FULL NAME: William Lee Barefield III
DATE OF BIRTH: 17 December 1987
William Lee Barefield III, better known as Trip Lee, was born and raised in St.Louis. As a young boy, 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.
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 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, 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.
Lee signed with Reach Records, and his debut album, If They Only Knew, was released 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, 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, 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.
Lee now resides in Washington D.C. with his wife. Lee’s unending desire is to proclaim the grace and beauty of Jesus Christ to anyone that will listen; ultimately, he hopes this journey will someday lead to pastoring a church.
Lee released two new singles "Brag On My Lord" and "King Like Mine", the latter featuring Alex Medina, on March 29, 2011.
Trip Lee is to release his fourth full length studio album, entitled The Good Life on April 10, 2012. The album will feature 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.
Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap
Members: William Lee Barefield III
Current Record Label: Reach Records
Albums: If They Only Knew (2006), 20/20 (2008), The Invasion (Hero) (2010), Between Two Worlds (2010), The Good Life (2012)