I’ve followed Trip Lee for a few years now and have seen much growth in the artist from Dallas, Texas. From If They Only Knew, to 20/20 to Between Two Worlds Trip Lee drops, The Good Life and shows that his craft gets better with time and that he can hold his own with his heavyweight label mate, Lecrae!
Favorites: I’m Good, Fallin’, Beautiful Life, Love On Display
Best Production: iLove, Heart Problem, Good Thing
1. New Dreams (feat. Sho Baraka & J.R.)
Seems like a formula to success these days is a J.R. hook. I am a huge fan of his and his unique soulful voice fits perfect on this song. The biggest reward for me on this track is Sho Baraka‘s verse. Using a rhyming scheme that is reminiscent of Young Money artist Drake. Sho effectively spits what the good life truly is compared to what others see it as. The line, “True Religion in my genes so stop guessing” is brilliant and is just a small portion of what the MC’s have to offer lyrically on this track. The overall message of this song is, once you submit to Christ your dreams will change. You will find new purpose. I can identify with this song. Great song but on the downside I feel like this song doesn’t flow well with the rest of the album. Somewhat sounds like this is a left over track from his previous effort Between Two Worlds. Overall solid start to this project though!
Robot was the first single that I heard and I immediately fell in love with the production. This is the type of track that you can bump while cruising down the freeway and believe the bass hits hard. Production wise this is a pretty tight track. Lyrically Trip does a good job articulating the message of not being a robot who conforms to the world. The repetition of the hook gets a little bit annoying at times but I don’t think it takes too much away from an otherwise solid track. This is definitely a song that the younger crowd can enjoy and appreciate.
3. I’m Good (feat. Lecrae)
I’m Good is one of my favorite songs on The Good Life. It delivers both production wise and lyrically. It hits on many topics such as, dying to self, going through trials, tribulations and persecution. Lecrae and Trip tell us no matter what comes against and no matter how many people attack us if we are walking with Jesus we are GOOD! Reminds me of 1 John 4:4 when it says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world”. We will be persecuted for living for Christ but what matters is that God will always have his hands of protection around us. For that I can say, “I’m Good”.
Trip slows it down a little on War but continues to produce lyrically. This song possesses some nice R&B-style melodies in the chorus that contribute to a very chilled/laid back song for its provocative title. The chorus, “When life and death go to battle, ain’t no tellin’ what’ll happen” really gets your mind thinking about the daily battle we as Christians go through. This track is somewhat forgettable when you compare it to the rest of The Good Life but by no means does it disappoint!
5. Fallin’ (J. Paul)
Trip Lee definitely brings a little conviction to the table with this song. I can identify with what he is ministering on this track. Everyone at times gets caught up in sin and falls to temptation. I know for me it’s always been women who “get me”. This song isn’t boxed in just to sexual sin or lust, it can really be related to any sin or temptation that we may face. Trip effectively illustrates that no matter what we do we can still fall to our knees and submit to Christ. Why? Because he died for our sins on the cross. J. Paul’s smooth hook fits perfectly with this song. It isn’t over the top and it really makes you reflect on the fall and then the subsequent submission! I’m a big production head and the strings in the background of this song really adds to the emotions of the lyrics.
This is one of the best tracks production wise on this project. I love how the production slowly builds till it really takes off during the chorus. What Trip does lyrically shows that he is a heavyweight MC who can hold his own against any other MC whether they are a Christian rapper or not. Trip compares his technilogical device to a girl! He further illustrates the dangers of technology and how it can become an addiction to us. In the age of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram we can find ourselves spending less and less time away from God and away from real people and relationships. Nothing more can really be said because Trip effectively compares and contrasts this issue in this song. This may be one of the biggest risks of The Good Life but with great risk comes big payoffs and this song definitely paid off for Trip.
7. Know Me
Have you ever heard of a filler song? To me that is what this was. It kind of disappoints me because up to this point I haven’t even thought about hitting the skip button. Seems that this track somewhat has no clear focus and I think the production is sub-par. This isn’t a bad song but to me it really doesn’t fit with the rest of the project!
8. One Sixteen (feat. KB & Andy Mineo)
The only negative thing about this track is the hook isn’t anything memorable. But what shines here are the verses delivered from KB & Andy Mineo who are two of the fastest rappers out today! Anyone unfamiliar with the 116 reference it comes from Romans 1:16 which says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” Reach Records artists’ have always embraced this and this song further illustrates why they do what they do. This in addition to Robot are definitely the certified “bangers” of The Good Life.
