What's your favorite Trippie Redd song
23 October 2019
"People my age are not as smart as I am"Interview conducted by Stefan Mertlik
Trippie Redd is one of the most interesting characters in current US hip hop. No wonder that doesn't just bring him fans. His current album "!" is celebrated and hostile alike.
There couldn't be a better example of the state of our pop culture than Trippie Redd: 20 years young, tattooed from head to toe, hair like a rainbow, and a musical socialization that starts with Lil Wayne and ends with Nirvana. This summer the rapper released the studio album "!" released. Hater continued to hate, everyone else recognized the fine tuning he put into this project. The fictional character Trippie Redd remains fascinating. In a 15-minute telephone interview we tried to get to know the person Michael Lamar White IV. A project that was doomed to failure from the start.
Did you have a hard day?
Not really, I chill out with my family.
Why do you think people older than you also celebrate your music?
I think it's the direction I'm going with my music. I focus more on myself than on others.
In a previous interview you said that your music is timeless. Does that also apply to your lyrics?
When I say timeless, I don't mean the content, but the way the music sounds. I could be gone 20 years, come back and the music would still be great. It's about how long-lasting songs are. I'll give you an example: "Party In The U.S.A." by Miley Cyrus is a timeless song. Everyone in the US can identify with it. People outside the US want to identify with it, or at least know what it means. Everyone is concerned with this topic. Your mother, your daughter, your aunt, your cousin, the old man at the end of the street, every hillbilly - they all listen to this.
Let's stay with the classics: When are you going to record your personal "Tha Carter"?
In all honesty, every album I put out feels like my "Tha Carter". If I were to rate all of my albums, "A Love Letter To You 3" would still be my favorite record at the moment. "!" is in third place and "Life's A Trip" is in second place.
"'Party In The U.S.A.' by Miley Cyrus is a timeless song "
You choose your current album only in third place? What would you improve on the record?
"!" is different from the other albums because I wanted to see how far I could go with the music. It is the album with my greatest artistic claim. I didn't try to make love songs like I do on my usual projects. I wanted to try something new. That was the claim I made with "!" would have. To do this, "?" inspired by XXXTentacion. I wanted to try a new sound in honor of XXXTentacion.
Tell me how making music with XXXTentacion was like.
When XXXTentaction released "17", I listened to the music very carefully. It was a very intimate project. My favorite song of his up until then was "I Don't Wanna Do This Anymore", which he released on SoundCloud at the time. The song was very emotional and melodic. He didn't do that often back then. He was more of a screamer. When we recorded "Fuck Love" together, we did the melodic stuff together for the first time. Back then I always told him to record an entire album in this style. That screaming was cool, but the sound of his singing voice was fantastic. I wanted him to benefit from it.
How was your collaboration with The Game in comparison? After all, he's a legend and twice your age. It can get nervous.
I wasn't nervous. I've hung out with older people my whole life. I'm not friends with people my age. With The Game it felt normal because we're friends now. He's like a big brother to me.
Why don't you hang out with people your age?
Because people my age are not as smart as I am.
When did you first realize this?
I just saw the choices people my age make. While they were acting stupid and silly, I concentrated on my music and my art. I've always liked learning and discovering different things. But young people don't feel like doing it. They just want to do crazy things. I preferred to surround myself with people who were better and older than me and were able to influence me positively as a result. When you're focused, you need to hang out with people who are focused too.
Is that also a reason why you spread positive messages in songs like "Snake Skin"? Because maybe you want to be to younger listeners what you used to be looking for in older buddies?
Yes, that's what it is all about. With "Snake Skin" I wanted to motivate people. I am contacted very often by people who have thoughts of suicide. I wanted to talk about suicide in the song, but at the same time I wanted to make uplifting music that would make the listener think differently.
"The fact that the success came so early shows that I was more intelligent than others"
Do you think success came too early for your personal development?
That success came so early shows that I was more intelligent than others. When I was 20, I went through things that others would not experience until they were 25 or 30. As a result, I learned important things about life very early and much faster. I wouldn't give this success away for anything in the world.
Are you more likely to forgive mistakes because of your age?
Is the answer so easy for you?
Why is the appearance of a rapper so important these days?
I have no idea, I was born with such a distinctive face. The face tattoos and colored hair just came in because I like them.
Do you think your optics outside of the US are even more important because of the language barrier?
It definitely feels different to people in Europe than it does here. But I have also seen people in Switzerland who have tattoos all over their bodies and piercings all over their faces. They look fantastic. I thought they looked a lot crazier and cooler than me.
Are there limits for you when it comes to tattoos?
When did your optics help you in the course of your career and when did it hurt you?
My distinctive look definitely brought me some concert bookings. I just stand out. But it also causes you problems if you want to go into fashion or advertising.
When was the last time you were addressed by your maiden name Michael?
My girlfriend last called me Michael two hours ago. There are definitely a few differences between the art person Trippie Redd and Michael. Michael is what my parents, my girlfriend, my sister and my cousins call me. Trippie is what my friends call me. Trippie Redd is what fans and people outside of my inner circle call me.
Can you one day even imagine a quieter life with a wife, children and a dog?
Good question. I already manage not to pay too much attention to the internet. But I don't see myself as a sedentary person either. There will always be people who adore me or at least recognize me, no matter where I go.
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