If many of us could, we’d live in bigger houses, drive nicer cars and wear more appealing clothes and shoes. If there were no consequences, we’d follow our impulses and desires to wherever they led us. Let’s be honest, we wish we had movie-star millions. That way, we could buy the lives we want. We could finally live the good life. Not a care in the world.
But what if all that glitters is not gold and all that is gold doesn’t glitter to our eyes? Maybe the rich and famous and the dreams that rule our brains are just telling us lies. If so, what’s the truth? Are these gated communities, full of compounds lining concrete leading to bricks stacked high with stucco out wide, really prisons where those inside are free to do everything but truly thrive? Then, maybe those of us who seem to have less really have more. Perhaps we just need a new perspective; a new vision needs to be found. We need someone to show us, “the good life is the life that’s been laid down.”
On Trip’s fourth album, The Good Life, he does just that. While exploring what the world, the flesh and the devil promote as the ultimate life, he presents the most glorious living—life found in Jesus. The album opens with “New Dreams”, featuring J.R. and Sho Baraka, which is an awakening to the reality that chasing selfish ambitions will keep us from the abundant life God desires for us all. Trip follows with the freeman anthems “Robot” and “I’m Good” featuring Lecrae, which boast in liberty, contentment and security found in Christ. On “Fantasy”, featuring Suzy Rock, Trip carefully exposes the dream world we either live in or long for and the nightmare it will turn out to be. Other collaborations with KB, Andy Mineo, Jimmy Needham, V. Rose and many others, celebrate the beauty of life brought about by the true emancipator, the creator and revealer of all that is good. While production from Dirty Rice, Alex Medina, G-Styles and Joseph Prielozny provide a glorious backdrop for the satisfaction of life in Christ.
Imagine the sweetest dreams. Peace despite peril. Triumph throughout time. Recovery after failure. No counterfeit gods. Guided by truth and not lies. Unashamed existence. Enjoying creation, yet not more than Creator. Hope of an eternal dwelling place where love reigns and souls are satisfied.
Picture this: The Good Life.
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Pressure creates diamonds and the fire refines the gold| Posted April 14, 2012
Trip Lee first made waves on Lecrae’s breakout hit, Jesus Muzik. After putting out three albums, he proved that he has what it takes to stand on his own. Now he returns with The Good Life, cementing his place as one of CHH’s top artists. But does he deserve that credit?
The album opens with the moody New Dreams which features Sho Baraka and J.R. Immediately you can hear the leap in maturity between this and Trip’s last album. New Dreams sets an epic vibe for the rest of album while Trip and Sho Baraka rap about what the good life really means. The song hits home when Trip proclaims “The good life is the life that’s been laid down”.
Robot, the first single from the album, is next. Much like Tedashii’s Dum Dum, this is a love-it-or-hate-it song. Some people may find the mechanical robot beat and high pitched voice annoying, but personally, I loved it.
In I’m Good Lecrae makes his typical appearance, and what an appearance it is. Originally Trip and ‘Crae had written a different song, but scrapped it because it wasn’t up to their standard. The result is what is sure to be a CHH classic for years to come. Trip and Lecrae use this track to talk about martyrdom, and being willing to die for the gospel. As Lecrae says in the hook, “Pressure creates diamonds and fire refines the gold.” It is a song that invokes courage to the listener and hopefully will cause them to think about how far they are willing to go for the good news of Jesus Christ.
War, a song that samples Dustin Kensrue’s ‘This Is War’, may take some people off guard when they first hear it. The chipmunked hook proclaims “This is war like you’ve never seen. The winter’s long and it’s cold to me.” After listening to it several times, the track grew on me and is one of my favorite songs on the album.
Fallin’, featuring J. Paul, continues the streak of great songs. This is one of Trip’s mellowest tracks to date. Like Covenant Eyes before it, he speaks about his ongoing war against lust and its consequences. Towards the end of the song the lyrics of the chorus change from repentant to hopeful, allowing for contemplation before heading into the next track.
iLove may be the most provocative song on the album. Trip speaks of technology as if it were a girlfriend. With lines like “I told her if she ain’t gonna let me meditate, then for my sake, we gotta separate” and “Weighted thoughts are pushed out by her light shows”, iLove is by far the most interesting song Trip has put out.
During the next song Know Me, Trip speaks about the Bible from the perspective of the Bible. It’s an interesting twist that may be confusing to some. It’s a good song (I can’t get enough of the broken record hook), but it’s one of the weakest on the album, lyrically and musically.
I’m sure that when Trip released the tracklisting for this album, most everyone turned their attention to One Sixteen. Featuring fast spitting label mates, KB and Andy Mineo, One Sixteen was one of the most hyped CCH tracks in recent memory, and it definitely delivered, just not in the way I was expecting. The beat is more reminiscent of Envy from the Man Up project (which also featured KB and Andy Mineo) than something like Lecrae’s 40 Deep. Trip’s opening verse is overshadowed by the other rappers’ flows. Andy Mineo’s verse in particular is unstoppable; an instant classic. He delivers possibly the best line on the album: “When you heard a story ‘bout the hero dying for the villain?” All in all, One Sixteen is an album highlight, and is sure to be considered one of the year’s best by year end.
