Main

A Beginner’s Guide to Trippie Redd

Despite the impressiveness of his come-up, Trippie has plenty of room to grow.

Contrary to what critics will tell you, the SoundCloud wave is not a monolith. Although many of the artists who have earned prominence on the platform are unafraid to borrow from their predecessors, there is a greater degree of heterogeneity than one may expect. The subject of the previous beginner’s guide, Ski Mask the Slump God, has separated himself from the pack with a cartoonish personality and fast flows. Your opinion of his music does not change the fact that the dude marches to the beat of his own 808 snare.

Canton, OH, singer and rapper Trippie Redd has also managed to carve himself a niche out of the SoundCloud genre. The 18-year-old artist began recording at a young age and found his opportunity for fame when Chicago rapper Lil Wop set him up in an Atlanta studio. Through a series of collaborative projects and extended plays, Trippie hybridized the elements of hip-hop and emo rock and cultivated a sound few contemporaries have explored (Lil Uzi Vert and the late Lil Peep notwithstanding).

Trippie broke through last spring with his debut mixtape, A Love Letter to You. Tracks such as “Love Scars,” “Romeo & Juliet,” and “Poles 1469” featuring Tekashi 6ix9ine quickly racked up millions of streams and Trippie officially blew up. Anxious to keep the hype alive, Trippie released a second mixtape, A Love Letter to You 2, in October. Although it may not have achieved as many spins as its predecessor (diminishing returns are inevitable), the project was a success nonetheless. Since then, Trippie has limited his activity to some features and a couple singles, including collaborations with Houston artists Maxo Kream and Travis Scott.

Without further ado, here are the seven tracks you need to catch up on Trippie Redd.


“Love Scars”

The quintessential Trippie joint, this is the first track on A Love Letter to You and easily his biggest hit to date. Recorded off the top of his head in a dark, empty room (not a joke), the song features a blend of Trippie’s signature strained vocals and ad-libbed rapping style. Producer Elliot Trent enhances the darkness of the track with a layer of rapid hi-hats over punishing snares and grimey bass. “You used to say you in love/I used to say that shit back/Taking that shit from the heart/Now look where the fuck where we at.”

 

“It Takes Time”

Over a low-key, stripped-down instrumental that allows his vocals to take center stage, Trippie scales back his singing and adopts a more relaxed tone that borders on a lullaby. Although both the pre-chorus and hook are repetitive and a bit drawn out, the melody sticks immediately, and Trippie knows how to keep a listener locked in. Lyrically, Trippie demonstrates a degree of maturity one does not expect from a teenager, especially one whose name gets thrown around in conversation with Lil Pump. “You know I took her soul/But I won’t be hittin’ phones.”

 

“Can You Rap Like Me?”

If this were the only Trippie song you had heard, you wouldn’t know he came up on SoundCloud. Producer P. Soul brings a wicked throwback beat and Trippie flows over it with a cadence from another era of hip-hop. Showcasing his cleverness with great wordplay and some killer internal rhyme schemes, this is one of Trippie’s more lyrically compelling efforts. “Lyrically, demonically dominate your flow endlessly/My venomous rhymes wine and dine on you mentally.”

 

“Bust Down”

Trippie seldom gets braggadocious with his music, and that is what makes this track such a dope introduction to A Love Letter to You 2. Over a chugging Goose the Guru beat punctuated with  balladic piano chords, Trippie dares his haters to compare their net worths with his. He keeps his flow jaunty and his vibe upbeat, making it difficult for the listener to remain still. “Stay saucin’ on you, that’s a habit.”

 

“In Too Deep”

With all the melody and patience of a ballad combined with the grime of SoundCloud rap, this is a perfect example of Trippie’s capacity to bend and blend genres. The instrumental, courtesy of Paris the Producer and Goose the Guru, rests on gorgeous, expansive synth leads and a polished trap beat. With chilling, heavy vocals, Trippie reflects sorrowfully on the life he has lead to this point and accepts that he must continue moving forward in accordance with God’s will. “I see the future and my plans/I’m gon’ be good, it’s in God’s hands.”

