There aren’t many musicians more successful right now than Trip Lee. The Reach Records rapper’s fifth studio album, Rise, hit #1 on the iTunes chart shortly after its October 27 release and has been selling quickly ever since.

Lee [Twitter | blog], who has also completed a forthcoming companion book Rise: Get Up and Live in God’s Great Story (Thomas Nelson, January 2015), recently sat down with TGC Arizona leaders Josh Vincent and Vermon Pierre to discuss life, ministry, and the future.

The man off the stage might surprise you a bit.

Though Lee certainly enjoys performing for crowds at concerts, he’s most committed to pastoring the saints in his church. (He is an elder and pastoral assistant at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.) Furthermore, the dynamic hip-hop artist has battled Chronic Fatigue Syndrome since 2007. “It makes it hard to figure out what life as a pastor looks like for me,” Lee admits. “I’ve had to learn that no one must their ministry in exactly the same way as someone else. How do I honor God best with my particular circumstances? That’s the question I have to keep asking.”

What about those who question the legitimacy of hip-hop as a vehicle to communicate majestic doctrines? Anything humans employ is a “weak, handicapped vehicle” to communicate the majesty of God, Lee observes. “The problem is not the medium or culture itself; it’s the sin inside our hearts.” Moreover, he adds, “We should be very careful about implying that entire cultures—musical forms included—cannot glorify God. I think that says something we don’t mean to say about the gospel.”

Watch the full 23-minute video to hear Lee discuss how he started rhyming, the album he listened to daily for six months straight, songs versus sermons, and more. Then register to see Lee speak at our 2015 National Conference, April 13 to 15, in Orlando. 

Trip Lee Interview from The Gospel Coalition AZ on Vimeo.