Trip Lee

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Trip Lee
Birth nameWilliam Lee Barefield III
Born (1987-12-17) December 17, 1987 (age 33)
OriginDallas, Texas
GenresChristian hip hop, Southern hip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper, singer, activist, poet, author, pastor
Years active2005-present
Associated acts116 Clique

William Lee Barefield III (born December 17, 1987),[1][2] better known by his stage name Trip Lee, is an American Christian rapper, singer, poet, and author. Signed to Reach Records, he has recorded both as a solo artist and as a founding member of the 116 Clique. Originally from Dallas, Texas,[3] he now resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a teaching pastor at Cornerstone Church.[4] He first gained recognition after appearing on the Reach Records website at the age of 16. His third album, Between Two Worlds, was nominated for two Dove Awards and won the Stellar Award for Best Hip Hop Album in 2011.[5]


Early life[edit]

William Lee Barefield III was born and raised in Dallas, TX. As a young boy, Lee had dreams of being a professional athlete or a famous rapper, and he began to hone his lyrical skills at the age of 12. "I rapped about random stuff… how hot I was, how many girls I could pull," Lee says.[6] But upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame, and women to serving and ministering the Gospel.

Lee slowly recognized that all of his life should be centered around Christ. "One day, I just decided, I'm only doing Christian hip hop. Rappers like Ambassador and Da' T.R.U.T.H. helped provide a model for how I would begin to do that," he says.[6] He also had an immense desire to learn and teach the Word of God, so he became a leader in his youth group where he preached his first sermon at age 17.[6]

In 2004, Lee met Lecrae at a concert; months later, after talking and building with each other, Lecrae began to disciple him. While still in high school, Lee was given the opportunity to pen a few devotionals for the Reach Records website that dealt with theological matters and showcased his spiritual maturity.[6]

Music career[edit]

Lee signed with Reach Records, and his debut album, If They Only Knew, was released a few days after his high school graduation.[6] His first full-length album introduced hip-hop fans to his distinct southern sound, unique delivery, and gospel-saturated lyrics. That same year, he was also featured on the Dove Award-nominated, Jesus Muzik with label mate Lecrae.

His second album, 20/20, was released in 2008 and garnered much success, breaking into the Billboard Top 200 and reaching No. 11 on the Billboard Christian albums chart and No. 4 on the Gospel chart. Back with his third studio album, Between Two Worlds, Lee offers a collection of reflections on life in a fallen world. His hope is that his reflections not only resonate with listeners, but also point to Jesus as the hero.

Since his first album release, Lee has traveled the world doing concerts for thousands of listeners, and his last three summers have been spent on national and international tours with his Reach label mates. His Christ-centered hip-hop message 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.

Lee released two new singles "Brag On My Lord" and "King Like Mine", the latter featuring Alex Medina, on March 29, 2011.[7]

Trip Lee released his fourth full-length studio album, entitled The Good Life on April 9, 2012. The album featured various notable Christian artists, such as Sho Baraka (formerly signed with Reach Records), J.R., Lecrae, J.Paul, KB, Andy "C-Lite" Mineo, Jimmy Needham, V. Rose, Suzy Rock, Jai, and Leah Smith.[8] As a continuation to the album, Lee has worked with Moody Publishers and has authored a book titled The Good Life, to be released October 1, 2012.[9]

On October 9, 2012 Lee announced he would be "stepping away" from music altogether.[10] The Unashamed 2012 tour with the Reach Records roster was his final tour before pursuing a career as an author and pastor.[10][11][12] He later clarified that while he would continue to make music, he wouldn't be touring as much.[13] He is currently training to be a pastor at his local church, while still engaging in public ministry.[13]

On October 27, 2014, Trip Lee released his fifth studio album, Rise. On January 27, 2015 he released his second book called Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story to accompany the album. He was part of the Winter Jam Tour 2016 along with KB and Tedashii in the central and eastern parts of the United States.[citation needed]

On December 9, 2016 Trip Lee released the album titled, "The Waiting Room." The title was inspired by a line in the song, "Take Me There" from his, "The Good Life" album. He says the album highlights the fact that, as a Christian, his life is much like sitting in a waiting room, looking for what God has ahead.

