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Trippie Redd has an opportunity to distinguish himself.
I’m just casually sipping lean right now while I listen to numerous beats so I can croon about the reckless lifestyle I lead. Aye, and these haters better stop calling my phone because ya boy is in the salon getting his dreads dyed. Alright bruh? What color should I do this time? Red? Yellow? Blue? All three…?
Seriously though, Trippie Red’s newest mixtape, A Love Letter To You 2, has been released. Building off of the hype from singles like “Love Scars,” Trippie Redd’s latest venture is an unwavering commitment to his sound. Fortunately—and unfortunately, this is a gift and a curse for him.
Right now, there are a plethora of artists using the trending styles and sounds of the new wave. So many of these newer rappers are achieving notoriety by simply putting their own spins on contemporary styles. Even if it’s just a slight tweak of what everyone else is doing, minor adjustments along with that particular artist’s persona can go a long way.
In that respect, Trippie Redd is distinct enough to perhaps be recognizable, but he’s not so different that he’ll blow your mind. He’s a trap-crooner who loves to interpolate melody into his raps, especially on his hooks. That style makes this record an emo roller coaster ride; Trippie Redd doesn’t have a whole lot to say, he just has different vibes to offer the listener.
So when he’s at his best, the songs are extremely catchy and full of life. I imagine some of these songs have crowds going wild at concerts. In this age of rappers identifying with rockstars, Trippie Redd’s crescendos and vocal arrangements can be rockstar-like.
But when he’s at his worst on this record… he’s really horrible. Some of these melodies just don’t stick—especially when you’re obnoxiously shouting on your verses. I don’t even want to hear you sing-shout in your ad-libs. You get the sense that he ran out of things to say, and is simply trying to finish the song on many of these cuts. “Woah woah woah” is a terrible song title, and the hook is even worse.
And it’s not just him. The supporting cast he brings along for some of these features are equally as bad. A lot of these guys just sound like they’re sleep-talking. Rappers gotta lay off of the lean; that’s what it does to you. Redd maybe should’ve considered some different artists for his collaborations; on songs like “Dangerous,” the energy level just isn’t consistent enough.
Artists like Trippie Redd struggle to carry entire mixtapes or albums as the lead acts. Redd just doesn’t have enough to say. And let’s not try to pretend that because this project is titled a “Love Letter” that it has any sort of depth. There doesn’t seem to be a recipient for this “Love Letter.” Actually, whenever he mentions a woman it’s so he can say he fucked and then left. So take that “fake deep” title somewhere else.
Still, my criticisms aside, Trippie Redd can survive in this game.
Here’s how: he needs to ditch the album/mixtape format. When he strikes a chord on this record, he’s compelling to listen to. He should focus on crafting the catchiest, most melodic trap bangers he can cultivate and just do EPs and singles.
Think about it: people are consuming music like never before. And most albums and mixtapes aren’t doing great numbers anyway. And whose to say that we won’t be hearing a Trippie Redd clone in the future? To keep up with demand and the culture’s voracious appetite, he needs to drop numerous short projects that contain his best quality songs.
Trippie Redd has an opportunity to distinguish himself. His trap-crooning style lends itself well to certain instrumentals, but there are many times where his voice is just obnoxious and his content unoriginal. He should ditch the mixtape/album format altogether and focus on volume and quality. A Love Letter To You 2 is a C-.