Trip Lee

A couple months ago I surprised everyone by announcing a brand new album, “Rise.” You don’t understand how hard it was to keep quiet about it before my label and I went public. The album had been in the works for over a year, and I couldn’t wait to tell everyone — especially those who kept asking when I was dropping something new.

The response so far has been deeply encouraging. I’m amazed that people have continued to support me even though I’ve been pretty quiet for the last two years. Your love and excitement has only increased mine.

Early Retirement

One of the responses I wasn’t surprise by was this one: “Wait, I thought you retired?” This is the question that follows me around like a shadow. I’ve addressed it in interviews, tweets, and blog posts, but I know it’s still unclear to some. Let me continue to try to set the record straight: I never retired.

In 2012, I announced that I’d be “stepping away from music.” Yes, I know that sounds retirement-ish, but I purposely didn’t use that word. I kept it intentionally vague because I wasn’t 100% sure what it would look like.

I knew it was possible that “The Good Life” was my last album, but I wasn’t sure. Here’s what I did know: there would be a huge priority shift that would drastically change how I related to music. I wouldn’t be out on the road with my fellow emcees as much. I wouldn’t be able to crank out a bunch of new music. I wouldn’t be a full time rapper. I knew I wanted to help pastor God’s church.

Since that time, I’ve been serving at my church in Washington D.C. in various pastoral roles. I’ve done admin work, preaching and teaching, youth ministry, marital counseling, etc. I went months without doing any shows or writing a single bar of a song because of church responsibilities. I even sat out the 2013 Unashamed Tour. And though I missed creating new music, I love what I’ve been doing. Health issues have made it challenging at times, but it’s been a rewarding season for my family and me.

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SOURCE: Built to Brag

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Prince Malachi is the founder of The Oracle Network and the Streetwear brand Y.A.H. Apparel

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