If someone were to ask me which Trip Lee album is the best, I wouldn't be able to choose between the three. I still frequently listen to "If They Only Knew," and "20/20," and this new release will simply be added to that rotation.
The production on this album is so extraordinary that sometimes you can forget to listen to the lyrics, especially the song "No Worries." But I'm glad that Trip has retained his southern roots, and also happy with the uniqueness and diversity in this junior release. Bottom line, I've never felt like I wasted my money after purchasing any album from Reach Records, so I entreat you to drop that $9 right now and help support the spread of the gospel of Christ.
1. Real Life Music 5/5 - Great introduction, and still maintains his humble approach in beseeching the listener to look away from him and toward Christ instead. It's for people like you and I who can relate to one another through life's common circumstances, and through the reality that most people experience, rather than the fairy tales you'd normally hear in mainstream rap, or the rarity of being a millionaire who does what he wants.
2. Snitch 4/5 - This beat reminded me of LL Cool J's song "Headsprung," produced by Timberland. The two beats sound almost identical, but Trip's lyrics have substance. He is the snitch, and he's exposes his sin, to God and to his peers, in hopes of purging himself of ungodliness (1 John 1:9). One point off for the beat, even though I'm sure the producer didn't purposely bite Timberland's track.
3. Invade ft. J.Paul 5/5 - The title says it all. A psalm of supplication for the Parousia. This is one of many songs in which Trip prays that Christ come quickly, which seems to be a common theme of the album. With the whole creation groaning with labor pangs (Romans 8:22), it follows that we would hope Christ would come soon.
4. Prognosis 5/5 - My favorite song on this album. I love laid back tracks I can sit back and ponder too. I can sit at the beach and listen to this track over and over, and never get bored. Plus Trip does good singing the chorus. I only wish Shai Linne could've did a verse on this; that would've sealed the deal. The prognosis, or outcome of being a sinner is death/eternal torment (Romans 6:23), but the elect have nothing to worry about (Proverbs 11:4).
5. No Worries 5/5 - A continuation of "Prognosis," since the prognosis did not include a solution. And the solution, as I hope you already know, is the cross of Christ, which secured salvation for all the elect (Romans 8:33). Leave a comment if you can listen to this song without bobbing your head.
6. Covenant Eyes 5/5 - Something I'm in desperate need of (covenant eyes, that is (Matthew 5:29)). Trip already told us in his song "Follow the Crowd" (If They Only Knew), that Christian's don't look back at sensually dressed women or men, and this song expounds on the subject. I'm also proud to hear Pro on more and more Reach Record tracks. Jesus has brought him a long way and I pray that he continues to grow.
7. Life 101 4/5 - The bass in this song makes my headphone's shake, and the message is cool too (2 verses on different ways individuals view life, and a 3rd about how we should put our faith in Christ instead).
8. I Love Music ft. Sho Baraka 3/5 - Wasn't very intrigued by this song, but that doesn't mean you wont like it. The beat is a mix on salsa and hip-hop (Psalm 33:3). And I was surprised to hear Trip talk about Jay-Z being amongst the first rappers he listened to. I expected him to say UGK or Gangsta Nip.
9. Limitations ft. Leah Smith 5/5 - This is the first time Diamond did not make an appearance on a Trip Lee album, but Leah Smith has a great voice. I love the concept of this song, which is that we humans have limitations and shortcomings, while God is limitless and infinite. God has designed the world so that everyone and everything is dependent on Him (Daniel 5:23; Acts 17:28). Number's 8, 9, & 10 on this album also show Trip's dedication to a diverse album.
10. Yours To Own ft. Jimmy Needham 5/5 - I was distraught to hear that Trip's dad died, but I was also happy to hear about his marriage. This is something Trip mentions in this song, which is about God's providence in all things (Colossians 1:16). The beat is laid back, kinda like an India Arie track, with a nice acoustic guitar.
11. Apathy (Interlude) 5/5 - We all know how much Trip loves a cappella, and in this particular spoken word, he mentions how he sometimes has apathy (an absence of concern or emotion) towards other people. I'm the same way. Hearing of all the evil in the world over and over for dozens of years has made me think that it's normal. Jonah is the perfect example of someone who could careless about a nations eternal torment (Jonah 3:10-4:1). But thank God for his mercy (Jonah 4:11).
12. Twisted ft. Lecrae, Pro, & Thi'sl 5/5 - Unlike you, I didn't skip straight to this track when I saw the features..lol. Anyway, true southern rap collaboration, mixed with a touch of the midwest, about the grace of God. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from God (James 1:17), and we do not deserve any of it. We have it twisted when we think we are God, and that we are the ones responsible for our health and wealth. Thi'sl also raps about how being totally depraved gives us a twisted view of what's good and what's evil. This beat is cold!!
13. Bear With You ft. Tedashii 4/5 - Great track with a great beat. At first, the beat was weird to me, but after a few listens, it sounds normal (has a hype/inspirational feel). This is a song that also hits home for me, since it discusses how Christians must endure with people who sin against them; the main reason being that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). A good example he gives is a wife who works while her deadbeat husband sits in the house for 6 years straight (jobless), but she'll bear with him since God bears with us.
14. Show's Over ft. Mitch Parks 5/5 - The beginning of this song reminds me of Hillsong's intro song, "I'm Not Ashamed," on their album "Savior King." Or is it "Take It All" from "Mighty to Save"? Either, or. The point is, it's a mixture of praise and worship with rap and it deals with a person trying to work for his salvation, but seeing that it's impossible (Matthew 5:48), he finally puts his faith in Christ. However, that also presents a conundrum, since he now must wrestle with a new nature and a sin nature (Romans 7:15). Finally, he realizes that Christ has done everything for him.
15. The Invasion (Hero) ft. Jai 5/5 - This was a pre-release track that Reach put out to appease the fan's craving to hear about their Hero, Jesus. At least I hope that's what they were craving. But one thing I'm beginning to realize is that this sound is unique to Christan rap. It's very original and I'm glad the Holy Spirit has granted it to us. Trip presents a thorough presentation of the gospel in this track, from God's holiness, to fallen mankind, to God's death and resurrection (Romans 4:25), to the perseverance of the saints (Philippians 1:6), and it's another expression of our anticipation of Christ's return (Revelation 21:1).
16. My Lord (Bonus Track) 5/5 - I think "The Invasion" would've been a better choice to end the album with, but "My Lord" is cool. At least those who did not like how Trip ended "20/20" with "Hip-Hop" will probably like this better. It's a cool beat and it's a good way to reinforce Trip's goal to point us toward our Master.
In the end, again, I wouldn't say this album is better or worse than Trip's other 2 albums; I'd simply say this is an original and unique album that will get heavy rotation in my ipod, and I believe all Christian rap fans will enjoy it. Lets also keep Epiphany, Reach Records, Cross Movement, etc, in our prayers.
Jesus Is God.
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