The Good Life by Trip Lee

I used to balk at the idea at Christian rap, but now I love it.  I have respect for what these guys are trying to do, and they are genuinely good musicians with a good ear for great music.  The 116 Clique (a group of Christian rappers from Dallas signed to Reach Records) in particular has reached a broad audience, using rap as a medium for real talk about Scripture and how it guides us through the realities of life, with Christ as the center of each song.

I had never listened to Trip Lee before this album.  My only other experiences with Christian rap were Lecrae and Tedashii, so Lee had a lot to live up to.  The Good Life is the most creative I’ve heard yet.  Lecrae’s Rehab was more poppy with a lot of synths and catchy hooks.  As a result, he made music that was accessible to and beloved by a wide variety of people.  Tedashii’s Blacklight was more akin to traditional hip-hop and rap, barreling along with more strength and gusto than Rehab.  The Good Life uses stranger samples and production, and it’s a more chill album than the other two.  All in all, it’s my favorite Christian rap album so far.  All three have insightful lyrics and great beats, but Trip Lee has made a unique and strong album across the board.

It seems silly to write about an album like The Good Life, which deals with a lot of hard subjects, like abortion and poverty.  What do I know of any of this?  My life has been so easy.  I don’t think I’m the target audience of this album.  But that doesn’t mean these songs don’t reach me where I live too.  The point is that a good life isn’t necessarily the easy one, but a life lived under the grace of Christ.  Lee’s sincerity is obvious, but it’s his deep levels of creativity that have allowed him to share that sincerity with us in the form of great music.

Favorite songs: “One Sixteen” “Take Me There” “Good Thing”

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