9. Heart Problem
“Money, Sex and Power” are the first words you hear and may surprise you coming from a Christian artist like Trip Lee. Trip uses this song to explain his stance on certain issues and respond to criticism that he has received over the years. This is a daring effort that could take negative feedback but I’m glad Trip went this direction and wish I would see more artists do this. Trip explains that things are good or bad based on your heart. Money, sex, and power can be good if brought about by God and good motives, while they can be detrimental if your heart’s in the wrong places. I really feel that he does a great job putting things into perspective! In addition to the lyrics, the beats are solid, complemented by an awesome delivery by Trip.
10. Take Me There (feat. Jimmy Needham)
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Jimmy Needham so I really wasn’t too sure how much I was going to like this song. Jimmy brings in a hook that is reminiscent of Gavin Degraw that fits in perfectly with this feel good track. Trip delivers a real funky bridge which adds the extra flavor to an already enjoyable song. This song is nothing over the top but the message is potent. As Christians we should strive for heaven. Heaven should always be the habit of our heart! This song definitely outshines some of Trip and Jimmy’s previous collaborations!
11. Beautiful Life (feat. V. Rose)
I’m going to start off by saying that V. Rose has one of the most beautiful voices out there right now! She is amazing and I feel that this song wouldn’t have been as great without her. These are the topics I like to hear talked about. I’m so sick of hearing a whole album about, “how hard you stunt for God”, “how holy you are” and the list goes on. No one talks about real issues that real people struggle with. I love how Trip addresses both the female and male perspective and then ministers to those who have had abortions and offers freedom for the bondage of that decision. I personally can’t relate to this song but I know it will speak to many and deliver them from the weight of what they carry around.
12. Fantasy (feat. Suzy Rock)
I knew that Suzy Rock was a beast on the mic when it came to being a MC but I never knew that she could sing also. Well if you’ve listened to this song you know she possesses smooth vocals that compliment this song perfectly. Trip returns to the theme of The Good Life on here and compares and contrasts what the world sees as the good life and what the kingdom sees what the good life is. This is a cautionary song against chasing the tangible things of this world. Ultimately, Trip explains that Jesus is the only thing which can fill the void in our soul, that He is the true reality. Reality isn’t what it seems. Wow. I know I’ve said this a few times during my review but this also is one of my favorite songs on the album.
13. Love On Display (feat. Andy Mineo)
Andy Mineo returns to assisst on another song on this track. I love how this song perfectly flows in right after Fantasy. We finally get to hear the voice that captured everyone’s attention on Lecrae’s “Background”. Andy Mineo a.k.a C-Lite takes a break from rapping and delivers a much anticipated hook with his amazing vocals. I think this is the one time on the album that the chorus actually outshines the verses, which is an impressive feat when you have a lyricist like Trip who is at the A-game that we have heard throughout the album. These two effectively illustrate how Christ showed us how much he loves us. Nothing more can be written about this other than this pairing will leave you thinking and most possibly on your knees thanking God.
14. For My Good (feat. Jai)
For this song and Robot I can respect Trip Lee for his ability to reach for a different sound as he embraces a very dance/futuristic sound. If you are looking for that futuristic sound there’s no one better to bring in for the hook than Jai. One setback I have about this song is that it sounds very close to the Lecrae song which Jai sang on, “God Is Enough” off of the Rehab album. Not sure how well this fits with the other songs but nevertheless it provides something different to the listeners.
15. Good Thing (feat. Leah Smith)
I love brass so I obviously love this track. Production on this one is pretty solid and Trip’s vocals fit perfectly. I’m encouraged by artists like Da T.R.U.T.H. (Cherished) P-Dub (Angel) and now Trip Lee on this track. It’s the perfect love song to his wife and it further illustrates that when God bless us with a wife he blesses us with something great and we should cherish it. Not sure if this is the best track to end the project with as I feel the finale track should be epic, but this is still a great song!
Overall I really feel that Trip Lee has secured himself as one of the Top 5 rappers in Christian Hip-Hop with this project. I’ve always been a fan of his music but The Good Life is on a whole new level. There are a few tracks on here such as War and Know Me that feel out of place but that is only because of the high quality and perfect flow of the project as a whole. This is a project that I encourage you to share with everyone you come into contact with. I look forward to seeing where Trip Lee goes next with his music. He is definitely anointed man of God and I ask that you all keep him prayed up and covered as he walks through his ministry. Here is a pitch to the brass at Reach Records. How about you show Kanye and Jay how it’s really done and have Lecrae and Trip Lee do a full album together. Well my time is up. Hope that this album blesses you as much as it blessed me!