 

“Deadman’s Wonderland” feat. FOREVER ANTI PoP

This time around, Goose keeps it lowkey on the track: somber keys, subtle bass, and light percussion. Although the hook, which dominates the song, flows like a freestyle, the lyrics demonstrate the depth of Trippie’s character. Incorporating the iconography of death into his bars, Trippie grapples with the pressure to remain relevant and to keep the money coming in for the sake of his loved ones. FOREVER ANTI PoP meshes well with the song’s sole verse, if only because he sounds like a less versatile version of Trippie. “Oh, just tell the Reaper take my soul away.”

 

“Dark Knight Dummo” feat. Travis Scott

Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E. comes through with a densely layered, intensely cinematic instrumental featuring filthy bass and dramatic keys. When I close my eyes and listen to this song, all I can see is rain pouring down on a hilltop gothic mansion designed for either Charles Foster Kane or Dracula. Trippie’s vocals are electrifying and sinister; it sounds as if he lost a piece of his mind while recording. Travis Scott’s autotune perfectly matches the cold, ominous tone of the instrumental. He puts his dynamism on fully display, switching up his flow more than once during the verse. “My diamonds dancing, hopscotch/They holding hands.”

 
Despite the impressiveness of his come-up, Trippie has plenty of room to grow. If he was able to write tracks like these fresh out of high school, who knows what he’s gonna release in the coming years? Indeed, the unpredictability of his style is what makes him so compelling. You can rest assured that his next move is always right around the corner, so get on board now.

I am an economics student at The University of Massachusetts Amherst. Beyond my studies, I work as a DJ at the university radio station: 91.1 FM WMUA Amherst. Back in July, a good friend of mine launched a political debate website called The Dialectic, where I currently work as a staff writer and the Editor-In-Chief. I love all genres of music - everything from hip-hop to post-rock to hardcore punk. Aspiring writer. Avid reader. Coffee addict.
Related Articles
#IndieSpotlight, Main

Pressure Dommer Teases His New EP With ”Dopeman” Single/Video

The big record is a brilliant look into the crystal ball of what to expect going forward.

Orlando, Florida, rapper Pressure Dommer is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on his upcoming EP, 8. Set to be his biggest release to date since signing on with No Convo Entertainment — headed by acclaimed record producer Fye Jones — and to wet our appetites, has dropped off a new single and video, Dopeman.

Directed by Brill Adium, the shadowy visual is a cinematic experience, with Pressure on the late night grind; the at times frantic camera motion plays up the almost paranoia-ridden state of being experienced by a trafficker in the trap amid a sea of potential downfalls. The big record is a brilliant look into the crystal ball of what to expect going forward.

“I would describe my sound as reality music,” he tells AAHH, “very influential and soulful … full of jewels.” As he describes it, his grandad and grandma influenced him the most; “seeing them work hard to provide for multiple people — and do it from the bare minimum — [pushes me to strive for the best].

He also tells us that signing with No Convo rests among his most significant achievements. “It’s an opportunity for me to do what I love and be supported by a company that believes in me,” he says.

With his eye on the prize, and the goal of creating a lasting legacy in the music industry, Pressure is one of the hungriest rappers we’ve come across in a minute. “We’re getting this project ready for the masses,” he confidently, pointing toward the near future. It’s about to be a hot summer!

Check out the visual, below. 

Continue Reading
Main, Stream

Tee Grizzley’s Highly-Anticipated Debut, ‘Activated’ Has Arrived

After months of anticipation, Detroit’s breakout star Tee Grizzley has released his much-hyped debut album, properly-titled, Activated. Since coming on…

After months of anticipation, Detroit’s breakout star Tee Grizzley has released his much-hyped debut album, properly-titled, Activated.

Since coming on the scene in 2017, he’s been building up to this moment with songs like the platinum hit single, “First Day Out” and critically acclaimed debut mixtape, My Moment. Tee Grizzley tells his story of trials, tribulations, and triumph growing up in the Motor City. The 24-year-old seizes his moment with his signature street mentality and aggressive attitude.

