lee: His dad and his grandfather were pastors too and they had all these books and from the age of nine he was just in there reading all of these books getting trained up. So I would say, that piece of paper, the degree itself is not in the bible. It’s not needed to be a pastor but… the education is needed so the best place to do that may be Bible College or seminary for you. You just need to weigh out your situation.
Shine: Ok, well what are some things the readers may not know about Trip?
Trip Lee: (Pauses) I will whoop anybody in the world in NBA 2K10…
Trip Lee: So if anybody challenges me on PS3 I would advise you to tread softly because you might get hurt. (Laughs) And the second thing that people may not know about me is that I’m an introvert. So I’m more calm and laid back, yet people may think that I’m shy when they first meet me. I like to kind of figure out what’s going on before people get the full me. Sometimes people meet me at concerts and I’m kind of laid back so I hope people don’t take it the wrong way, it’s just my personality.
Shine: Well Trip, we want to thank you for taking this time out to speak with Holyculture.net. Congrats on the album and continued success.