Heart Problem, an experimental banger, speaks about how money, sex and power were gifts from God, corrupted by men. Those things are not evil within themselves; the real problem resides in our hearts. While the flow and beat are impressive, the once again chipmunked vocals throughout the song detract from it, keeping it from reaching its full potential as an album highlight.
Trip’s last song with Jimmy Needham left a lot to be desired, but luckily Take Me There fixes this problem. The jazzy song sounds like it could be a Bruno Mars b-side. While not one of the strongest songs musically, the lyrics are hopeful and a fun listen.
V. Rose. lends a stunning chorus to Beautiful Life, a song about abortion. Trip admits in the first verse that he “can’t quite tell you that he understands your pain”, but he does a fine job relating to every side. He addresses the mother, the father, and people who regret their past actions. The idea to add a brief children’s chorus in the verses pays off well, making this one of the most beautiful songs Trip has ever written. It’s hard trying not to tear up while listening to this.
In Fantasy, which could be considered New Dreams (Pt. II), Trip contrasts the rich and famous and their picture of the good life with the life God intended for them. The song is too mellow for me, and I would have loved to hear Suzy Rock spit a verse (which I know she is capable of) rather than hear her silky smooth vocals on the chorus. This is my least favorite song on The Good Life.
First there was Lecrae’s Background, then there was Tedashii’s Reverse, now Andy Mineo gets a chance to shine with Trip Lee on the haunting Love On Display. His chorus is amazing, proving that he is one of the most versatile performers out there. Love On Display reflects on Christ’s death on the cross, painting a beautiful picture of his suffering. I get chills every time I listen to it.
Rounding out the album are 80’s throwback For My Good and Good Thing. Neither are anything special (I found For My Good out of place and annoying). If it were up to me, I would have left both songs out completely.
The Good Life is easily Trip Lee’s best album so far. He continues to mature and experiment as an artist, standing toe to toe with his peers. The lyrics are excellent, the beats are exciting, and the production feels fresh. Even if you aren’t a fan of rap, there’s enough here to satisfy everyone. Don’t pass up The Good Life. It’s the album to beat this year.
Trip Lee's Best Album| Posted August 24, 2013
This album is by far Trip Lee's best album, musically and lyrically.
The first song is New Dreams, featuring JR and Sho Baraka. This song is the perfect opener about what Trip Lee thought the good life was, and what it really is. JR's voice is beautiful on the chorus. The production is also amazing. Next is the single Robot, about how we're all born slaves to the world, and how Jesus can free us from our 'robot' bodies. This also fit the theme perfectly. I'm Good is a really good song about hw the world can't hurt our spirits as Christians. This features Lecrae, and is arguably one of the best songs on the album. The production of this is also really good. War is the 4th song, and once again this song is also above average. The majority of the album is above average. Fallin featuring J Paul follows War. This is about when Christians sin. You really feel what Trip feels, and the message is clear. The production is great. J Paul's voice is amazing, and adds to the feeling. J Paul (for those that don't know) was on Lecrae's Just Like You. Following is iLove, about phone addictions. A song like this is needed nowadays, and challenges anyone. It's really creative how he personified his phone as a girlfriend. Next is "Know Me," a game-turned song, where he gives 'clues' as to who he is pretending to be. By the end he reveals that he was posing as the Bible, although it is made clear before the end. I didn't enjoy this one, and felt like it was a filler. However, many say it has an old school feel, and I can't disagree. This is the first weak song on the album. There aren't too many on this album though. After is One Sixteen, the Reach Records anthem on this allbum. It's really fun and catchy. Trip's verse is dope enough by itself, but the song is made just that more awesome with KB and Andy Miineo on it. This is one of the highlights along with I'm Good. After is Heart Problem, which adresses the fact that money, sex, and power aren't bad on their own, but when we abouse or misuse them, that's when they become a sin. Following is another highlight, "Take Me There" featuring the heavenly vocals of Jimmy Needham. He is placed beautifully on this track, and it really gives off the feel about longing for heaven, and not being able to wait to get there. Beautiful Life follows this, and is an important song with abortion being popular nowadays. He adresses that issue. V Rose's vocals add a lot to it, and fit beautifully with the message. The production is also really good. Next is Fantasy featuring Suzy Rock about how many people are living (or trying to live) the american dream, which is a fantasy, and not the true good life. The production on this is also to boast about. Love On Display, song number 13, really gets one worshipping. It features Andy Mineo on the Chorus. Song number 14 is For My Good featuring Jai. Jai is a great singer (Lecrae's God Is Enough, Thi'sl- Hope Road, Trip Lee- The Invasion). This song is about how God won't have us go through anything unless it's good for us. Last;y is Good Thing, a song about Trip's wife, featuring Leah Smith. I didn't feel this one, although Leah Smith is an amazing singer. Buy this album asap