The chart-topping Ohio rapper talks Marilyn Manson, a new project with Travis Barker and losing friends Juice Wrld and XXXTentacion
Recently, while reviewing upcoming shows with students in my hip-hop class, the excitement for Trippie Redd was cause for alarm. I try my best to keep up, but Redd was beyond my radar. With Trippie, I finally felt old. He’s the kind of post-everything superstar who could last a week or a decade.
My students were quick to point out that he “wasn’t hip-hop.” We watched a few videos — one where he counts his “guap” (aka money) and shoots zombies, and one where he wobbles in a trap house with a blunt obscured with trippy after-effects — and I was convinced: He’s an artist who bucks trends and melds acoustic guitars with triflin’ shout-outs and guttural guffaws. Trippie Redd is some kind of nihilist rebellion that would’ve attracted me at 15. But who exactly is he?
Billboard proves that Trippie Redd is a major artist — and from Canton, Ohio, to boot. Since his start in 2018, the 20- year-old has had four albums in the top 10, and his latest, A Love Letter to You 4, took the top spot in December. No doubt riding the coattails of his predecessors, he’s shared the mic with Travis Scott, Young Thug and Quavo. He’s feuded in public with other rappers, keeping his stature intact. He’s been the source of controversy, but also the source of innovation. You can hate all you want, but the guy is making moves in an industry that fluctuates by the day. -Kevin Elliott