Through his music and message, Christian rap artist Trip Lee wants to encourage, equip and engage students with the truth of the gospel.
Named by Christianity Today as “1 of 33 millennials shaping evangelicalism,” Lee realizes the importance of reaching teenagers for Christ because of the transformation that took place in his own life during those pivotal years.
“I remember being unsure of what being a Christian was about, because everyone I knew said they were a Christian,” Lee said. “I knew people who loved Jesus and said they were Christians, and I knew people who really didn’t care about Jesus and said they were Christians.
“It was confusing for me, so I assumed that I was a Christian from a young age because I repeated a prayer that I recited from a children’s pastor. But in reality, I might as well have been reciting a newspaper. They were empty words to me, because I didn’t understand the meaning behind them.
“But when I had the gospel explained to me as a teenager and I understood the implications on my life, I had an incredible desire to know God and point other people to His Word. I had already started rapping and after my life began to change I wanted to use my music to communicate truth and point people to Jesus. I started to rap about stuff that matters. I signed my record deal when I was a senior in high school and my first record came out right after I graduated.”
Sources of inspiration
Despite battling chronic fatigue syndrome, Lee keeps a busy touring schedule and also serves as a teaching pastor at Cornerstone Church, Atlanta.
“My songs come from all different places,” Lee said. “Life experiences inspire these songs — the ups and downs of life, along with the hope that I have in Jesus in the midst of circumstances and challenges. Battling chronic fatigue syndrome has really made life difficult the past few years. I try to be open about the brokenness and difficulties, but I also share about being really hopeful because of the sweet victory I have in Jesus and knowing that this isn’t how it will always be. I want to use my experiences to encourage others.”
By sharing his personal struggles with audiences, Lee wants to offer hope and encouragement while leading others to Christ.
“I think that music is such a gift from God,” Lee said. “I want to combine these songs with a message that challenges people and makes them think about their life and relationship with Christ. God made us and put us in the big story that He is telling. During concerts, I hope to encourage people of all ages to rise up and live out their story for God.”
“Years ago I met a guy at a concert who had been an atheist and was angry at God. He heard the song ‘Looking for Love’ which is about true love being found in God, and he said the song changed his life because he realized that God is love. After that he looked at the Scripture reference that went along with the song, which is 1 Corinthians 13, and accepted Christ.
In an effort to encourage others and share his story, Lee has written two books: “The Good Life” and “Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story.”
“The only thing that satisfies is a relationship with Jesus, and that’s such an important lesson to learn early in life,” Lee said. “Our culture tells us young people they have plenty of time … so a lot of teenagers think they will just wait until they are older to do something great for Him. [But] God has called young people to rise up and take action. No matter what age they are, they can do great things for Him.”
Lee joined other speakers and panelists such as Russell Moore, Andy Stanley and Gabe Lyons for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission’s National Conference in Nashville that began Aug. 25. For more information, visit www.erlc.com.