trippie redd on collaborating with his uber driver and what he would’ve named kylie jenner’s baby
We caught up with rap’s 18-year-old video game-obsessed boy wonder.
Trippie Redd is having the time of his life. At just 18, he’s one of the youngest artists riding the post-soundcloud rap wave currently sweeping the world, leaving all in its wake damp, confused but hyped up beyond belief. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, a city best known for being the final resting place of the 25th President of the United States, having an impressive Pro Football Hall of Fame and birthing R&B angel Macy Gray; Trippie credits Canton for shaping him into the person he is today. “The downside is that it’s so small... you can get into a lot of trouble there,” he admits.
2017 saw Trippie put out not one but two full length mixtapes A Love Letter To You and A Love Letter To You 2, both very modern hip-hop offerings with a definite hint of pop-punk. He’s proud of his musical versatility, channelling all his influences into one explosive sound. A recent 88rising collaboration resulted in the animated videogame-esque visual for Hellboy, out last month, which is approaching 3 million views and fucking rules. In it, Blade Runner type cityscapes host a virtual Trippie who battles giant demons with his trusty samurai sword. The narrative continues in the video for Dark Knight Dummo with Travis Scott, which sees the rapper and his crew in a horror movie-meets-zombie apocalypse standoff ft. stacks of money, guns and blunts a-blazing.
Hearing he was in town a double whammy of sold-out shows at Village Underground the other week, we met up with Trippie Redd in a fancy central London hotel to discuss weird dreams, the time he got beats from his Uber driver and his obsession with the number 14. Which is tattooed in the middle of his forehead. Forever.
Morning Trippie. Do you remember when you realised how awesome music could be?
It was this shit that made me love music. This is what I listened to on the radio that made me realise. I was already doing music at the time, and I was taking notes: Lil Wayne, Mirror, Rick Ross, Stay Schemin’, and Drake, Wu-Tang Forever.
What’s this obsession with the number 14 all about then?
It’s real spiritual. It’s like there’s an angel behind the number. I use it to give people hope and bring people up and make them feel better about themselves, because if I can do it then you can do it.
When people ask what kind of music you make, what do you tell them?
I make whatever you like! I’m versatile. I just make music. There’s always gonna be more music from me to come that might just shock you. I can just switch and do whatever I want as far as my voice, cause I really just like music so do whatever I feel in the studio.
What’s the best thing about being famous?
Just knowing that I can make someone’s day just by being there and saying hey. Even a hey can make someone’s day!
Do you have a typical Trippie fan?
I don’t have one. They come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes they do this thing where they become zombies. I’ve played Call Of Duty my whole life and I love zombies so sometimes it feels like that when they’re hoarding the cars and chasing me around. It’s cool though, I like it. I appreciate it for real. That’s what I’m here for.
What do you think is the biggest misconception people have about you?
A lot of people just judge me off of somebody else’s judgement. There’s nothing to not like about me, so if you don’t like me you’re probably just listening to somebody else’s opinion or maybe you just don’t like any music I’ve come up with yet.
Has anyone ever written you a love letter?
Have you written one for anyone else?
I don’t even wait for Valentine’s day for that shit. I just got my girl a $5000 bag. You don’t even know the half of it!
What movie do you think your music would be the best soundtrack for?
I dunno, cause they got love songs, they got hard hitting songs, mellow songs, yellin’ songs, rapping songs. It could really work with any movie genre. Inuyasha would be fire. Can You Rap Like Me? would be for a movie about music. It would be fire to have my own movie too. I would play myself… others would play me too, because I’ve gotta have a stunt double or my momma would be going crazy.
Which fictional character do you most relate to?
Probably Inuyasha, that’s my favourite fictional character. We’re real similar, I feel like the whole show in general and his personality is a reflection of me. I really relate to it.
What’s your star sign?
I’m a gemini which is why I’m so creative. Andre 3000 and Lil Wayne are geminis too -- a lot of the greats are.
When you get super rich, what will you spend your money on?
I definitely want to make a house. Like, the perfect house for Trippie Redd. My house would be fire. I would spend hours creating concepts for the house. I wanna do lava lamp walls, with red and purple lava. It’d be fire. It’d need caution tape across, DEMONS AT PLAY, so you know not to touch it. I just wanna do lots of fun shit with my friends too, like paintballing and snowboarding and going to the zoo.
If you were a wrestler, what would your wrestling entrance music be?
Deftones, Change In The House Of Flies. That shit would be fire.
What’s the best conversation you’ve ever had with an Uber driver?
A lot of Uber drivers just love to talk. I don’t wanna come off as a dick, but man they be talking too much. The best conversation was when one of the drivers was a producer and I got some good beats from him and ended up making some great songs over the beats. It’s not dropped yet. We give our Uber drivers chances!
What’s the last dream you remember having?
I’ve been having crazy-ass dreams. I dreamed I was a butterfly with my face on its body and I was flying around with a first person view and it was fire. But then I got hit by a car and I splattered all over the window. Then I woke up.
Finally, most importantly, if for some reason you were responsible for naming Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner’s baby, what would you call it?