William Lee Barefield III, better known as Trip Lee, was born and raised in Dallas, TX. As a young boy, Trip Lee had dreams of being a professional athlete or 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,? Trip says. But upon giving his life to Christ, at age 14, his focus changed from fortune, fame, and women to serving and ministering the Gospel.
Trip 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 Truth helped provide a model for how I would begin to do that,? he says. He also had an immense desire to learn and teach the Word of God, so he became a leader in his youth group, and preached his first sermon at age 17.
In 2004, Trip met Lecrae at a concert; months later, after talking and building with each other, Lecrae began to disciple him. While still in high school, Trip was given the opportunity to pen a few devotionals for the Reach Records website that dealt with theological matters and showcased his spiritual maturity.
Trip signed with Reach Records, and his debut album, ?If They Only Knew,? hit stores nationwide a few days after his high school graduation. His first full-length album introduced hip-hop fans to his distinct southern sound, unique delivery and gospel-saturated lyrics. That same year, Trip was also featured on the Dove Award-nominated, timeless classic ?Jesus Muzik? with label mate Lecrae.
His sophomore album, ?20/20,? was released in 2008 and garnered much success, breaking into the Billboard Top 200 and reaching #11 on the Billboard Christian albums chart and #4 on the Gospel chart. Back with his third studio album, ?Between Two Worlds,? Trip offers a collection of reflections on life in a fallen world. True to form, his hope is that his reflections not only resonate with listeners, but also point to Jesus as the Hero.
Since his first album release, Trip has traveled the world doing concerts for thousands of listeners, and his last three summers have been spent on tours (national and international) 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.
Trip now resides in Philadelphia, PA with his wife and is pursuing a degree in Biblical Studies at Philadelphia Biblical University. He is the leader of the small groups ministry at Epiphany Fellowship, where he also preaches and teaches when called upon. Ultimately, his desire is proclaim the grace and beauty of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen. He hopes that his journey will lead to pastoring a church in the future.