Trippie Redd – !
Being a long-term Trippie fan, I have come to learn that everything this man creates is complete fiery gold – or should I say platinum? Because like every album so far, that’s what this album deserves. When one of my top artists releases new music of course I’m buzzing, it’s one of the best things in life listening to brand new music by someone you love as an artist; but there’s always a part of me that gets almost nervous in case I don’t fuck with it. I’ve stopped getting those nerves with Trippie Redd, I’ve come to learn that I’m gonna be mad into whatever music he brings out, fact.
This album begins with the title song of the album, which begins with a woman that sounds like she’s straight from an automated phone call repeating the words ‘exclamation mark’ over and over again. A weird start to say the least but I’ve come to expect this from Trippie so I wasn’t surprised. He quickly gets down to business with one of the cleverest backing tracks produced by Diplo, heavy on violin, bringing both sharp, quick strings and distorted almost voice like string sounds. From start to finish the rhythm of Trippie’s delivery is crazy CRAZY catchy. Fast verses that effortlessly transition into the chorus, which packs a serious punch with strong vocals and infectious lyrics. This is definitely the perfect title song, once again showing Trippie Redd’s ability to create his own version of pop, which sounds nothing like chart music, but still has the ability to appeal to a mass audience in its own way somehow. Genius.
Anyway, we’re only one song in and I’ve already gone off one. Pure waffle.
The second song ‘Snake Skin’ brings the tempo down a little, a nice breather. Mellow sub-bass and dreamy sounds are paired with some classic Trippie Redd rapping; bringing his instantly recognisable vocals. Trippie seems to be offering two different messages, one is about the jealousy of his peers due to his fame and money (wrist suicide, foreign suicide etc.) being so strong it could be considered suicidal. The other is an almost reverse message, urging those out there to steer away from suicide. Regardless of what he’s trying to convey, Trippie has nailed the mood.
After ‘Be Yourself’ and ‘I Try’, two tracks following a similar vibe to ‘Snake Skin’, Trippie continues to display his versatility on ‘They Afraid Of You’, which transitions from classical piano and punchy bass, to guitar riffs straight out of an 90’s indie-rock band. This track brings the first of few feature artists, Playboi Carti. In general I can’t say I know too much about Carti’s music, and other than the dream-like ‘Location’ off his self titled album, I’m not a massive fan. Having said this I’d be lying if I said I don’t enjoy his offering on this track. Despite lyrics that I can’t relate to at all, Carti’s high-pitched, almost slurred delivery makes for an enjoyable juxtaposition from Trippie’s raspy vocals.
‘Immortal’ is up next, featuring The Game‘s classically smooth, old school rap style. No matter how long he is around for, Trippie’s music will live on and on. But who knows, maybe he is some immortal rap-demon brought to earth to make eternal amounts of fire, it wouldn’t surprise me.
The next two songs – ‘Throw It Away’ and ‘Keep Your Head Up’ remind me of XXXTENTACION. I can imagine ‘Throw It Away’ being a sequel to Trippie and X’s ‘Fuck Love’ for sure. Similar subject matter, similar vibe and sound, an X verse on this track would have been incredible. The latter reminds me of X’s track ‘love yourself (interlude)’, bringing light guitar acoustics and a bright beat. I swear I bring X up nearly every week somehow, I’m not obsessed, I swear.
Next up is one of my favourites from the album. In ‘RIOT’ we get a glimpse of the scary Trippie. Exquisitely explicit lyrics delivered by raspy, menacing vocals combined with another guitar-heavy beat make for the superbly sinister atmosphere that first attracted me to Trippie’s music.
Trippie teams up with Lil Duke and Lil Baby on Mac10, which is followed by a joint effort from ‘Big14’ and his girlfriend / fellow rapper Coi Leray, who contrasts Trippie’s vocals with rhythmic rapping and stylistic auto-tune that matches the twinkling piano based beat perfectly.
The single ‘Under Enemy Arms’ follows, a track that grew and grew on me and continues to do so.
Trippie ends the album with ‘Lil Wayne’ and ‘Signing Off’ – an apt finale which fades and fades gently. Although nothing will beat ‘Underwater FlyZone’ as a departing song, that song blows my mind every time, bliss.