Rip is an American rapper and hip hop record producer. Rip is originally from Illinois, but has found a nice place to call home in Madison, Wisconsin. Ever since he was a kid, Rip has felt a natural close relationship with music. He knew early on that he wanted to do big things with music in life. Since then, Rip has created for himself a great foundation with other artists and his record label Rip Records. Rip Records was started while Rip was still in high school. Most musicians don't get this far when they start in high school, but Rip will be the first to say that all of it was God and all honor and glory goes to Him!
Over the course of his life, Rip has listened to many different musical influences. What he heard from parents were the likes of Elton John, Phil Collins, and Dolly Parton. You can hear a Dolly Parton influence on Rip's single "Jolene." There were Latino influences as well with the likes of Jose Javier Solis. There was the presence of 90's Christian artists like Michael W. Smith and others. Living as an urban youth eventually introduced Rip to hip hop and the local gangster rap scene. Musically, Rip is all over the board with music taste. Country, jazz, alternative rock -- you name it! He likes mixing styles and sounds with professional bravado. Nowadays, Rip tends to stick to God-honoring music, being a big fan of worship and Brandon Lake specifically.
Since Rip's first album Trinity was released in 2017, he has not slowed down. His record label is growing and he is constantly working with new artists and touring. He produced and collaborated on Nicky Gracious's 2022 album called Kill me. Rip's own record called Delivered is set to hit the shelves in mid-May 2023. This year you can catch Rip and Nicky Gracious on tour starting with a big performance at the world's largest festival for brats called Bratfest in Madison, Wisconsin at the end of May.
In today's society, most rappers, producers, or musicians will tell you their primary motivation for their work is either money, family, or for the love of the music. Rip has always been outspoken about his faith and uses his platform to spread a simple message: love God and love people. He is not ashamed of the saving grace of Jesus and it shows in his music and in his life. He wants only to be a vessel of the love Jesus has for us all. It is refreshing to see a rap artist consistently take the spotlight off himself and point people toward the cross. Rip has no problem telling you about his shortcomings. He is forever grateful that his Savior brought him out of darkness to where he currently is.
97X recently had the privilege of sitting down with both Rip and Nicky Gracious about their music and journey. This video is a recording of a live streaming event from March 15.