Reach Records (June 22, 2010)
Reviewed by LaRosa
To only be in his early 20’s, it feels like Trip Lee has been around for a minute. Starting his career with an appearance on a 116 Clique compilation in 2005 and dropping his first solo release the following year, this brother appears to be hard at work perfecting his craft for the glory of the Lord. The last time we heard from him, he was telling us to get our eyes off him and put them on Christ with 20/20. Now he’s back with his latest offering titled Between Two Worlds.
Meant to be an album that depicts the dichotomy of a young Christian man living in a fallen world & body while anticipating greater things to come, Between Two Worlds is a solid follow up to 20/20. Unlike his previous efforts, this project is much more upbeat musically and more personable from a lyrical perspective. With much more singing than on previous albums, Trip Lee offers hope to the listener that this world isn’t all there is; his music points them to Jesus Christ and the world to come where He reigns as our hero. You get to view the thoughts of a young Christian who, like any other, has to deal with the realities of this world while seeking to glorify his God.
Trip Lee puts his best foot forward this album, and it’s that resolve that makes this an enjoyable project to listen to. One of the stronger points of Between Two Worlds is Trip’s choice to step out and deal with subject matter that isn’t talked about often in Christian music. A couple of tracks that shine in this respect would be “Covenant Eyes” with PRo where the emcees talk about keeping themselves pure and not falling prey to the traps that this world sets up with the way certain women dress; and, the other is “Bear With You” with Tedashii which has the artists talking about walking in grace toward others. Another high point in this album would have to be the beat selection, with Trip choosing to rap over styles that he’s not typically accustomed to, which makes for a nice break in what we’re used to getting from him.
While there’s a lot to like about this album, it’s not without its faults. Trip Lee got a lot of praise for his attempt to step out of the box with his subject matter and production, but overall that’s more the exception than the rule. For the most part, Trip stays close to home with topics that are familiar to him and the Reach camp, and the same can be said for the somewhat typical & expected production. The lack of originality in the content has to be the biggest downfall in this album. Songs like “Snitch” and “Prognosis” are the kinds of evangelistic songs that Reach have become known for, but these same songs are rehashes of previous material put in new packages, which can become bland for the seasoned Christian hip-hop listener. In terms of the production, even though it might sonically sound better to the ear, as a whole Between Two Worlds seems to be quite similar in sound to Trip’s first two releases.
As a concept album, Between Two Worlds holds up quite well. Trip Lee does a good job in depicting the realities of this current world in its fallen state & the struggles that people deal with, while providing a hope that shines through the darkness. Although the project has its lows in terms of rehashed content and comfortable beats, this is by far Trip’s best work to date. He finally feels at home on the mic and is starting to experiment with his sound, which will serve him well in the future. Between Two Worlds is definitely worth a listen and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
Purchase Between Two Worlds CD – download – iTunes
For fans of: Reach Records, Lecrae, Tedashii, 116 Clique, Sho Baraka