Monday, January 21, 2013

Reading: The Good Life by Trip Lee

There is a quote in this book that seems to summarize the entirety of what this book is saying and it is this, "If God has called you to be a servant, don't stoop so low as to be a king."
The Good Life by rapper Trip Lee is a book that challenges the worldly definitions of the good life.  The good life is often defined as having lots of money, being surrounded by hot girls/guys, and living for today (YOLO!).  To our present day culture, the good life is living the Snooki lifestyle.  But Trip Lee says that the good life is actually when we live in service of the Lord and allow Him to direct our paths and use our talents to ultimately glorify Him.  The quote I used above is basically saying that God has called us to do and be certain things and when we decide to go against his will, we are claiming that we are the king of the world when the king is actually Jesus.  By putting our faith in the king Jesus, we can live the good life. 
Lee uses tons of pop culture references in this book which was really great.  He also uses a lot of clear metaphors that help explain his point in concise terms which was a huge plus.  The phrase "the good life" was a bit overly repetitive but it served a purpose and did it's job so I guess I can't really count that against the book.  Another great aspect to this book is that Lee ties it in with his newest album with the same title.  I'm not usually a rap fan but Lee has me hooked.  Seriously, if I had more money I would buy his album in a heartbeat.  For now, I will have to make due with listening to it on YouTube.  He is a breath of fresh air in a world where rappers delight in using swear words and glorifying sex, drugs, and money.  Lee raps about pursuing God and you can't get much more real than that.  He is a fresh face that needs to be seen.  This book gives him a lot of bonus points on top of his awesome albums.  He takes his album and instead of going through song by song explaining the meanings (BORING), he explains the good life in multiple different ways and at the end of each chapter ties in his music.  This gives the book a real sense of closure after every chapter and makes it easier to reflect on after reading.
Another thing I love about this book is the simple cover art.  On the album, Lee has a picture of himself with an orange line of spray paint crossing out his face.  In an interview I saw online, Lee states that this was done to show that it isn't about him but the music is about something bigger than ourselves; we must forget ourselves.  The book works in the same fashion it seems.  There is a picture of a robot with an orange line of spray paint crossing it out.  It seems to be saying that we are robots, spoon fed what the world wants us to believe the good life is.  But when we cross ourselves out and live for something bigger, we are not longer robots.  Trip Lee is just full of spectacular metaphors!
In the end, I really enjoyed this book.  Lee's points were some I was aware of but maybe couldn't put into words myself or they were completely new views on old topics which was a blessing.  The book really reminds us that we need to learn to see the world through heaven's eyes and not through our worldly eyes.  My only complaint about the novel is that it was a bit repetitive with the wording at times.  While it served a purpose, there are most definitely ways the repetition could have been avoided.  I will give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

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