Trippie Red is singer and rapper who rose to fame in 2016 and 2017 with a string of relatively well received mixtapes and singles. He was named as a member of the 2018 XXL Freshman class and performed quite well in the promotion’s freestyles and cyphers. After a platinum single and a couple well publicized feuds with 6ix9ine and the late XXXTentacion, Trippie Red had reached a career peak in terms of relevance and exposure.
His sound is generally characterized as a softer form of the recent Soundcloud scene, even incorporating guitars, pianos, and other rock elements into the overtly trap-inspired genre he frequents. He seems to be a part of the very small sliver of modern rap which has a public respect for the rock music that came, often, before the artists were even born. He’s built such a name and esthetic that, after seeing the fantastic album art and hearing the lead singer, I found my self quite excited for Trippie’s major label debut, Life’s a Trip. The album, for the most part, is what one would expect.
The more organic instrumentation pallet is much appreciated here, as Trippie’s contemporaries seem to drop slogs of endless synth and trap drums. Instead, the opener, “Together,” and “Forever Ever,” feature catchy guitar hooks, while “Taking a Walk,” is lead by enjoyable organ work. This instrumentation and focus on more organic sounds pops all over the record, and is definitely the best quality of the entire project.
Trippies vocals, especially when singing, are also quite impressive. His raw, energetic hook on the chorus of “Wish,” makes it one of the best tracks on the album, though I could certainly do without the Kurt Cobain line, and his performance on “Bird Shit,” is also quite impressive.
These two good qualities combine for the best track on the album, “How You Feel,” which uses electric guitars as its primary melody, laid under an excellent, if a bit repetitive performance from Trippie Red on vocals. It’s catchy, fun, and above all, unique. This sound, however, doesn’t fill the entire album.
“Dark Knight Dummo,” and “Shake It Up,” for example, are little more than generic trap bangers, and there is little in the way of impressive lyricism throughout. The latter half of the record, for that matter, drowns in overused trap drums and repetitive crooning from Redd.
Overall, the record incorporates organic instrumentation, especially rock influences, in an excellent way. When the guitars and organs are allowed to lead the way, while being adorned with raw and impressive vocal work from Trippie Redd, this album is unique and impressive, but sadly, this isn’t the bulk of the album.
Life’s a Trip is a debut full of interesting ideas, but drown out by pervasive trap drums, repetitive vocals, and weak lyricism.
HEAR LIFE’S A TRIP: https://open.spotify.com/album/214f4uAY0p2KgY7Fl4fBgk