A Conversation w/ Trippie Redd: Success of ‘A Love Letter To You 4’, Perfecting His Craft, New Album Ideas & More

Photo Credit: Aidan Cullen

It goes without saying that within the music realm, time can move incredibly fast. With the release of new music every single Friday, it can often blow past us actually how long certain projects have been released and how long certain artists have been actively making music for. So much so, as we sometimes scroll through our personal libraries of music and select that one project from 2017 and go, “wait, that came out that long ago?”. For me, this was a real-life scenario, and the artist in mind was Trippie Redd.

On my journey through memory lane, I ended up back at Trippie’s debut commercial mixtape A Love Letter To You, which was released in May of 2017–almost three years ago. Being exposed to his music around that time, it really does not seem like that long ago, but the way music is today, makes it seem like lightyears ago. From that project to present-day Trippie Redd, his career has been a roller coaster full of many ups and some downs as well. Nonetheless, Trippie has done enough = groundwork to solidify himself amongst not only the new school, but the previous generation of rappers as well. He stood the test of time, released a handful of projects, and has gained many accolades and plaques along the way. Some of those accomplishments include obtaining a spot of the 2018 XXL Freshman Class, making his acting debut on the FX TV Series Dave with Lil Dicky, and releasing his very first number one album and best selling album to date, A Love Letter To You 4. Coming into the game at such a young age, Trippie Redd had no choice but to adapt not only to the ways of the game, but the ways of life as well. Rest assured, he is doing well enough to the point where he has completely surpassed that rookie status in the music ranks.

Despite everything that is going on in the world right now, I had a conversation with Trippie Redd and immediately asked him how he was handling the global quarantine, in which he replied that he was “kicking it at the 1400 Ranch”, what he calls his spot where him and his crew lounge. While many believe the younger generation of rappers to be shy, closed in, and unexpressive, Trippie was very descriptive in regards to everything going on in his life and his career right now. With the direction his career has been heading lately, there’s no doubt in my mind that he has every right to be happy now. The world may be at a standstill, but Trippie Redd believes that his work never stops, and he is always appropriately calculating his next move, and the move after that.

Read our conversation in full below!

 

I went back and listened to A Love Letter To You and It just dawned on me that the project will be three years old in a couple months. What was your mindset like back then and how has it evolved since then?

Trippie: Wow, that’s crazy to think about. My mindset was a lot purer, and I couldn’t see what a lot of older people could see. I was just thinking that everybody is good and ain’t nobody on no fuck shit. I was living carefree. I met a lot of fuck n****s but I learned from that shit. The past three years since that project came out, I just learned a lot about dealing with life and that shit has really elevated my mind and my brand. I feel like I’m so much older than what I really am and I’m only 20 years old. It’s crazy.

For you to be so young and have dealt with as much as you have in your career, do you think the industry sped up that growth and learning process for you?

Trippie: The industry definitely sped up my mindset as far as where my mind is today. I’m still the same n****, I just know a lot. I know how to wiggle away from certain situations. I know how to keep my mouth closed. Letting people show their true colors. Common sense shit that I didn’t know back then when I was like 16 or 17. I was never thinking like that, I was just thinking that everyone fucked with me.

And that’s something that not many artists coming up think about. Sometimes when you’re new to this industry, you gotta think about what you say and what you do and be on your toes with everything.

Trippie: The one thing I can really say I was always on my toes about coming up was watching how I move. Just being from where I’m from and seeing a lot of scenarios that n****s done been through. I always knew how to be on my toes and have awareness but I was so happy just saying shit, and I kinda stepped away from the keeping quiet and observing.

Did you imagine everything as far as your career happening this fast?

Trippie: Yeah, I imagined it happening cause I always imagined my present self back in the day being rich, but I thought it would take me longer. I thought it would take me like three or four years.

You’ve been working with so many major artists such as Chance The Rapper, Travis Scott, Young Thug and even Drake: Who are you looking forward to working with that you have not yet?

Trippie: I’m looking forward to working with Uzi. We keep in touch. We always check on each other, but we never really got too serious with the music shit. We definitely wanna work with each other though. We’ve had conversations.

How did you feel about Eternal Atake on first listen?

Trippie: At first, I was only REALLY feeling like four songs, and then I kept listening and I ended up liking about six of em. And then he dropped the deluxe and then I damn near liked all the songs on the deluxe. All together, I give it an 8 out of 10 for what we waited on.

I want to talk about the song “The Way” with Russ. I feel like a lot of people don’t really respect Russ as an artist but I feel like you were one of the ones who honestly recognized his talent level. Can you speak more about how that collab came about?

Trippie: Russ is a great artist. I actually had met bro in the studio with Scott Storch. Russ was there with PnB Rock—they were doing a song together. So I went over there, introduced myself and shit. We started talking about music. He mentioned he noticed how woke I am on a sound level, just musically inclined. He understands what it takes to make the type of music that I make. I just really fucked with him after that, like nobody really has those type of conversations. I had this record [The Way] and he commented on it cause I posted it on Instagram and he was like “we gotta make some shit like this”, and I was like “make some shit like this? You might as well hop on this one”. So I sent it to him and that ended up being “The Way”.

I like how you added the clip from that one meme, the “Go Demarcus” video too.

Trippie: Yeah, I love using memes and shit in my songs. I love using them as a concept like, making some real-life shit and make it kind of funny too. I got a new one where I used the “Gra ta ta” meme too.