Personal life[edit]

Trip Lee married Jessica Barefield in 2009. The couple have two children.[14][15][16]

Lee is an Evangelical Christian.[17]


Lee attended Cairn University[18] and Boyce College,[19] the undergraduate school of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Lee's unending desire is to proclaim the grace and beauty of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen.[20][21]


Studio albums
  • 2006: If They Only Knew
  • 2008: 20/20
  • 2010: Between Two Worlds
  • 2012: The Good Life
  • 2014: Rise


  • The Good Life (Moody Publishers, 2012)[22]
  • Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story (Thomas Nelson, 2015)[23]

Award nominations[edit]

GMA Dove Awards
Year Award Result
2011 Rap/Hip-Hop Album of the Year (Between Two Worlds) Nominated
Short Form Music Video of the Year ("Invasion (Hero)") Nominated
2013 Rap / Hip Hop Song of the Year ("I'm Good" featuring Lecrae) Nominated
Rap / Hip Hop Album of the Year (The Good Life) Nominated
2017 Rap / Hip Hop Album of the Year (The Waiting Room) Won


Other articles of the topic Poetry : Juanita Martin, Majid Naficy, Badr bin Abdul Muhsin Al Saud, Sagar Pradhan, Steve Venright, Sarah Burgoyne, Marijn Backer
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  1. Angela Lu. "WORLD | Braggin' on their King | April 20, 2013". Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  2. "Top 10 Trip Lee Songs of All Time". Wade-O Radio. December 21, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
  3. Busy R. "The Holy Hip Hop Database - He has changed my life in so many different ways - says 11 year old rising christian hip hop artist Grady E Music. Trip Lee". Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  4. "CORNERSTONE CHURCH – Our Leaders". Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  5. "The Official 26th Annual Stellar Award Results (2011) - brought to you by". January 15, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Reach Records". Reach Records. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
  7. Hoiland, Tim. "Two New Singles Released". Reach Records. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  8. Bradley (April 9, 2012). "Trip Lee - The Good Life in Stores Now". Reach Records. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  9. Bradley (May 23, 2012). "Trip Lee's Debut Book Release The Good Life". Reach Records. Retrieved July 6, 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Rood, Philip (October 9, 2012). "Trip Lee talks Unashamed Tour 2012, 'The Good Life' book, and what's next". Rapzilla. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  11. DJ Official (November 16, 2012). "Though I'm excited we have..." Twitter. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  12. "@nbferraro His last tour. He's..." Twitter. November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  13. 13.0 13.1 [1] Archived April 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  14. "Why Did I Get Married So Young?". TRIP LEE. October 26, 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  15. Matt Smethurst. "Trip Lee Brags on the King". TGC - The Gospel Coalition. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  16. HipHopDX (October 23, 2014). "Trip Lee Discusses "Rise", His Faith & T.I.'s Role In Promoting Fatherhood in Hip Hop". HipHopDX. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  17. Abby Ohlheiser,, Why a conservative, white evangelical leader keeps talking about racial reconciliation and justice, USA, December 5, 2014
  18. Daniels, David. "D.C. rapper Trip Lee withstands disease, while pastoring at church, releasing album". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  19. Trip Lee (September 8, 2011). "Trip Lee". Boyce College. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  20. Trip Lee (January 3, 2011). "Entering a New Season". Reach Records. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  21. Sun, Eryn (October 6, 2011). "Black Reformed Christians Under 'Theological Imperialism?'". The Christian Post. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  22. Barefield, William (October 1, 2012). The Good Life. Moody Publishers. ISBN 978-0802408587. Search this book on Logo.png
  23. Barefield, William (January 27, 2015). Rise: Get Up and Live in God's Great Story. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 978-0529120991. Search this book on Logo.png

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