It took some time and faith but the recipe for infusing Christianity and hip hop is finally here with the emergence of Reach Records' own 116 Clique. With his first No. 1 album on both the Gospel and Billboard 200 Charts, Lecrae has already proven that hip hop as we knew it has changed. His former protégé Trip Lee is up next with his fifth album, Rise, to reiterate their message.
“With Lecrae, he’s being himself. He’s being honest. He’s talking about God. He’s talking about faith. He’s talking about issues in America,” Trip Lee told BET.com. "I mean, he’s talking about life stuff and I think that says there are people who want to hear something different.”
Rapping about their love for Christ is what Trip Lee and Lecrae do best. They have been on a mission to offer a different sound in hip hop since they met, when Trip was still a teen and he decided to devote his life to Christ while pursuing his passion for becoming a hip hop artist. But for Trip, who also recently became ordained as a pastor, being a rapper and loving God doesn’t mean that he adheres to the “Christian rapper” label.
“When people ask me what I call myself, I am not going to say 'Christian rapper,' because what they think of when they hear Christian rap is something very different from what I do,” he said. “They think of some Christian rap album they heard 10 years ago that is extremely corny, they don’t think of somebody who loves hip hop and is also Christian and makes dope music.”
Trip Lee’s Rise drops on Oct. 27. Watch the video below to hear him talk about his new sound, the message behind the album and a possible 116 Clique tour.
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(Photos from left: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Gospel Music Association, Angela Weiss/BET/Getty Images for BET)