Sounds Like: The slurry emo tunes of a teenager raised on a steady diet of hip-hop and hardcore
For Fans of: Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, 6lack
Why You Should Pay Attention: Since releasing his breakout A Love Letter to You mixtape this May, Trippie Redd has gone from a virtual unknown rapper – grinding out a following on SoundCloud while networking within the Atlanta hip-hop elite – to a rising star with major-label distribution and a Top 40 single ("Fuck Love" by controversial rapper XXXTentacion). Signed to the label owned by UMG chairman Lucian Grainge's son Elliot, the 18-year-old born Michael White IV has seen his biggest song, "Love Scars," streamed more than 17 million times on Spotify and more than 12 million times on YouTube. Redd, who recently released A Love Letter To You 2, has been championed by the likes of Lil Wayne, Lil Uzi Vert and Chris Brown; has collaborated with D.R.A.M.; and says he's been talking with Kanye West, Drake and 21 Savage.
Born to a single-mother and an incarcerated father, Trippie's older brother, who performed as Dirty Redd, turned him onto hip-hop before tragically dying in a car accident in 2014. He first recorded alternative rock music before turning his attention to hip-hop, but no matter the genre Redd says music was always his coping mechanism "I was depressed. I didn't have nobody," he says of the years following his brother's death. "I was on my own type shit. Music took me from a real dark place to a real bright one."
He Says: "I knew this was going to happen. I just didn't know it was going to happen so soon. I didn't want to get no regular job. I worked at Little Caesar's for about two days, bro. I was out. That's the only job I've ever had. And I just turned 18 so this is my only real job. This is what I do. Making big money. Never doubt yourself."
Hear For Yourself: On Love Letter To You's "Romeo & Juliet" Trippie showcases his signature elastic vocals as he toasts to love's sweet sting over sexy, New Wave synths. "Baby your love is my medicine/When I'm up bring me down." Dan Hyman