Ohio-born Trippie Redd has risen to the top of the rap totem pole with a harmonious blend of rock croons over his evolving hip-hop production picks. At the start of this year, Trippie finally delivered ‘the rock album’ he’s always promised his fans, a new version of last year’s ‘Pegasus’.
The release, ‘Neon Shark Vs Pegasus’, which was billed as “presented by Travis Barker” of Blink-182, showcased two clashing sides of Trippie’s alternative approach to rap music: ‘Neon Shark’ epitomised his guitar-ridden punk side, and ‘Pegasus’ his emo-rap sound. On ‘Trip At Knight’, he explodes the concept, letting his inner child run free. Rampant, chaotic and high-octane, this album sees the 22-year-old embrace the colourful production of hyper-pop.
The best example of this (and arguably the highlight of this record) is the wrestler-referencing ‘Matt Hardy 999’. It’s clearly a celebration not only of Trippie’s wordplay, but also of the undeniable creativity exemplified by his late peer Juice WRLD. It’s their fourth posthumous collaboration together – and they never miss. Over the wheezing synths and fried 808s, the two exercise their braggadocio perfectly, their back-to-back approach meshing beautiful, as one seems to randomly pick up from the other: “Asking if I love her, I told her ‘hardly’ / Jumping off the top rope on that bitch like Matt Hardy”.
The rest of the album is enjoyable, but not as memorable as that track. There’s a great feature from Detroit’s underground hitmaker Sada Baby on ‘Captain Crunch’, but even that song makes you think: what happened to ‘Betrayal’, the Drake collaboration teased online? The album’s lowest point is ‘Danny Phantom’. The song first was released on SoundCloud weeks after the passing of the scene’s leader, XXXTentacion, and earned mixed reviews from their both artist’s fandoms, especially when Migos’ Quavo randomly ended up on it. Now Trippie’s reprised the mediocre track into the hyper-pop theme, fitting pre-existing vocals onto the electrocuted rap beat.
‘Trip At Knight’, like many of the rapper’s other projects, is an uneven affair that suggests a lack of quality control. Most record in his bulging back catalogue tend to boast a handful of knockout tracks that keep his name in the zeitgeist, but – with the exception of 2018’s ‘!’ and 2019’s ‘Life’s A Trip’ – don’t tend to reward repeat listens. With four albums, four mixtapes, eight EPs and two deluxe editions to his name since 2016, you wish he’d slow down and focus on longevity.
Release date: August 20
Record label: 1400 Entertainment, Inc. / 10K Projects