I understand with everything going on in the world right now, you had to cut your tour short. From the shows that you did do, what was that tour life like?

Trippie: Shit, all I had left was the overseas part left to tour, so I basically completed the whole damn thing really. It was amazing though—it was so much energy. I loved it. Everybody came and supported, and I just can’t wait to get back on the road. It’s kinda a love-hate thing sometimes though. Sometimes I’m like “fuck, I wanna go home”, but then I see the fans reactions every night. I got kids opening up mosh pits and running in circles while other kids do backflips and shit. That shit is fun.

A Love Letter To You 4 just went gold recently, so congratulations on that. I think a lot of people think that this one is your best project to date.

Trippie: Thank you, I appreciate that. Shit, I think this is my best project. But a lot of people was like “hell nah, Life’s A Trip and A Love Letter To You 1 & 3 are the best ones. My personal opinion is I fuck with A Love Letter To You 4 and Life’s A Trip the most. Three was like my baby though, I ain’t gon lie. I studied the way I put all of my projects together and that’s how I came up with the concept for this album. To make it be one section about love, one section is alternative rock, one section is rap.

What is your overall opinion on longer albums? I feel like sometimes it can be hard to figure out how many songs you want on an album because you don’t want to bore the fans out, but at the same time you want to make sure you give them enough music.

Trippie: I’ll put it this way—if you gonna keep the same flow on every damn song, I don’t wanna hear 30 songs from you bro. But, if you got a n***a that’s doing a rock song here and there, some R&B songs, some rap songs, some catchy wavy type shit, using different melodies then I don’t care how long it is. I love sitting through albums. I do it all for the fans. A lot of people just be critics. I let the critics be critics, but the fans, they don’t care how much I drop.

I get notifications of you going live on Instagram a lot and inviting fans to join. Most of the time, you’re just playing unreleased music. How important is that to you of going live all the time and connecting with all your fans?

Trippie: It’s very important to me. But really, I just be doing that shit cause I be bored as fuck. I be going live sometimes and I be like “why the fuck did I just go live?”.

Another song of yours that I want to talk about is “Death” featuring Da Baby. This one stood out to me a lot because it was produced by DJ Paul from Three 6 Mafia. It shocked me because a lot of the younger rappers don’t really reach out to the older generation of producers for their beats. How did that collab with DJ Paul come about?

Trippie: I feel like I utilize a lot of older producers beats because they are nostalgic. I love nostalgia. I wanna make music with people that Drake got to work with or Jay Z got to work with. I want o be in the loop with people like that. I do fuck with the new producers too cause the new producers be having the sauce too. But, I was always observant of the older guys cause that’s what I grew up to. I would always see they did this and that and they made this many hits and all that, so I was like shit that’s somebody I wanna work with. So when I did, I got a platinum record.

I love the fact that you and Pi’erre Bourne reunited again because it made me think of the old “Solar Flare”, “Q’s & P’s” days. Pi’erre produced three beats on the original (The Grinch, RMP, M’s) and then four more (Yell Oh, OTF Nightmare, Even Steven, Amazinggg) on the deluxe. You’re also one of the only rappers besides Carti to have a Pi’erre Bourne rap verse on your project as well. Would you ever possibly to a whole collab tape with Pi’erre at some point?

Trippie: Yeah of course. It’s definitely been talked about. Just estimating off the top of my head, we got at least 25 to 30 songs together. Everything comes with a strategy though. It’ll come.

 

I see a lot of people talk about the difference between a mixtape and an album and I think the lines are a bit blurred from what they used to be. Life’s A Trip was an album for you, but ALLTY4 is a mixtape—yet it is structured like an album with half melodic and half rap songs. What’s the difference between the two for you?

Trippie: The only difference for me, is that I’m in a record deal. For me, one project counts a year, and that would be whatever my album is. Anything I drop after that would just be considered a mixtape. A mixture of songs that don’t count towards my deal. I’m not obligated to make mixtapes at all, but I just do it for my fans.

So the creativity behind the projects don’t change at all. The only thing that changes is what the label considers it. That being said, when did you begin to become as strategic about the way you sequence and piece together your projects?

Trippie: I feel like I always was like that. The way it went from “Love Scars” to “Love Scars 2” to “Romeo and Juliet”, all that shit. I always put it together that way.

So now I see you’re teasing a new project called Pegasus. Is that an idea or is that set in stone?

Trippie: Nah that’s set in stone. Pegasus will be an album.

What will the direction on that album be like?

Trippie: The direction on the album is supposed to feel mystical. Like dreamy, nostalgic, outer space. Everything is gonna feel like some off-the-wall fairy tale type shit. For example, I got songs on there called “Pink Pixie Dust”, a self-titled song “Pegasus”, a song named “Fairy Tales”, a song named “The Milky Way”. It’s all going in that direction. “Love Scars 4” will be on this album too.

I know you were teasing a rock album too. Is this gonna be the rock album or will that be a completely different project?

Trippie: Nah that will be a completely different album. I’m gonna drop Pegasus but that doesn’t mean I still won’t be working on the rock album too.

At this point in your career, we have seen the rock side of you, the scream rap side, the R&B side. How may more sides have yet been seen of Trippie Redd and will we see those sides in the near future?

Trippie: You will see all of the above plus more. I’m a sub-genre kinda guy.I start with one concept and the song becomes multiple. You’ll be hearing me do everything for real. I got my hands in everything.