When you’re a rapper, there’s no way you can come into the game after 2000 and not be influenced in some way by Jay-Z. However, when you happen to be a gospel rapper, it seems like there would be a conflict of interest. How can one praise God in one breath and in the next say their favorite album is by a rapper with lyrics like “Jesus can’t save you/ Life starts when the church ends”? When gospel rapper Trip Lee stopped by, he answered that and more. Trip Lee talked about how The Blueprint inspired him as an artist and why Jay-Z is a great MC rather than a God MC.
TUD: Are you inspired by rappers who make secular music?
Trip Lee: Yes I am. Jay-Z is one of my favorite rappers. When I think about a dude like Jay-Z, he was the first dude I listened to deeply who really impressed me. He impressed me with his lyricism, his style on the mic, and the way he connects with people through his music.
What’s your favorite Jay-Z album?
The Blueprint is an album that really influenced me as an MC because it was a flawless hip-hop album from top to bottom. Once I began to follow Jesus, there was stuff that I would hear and go, ‘Man!’ I appreciate him artistically. There are some things in here that I don’t really love a lot of the things he’s saying. But nevertheless, when I listen to it now, I think as far as hip hop goes, he’s killing it.
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Do you ever feel a sense of conflict for liking music that sometimes blatantly disrespects God?
No, not really. First of all, I don’t think Jay-Z is a devil worshiper despite all that talk. I do know he’s said a lot of stuff that dishonors God. The times he compared himself to God–I know he doesn’t think he’s God–but to call himself the God MC and Jay Hova and to describe Pac, Biggie, and himself as the Holy Trinity of hip-hop, I think those are things he shouldn’t say. God gave him an incredible gift and I would hope as he moves forward, he uses those gifts to honor God.
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