Activated features all-star cast of guest appearances including Jeezy, Chris Brown, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty, YFN Lucci, and many more. Tee Grizzley’s debut album features 18 brand new songs, including hit singles, “2 Vaults”, “Jettski Grizzley”, and “Colors”. Activated is available everywhere exclusively through 300 Entertainment.

Courtesy of Spotify, Stream Tee Grizzley’s debut album, Activated below.

Continue Reading
Main

Q&A With Rapper Minty Burns

Toronto-rapper Minty Burns has been around for a while now; in fact, if you live in or have been to…

Toronto-rapper Minty Burns has been around for a while now; in fact, if you live in or have been to Toronto, you’ve likely seen his stickers — or his tag on a white cube van. In 2014 he made waves, collaborating with the likes of Zoey Dollaz, Lil Duke, and Big Lean. With his ever-growing, loyal fan base in tow, he’s been rolling [pun intended] out his latest effort The Dispensary, which shares the name of his niche cannabis clothing line. To top it off, he’s making a move to LA to embed himself in the west coast stoner culture.

Fresh on the heels of Coachella and the release of his “Green Man” visual, featuring legendary dancehall artist Louie Rankin — of Belly fame — he sat with AAHH for a quick Q&A. Check it out, below.

 
How did you get into the game?
 
I started out freestyling with my friends in high school which led to me doing battle rap for a few years. I won some big battles in Toronto and then started putting out music independently.
 
Who were some of your influences coming up?
 
I use to listen to a lot of Big Pun, Tupac, and Eminem.  Rappers like Fabolous and Jadakiss also inspired my style a lot. Before rap, I listened to a bit of rock too.
 
I hear you’re headed to LA; what are your plans out there?
 

I can’t wait to get back to the lab and work with producers I met while working out there. I also plan on shooting a bunch of new videos and stopping by some radio stations. Check out my last interview and freestyle on dash radio.
 
Let’s chat about your latest video; how did you connect with Louie Rankin?
 
Louie is an OG, and he’s always in Toronto. We got to link up one day, and I played him the song. He started spazzing so when I thought of the concept I knew he would be dope to kick it off.
 
Is there a project in the works?
 
My mixtape is coming out this summer. It got a lot of different sounds and collabs on there. I’m super excited for my fans to hear what I have been cooking up in the past year.
 
Tell me more about The Dispensary.
 
The tape features Zoey Dollaz, Lil Duke, Big Lean, 808 Mafia, Arrabmuzuk and more. I also have a clothing line called the Dispensary which im pushing alongside the tape. Look out for an official release date and release parties in a city near you.
 
Canada is about to legalize weed: thoughts?
 
I think it’s about goddamn time. The movement has been stable for ten plus years now, and I’m happy to see people not having to face charges and worry about going to jail for weed. Hopefully, the government here in Canada can figure out a good system to distribute it and still offer good quality at a reasonable price to the consumer.
 
Any last words?
 
Follow my social @MintyBurns and subscribe to my youtube channel @planetminty. My Official video for Green Man video is out now! Go check that out and burn one. Much Love!
 

Continue Reading
Main, Reviews

Cole Delivers On Record-Breaking KOD

The real is back, the Ville is back. Legendary North Carolina rapper J. Cole burst back onto the scene last…

The real is back, the Ville is back. Legendary North Carolina rapper J. Cole burst back onto the scene last week after a relatively quiet year, releasing his 4th full-length studio LP titled KOD. After an action packed three days, which included two international pop-up shows and a series of exciting tweets, the album was finally released on all major streaming platforms on Friday, April 20th (international stoner day, hint hint). Buckle up, my friends, because there’s a lot to unpack here.

The three alternate album titles, Kids on Drugs, King Overdosed, and Kill Our Demons, along with the artwork – which features children snorting cocaine, sipping lean, and smoking weed – pointed to the album being a critique of todays youth drug culture. While addiction and substance abuse are major themes of the album, KOD lacks specific direction and is not solely based on these issues. The project is more so general social commentary, with Cole flittering back and forth between a litany of deep and timely topics. The combination of the cover artwork, the 4/20 release-date, and title themes are misleading. There’s far too much going on in KOD for a concrete storyline to come to light.

