Read an Excerpt
I was eleven years old. I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom, shoes off and headphones blaring. There was nowhere else I'd rather be than in my space, with my music. The deep bass piercing my eardrums was supplied by Jay-Z's Vol. 2, The Hard Knock Life, my favorite album at the time.
On track fourteen, Jigga and JD brag, "In the Ferrari and Jaguar switching four lanes, top down, screaming out money ain't a thing."1 Yes, I had the clean version, so my ears were shielded from the foul language, but not from all harm. There is no edited version that removes worldviews.
What I thought was just fun music was actually far more. When I hit play on my portable CD player, I was going to class. They weren't teaching me math and grammar, but they were teaching me how to view the world. They were lecturing me about what my aspirations should be, and what is most important in the world. And unknowingly, I was a star pupil. I ate it up and believed the lie that Ferraris and Jaguars are what life is largely about. If I wanted the good life, I needed the money, the cars, and the girls.
Rappers weren't my only teachers though. I heard lessons every day from my parents, my schoolteachers, my friends, and my favorite TV shows. Every day I was bombarded with messages and images that shaped my perspective on life. And I'm not alone. Every single one of us has an idea about what "the good life" is, and we've learned it from somewhere. In the same way our region dictates the accent we speak with, our environments and influences shape our ideas about life.
Every time you hear an idea or observe a behavior, you're being presented with a message. And as we take those messages in, we can either reject or accept them (though we often do this subconsciously). We shouldn't be asking whether or not we're being taught; there's no question about that. We should be asking whether or not we're being taught well...We need a better teacher.
Hey I was born "less than human," I know it sounds crazy
But I was really born a robot as a baby
No real life in me, I just played my role
No self-control, I just did what I was told
I got my first order, I was just a day old
But I didn't have a chance 'cause my heart was way cold
My heart took the orders, it couldn't break the mold
I was sold under bondage and I couldn't take control
So I was just chillin' in my robot clothes
With my robot friends and my robot flow
Livin' robot ways 'cause that's all I know
Till I heard I could be freed from my robot soul.
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
Fresh and faithful. Fun and filling.
-Mark Dever, Senior Pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church and author of 9 Marks of a Healthy Church
My entire ministry has been focused on speaking to my generation. As I struggle with my concerns for the next one, Trip Lee erases my worries with this brilliant body of work. Inside each chapter speaks a young man who cares about the streets as well as protecting the Holy Scriptures. I am proud to know truth will continue through Trip Lee.
-Kirk Franklin, Grammy winning gospel artist
Trip Lee has been worth listening to for some time. Now we know he is worth reading too. This brief book is an excellent introduction to the Christian faith, communicated in a way that is authentic and accessible. I'm thankful for this wonderful brother, for his humility, for his theological conviction, and for his growing influence. Most of all, I'm thankful for the way he points me to the glory of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
-Kevin DeYoung, Senior Pastor at University Reformed Church and author of Just Do Something
The Good Life is not a silly book about how to get whatever you might wish for in this life. Nor is it a book about how to become rich and famous...or even a well-known Christian hip-hop artist. It's a beautiful retelling of the simple gospel story, that all we need is found in our Savior, and all the suffering and waiting for heaven we do in this world is nothing in comparison to the good life that is given us freely in Christ. Our idols will never satisfy us; the good things in our lives were never meant to be our gods, they were meant to tell us that there is something more. The Good Life is a really good book. Buy one for yourself and buy some to give away to friends who need to hear the good news again.
-Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of Because He Loves Me: How Christ Transforms Our Daily Life
Knowledgeable and personable. Witty and insightful. Serious and joyful. Trip Lee makes a wonderful tour guide to the good life. You'd expect a rapper to be a proponent of all that's worldly and materialistic. Not this rapper. Lee explores rival worldviews and points us to that one truly good life established by the only One who is good. Read and discover what's good.
-Thabiti Anyabwile, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Grand Cayman and author of The Gospel for Muslims and What is a Healthy Church Member?
Trip represents the gracious movement of God in the church, calling a new generation to a very old message. Trip is both a skilled communicator and capable theologian, and I gladly commend both this book, and his ministry. What would it look like for Jesus to be Lord of the hip-hop culture? You'll catch a glimpse of it in this book.
-J.D. Greear, Pastor of the Summit Church and author of Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary
The Good Life is like an alarm clock that awakens you to a whole new way of thinking about life. Trip has done an amazing job of giving us a relevant and revolutionary approach to finding the good life.
-Bryan Carter, Senior Pastor of Concord Church
The Good Life is one the most culturally intelligent, biblically saturated presentation of what God intends for men and women that American Christianity has produced in decades. Lee is masterful at applying the scope of the gospel to the idols and disordered loves that tempt all of us to distrust the goodness of God. The Good Life will enrich those who are mature believers as well as those investigating the claims of Christ for the first time.
-Anthony B. Bradley, Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at The King's College and author of Liberating Black Theology
Thankfully there are some clear, biblical, and prophetic voices coming from Christian hip-hop. Trip Lee is one of them. In this book, Trip reminds us that we serve a good God who intends good for his people. This book on the good life is a good read.
-Anthony Carter, Lead Pastor of East Point Church and author of Black and Reformed
With Trip having such a transcultural platform and influence I'm grateful that his writings on the essence of a good life are available. He gives potent insight on finding satisfaction in God alone, redefining what most people view as good, and unveiling what God defines as a truly good life. Get it. Read it.
-Lecrae, Grammy nominated rapper and co-owner of Reach Records