City Washington, DC
“I rapped about random stuff…how hot I was, how many girls I could pull,” Trip says. But upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame, and women to serving and ministering the Gospel.
As kids, most people aspire to be famous, but few actually achieve fame. Some come close, but most begrudgingly let go of their childhood fantasy once reality arrives. Trip Lee was just like most kids, until the reality of eternity compelled him to gracefully loosen his grip on worldly fame.
William Lee Barefield III, better known as Trip Lee, was born and raised in Dallas, TX. As a child, Trip had dreams of being a professional athlete or famous rapper, so he began to hone his lyrical skills at the age of 12. “I rapped about random stuff—how hot I was or how many girls I could pull,” Trip says. But upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame and women to serving and ministering the Gospel.
Trip slowly recognized that all of his life should be centered on Christ. “One day, I just decided I’m only doing music that honors God. Rappers like Ambassador and Da Truth helped provide a model for how I would begin to do that,” he says. He also had an immense desire to learn and teach the scripture, so he became a leader in his youth group and preached his first sermon at age 17.
In 2004, Trip met Lecrae at a concert; months later, after talking and building with each other, Lecrae began to disciple him. While still in high school, Trip was given the opportunity to pen a few devotionals for the Reach Records website that dealt with theological matters. Trip would then sign with Reach Records, and his debut album, If They Only Knew, hit stores nationwide a few days after his high school graduation. His first full-length album introduced hip-hop fans to his distinct southern sound, unique delivery and gospel-saturated lyrics. That same year, Trip was also featured on the Dove Award-nominated, timeless classic “Jesus Muzik” with label mate Lecrae.
His sophomore album, 20/20, was released in 2008 and garnered much success: breaking into the Billboard Top 200, reaching #11 on the Billboard Christian albums chart and landing at #4 on the Gospel chart. With his third studio album, Between Two Worlds, Trip offers a collection of reflections on life in a fallen world. Those reflections resonated with listeners as B2W debuted at #1 on the Christian and Gospel Billboard charts, #5 on the Hip Hop/Rap iTunes chart and #9 on the Top Albums iTunes chart. The album also received two Dove nominations and a Stellar Award for Best Gospel Rap/Hip Hop Album of the Year.
Since his first album release, Trip has traveled the world performing for thousands of listeners. The Christ-centered hip-hop message he brings has also built a platform for him among churches and other Christian organizations, which has led to numerous opportunities to preach and teach at conferences and other events.
Trip now resides in Washington, DC with his wife and is finishing his Biblical and Theological Studies degree by distance with Boyce College. He is currently touring, working on his fourth album, blogging (bragonmylord.com) and aiming to author a few New York Times bestsellers. Trip’s unending desire is to proclaim the grace and beauty of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen. Ultimately, he hopes this journey will someday lead to pastoring a church.