While online theories are entertaining and partially correct, they still don’t account for the many conflicting portions of the album. Take kiLL edward, for example, who is listed as the album’s lone feature but is actually Cole’s drug abusing alter-ego (when edward speaks, it’s a heavily filtered version of Cole’s voice). It would be all well and good if, as theorized online, edward is the evil king of the rap game attempting to lure Cole to the dark side and join the youth in their reckless and hedonistic behavior. Throughout the album, Cole fights off edward with all of his might and eventually kills him (so they say online). But edward only has a minimal presence on the album; he’s only featured on two songs. The entertaining back and forth that could have been never comes to fruition and ultimately, the theme falls short of its full potential.

 
To complicate matters further, it’s nearly impossible to tell when Cole is speaking from his own perspective or that of someone else. Take the track “KOD,” for example, which, flow-wise and production-wise, is a slapper. Cole starts the track with lyrics that are undoubtedly from his own perspective, as he’s known for going platinum twice before without any features: “How much you worth? How big is your home? How come you won’t get a few features? I think you should? How ’bout I don’t?” Later on the track, however, Cole, who doesn’t even smoke weed, brags about sipping lean: “Yeah, at this shit daily, sipped so much Actavis I convinced Actavis that they should pay me.” Is this kiLL edward speaking? Is this Cole speaking from the perspective of another rapper? It’s impossible to tell. All of this is rapped in Cole’s normal voice, implying that it’s not coming from kiLL edward’s perspective.

Only a few bars later, Cole spits a line that is again inarguably personal: “Platinum disc and I own masters, bitch, pay me.” If Cole wanted to make a themed album, he should have either rapped any lyrics that didn’t apply to himself using edward’s distorted voice, or, he could have simply listed edward as a feature on any track that contains lines from Cole’s alter-ego perspective and let the fans decipher which lines apply to whom. Cole reached in his attempt to make a themed album and convoluted an otherwise great body of work. Based on the twelve tracks that make up this project, he should have given the album a more general title and a piece of artwork.

Album theme aside, KOD is a moving and highly educational body of work. To piggyback off of Charlemagne Tha God’s joke, The ROC should be changed to the T.E.D. because the amount of knowledge Jay-Z and Cole consistently give to the people is astounding. On the closer, “1985,” Cole responds to criticism he’s received from Lil Pump with some informatory, simultaneously scorching, bars:

One day, them kids that’s listening gon’ grow up
And get too old for that shit that made you blow up/Now your show’s lookin’ light cause they don’t show up/Which unfortunately means the money slow up/Now you scramblin’ and hopin’ to get hot again/But you forgot you only popped ’cause you was ridin’ trends/Now you old news and you goin’ through regrets/‘Cause you never bought that house, but you got a Benz.

Like “1985,” the album is full of must-listens. On the “Once an Addict” interlude, Cole describes the anguish and guilt he felt as a teen watching his mother struggle with substance abuse. On “The Cut Off,” he explores toxic, one-way relationships that he’s been forced to end. On “Friends,” he pleads with other companions of his struggling with addiction, promising that there are healthier ways to overcome systematic-oppression-induced anxiety and depression. The stories and messages on KOD are far more important than its production, which is percussion heavy and melodically muted – this is in stark contrast to some of Cole’s older, glossier, sample-laden projects such as The Warm Up and Friday Night Lights.

 
Cole did what he does best on KOD, summing up complex and poignant topics with conciseness and clarity. While some argue that his work is overly simplistic, it’s important to keep in mind when listening to a Cole album that it’s just that, an album, and not a graduate school thesis. To convey his thoughts in such an articulate manner over just 42 minutes, as he does on KOD, highlights his underrated talent as a wordsmith. More importantly, Cole again achieved his primary goal: to educate, inspire, and lead as many people as possible through his selfless works of art. It’s officially a Cole spring, and the official closing track title, “1985 (Intro to The Fall Off”),” hints that it may indeed be a Cole summer too.

Continue Reading
More in Main
Why Onyx’s “Backdafucup” Was A Game-Changer

Very New York, very street, and very gritty.

Close