Review: On A Love Letter To You 4, Trippie Redd is able to create instant hits using the contrast between soothing, guitar melodies and trap beats, topped off by his obnoxious rapping and a few notable collaborations
By Mira Sripada (‘22)
Michael Lamar White IV, better known as Trippie Redd is a 20-year-old American rapper from Canton, Ohio. His discography includes three albums all released between the years of 2018 and 2019. In 2017, White released a mixtape entitled A Love Letter to You. This marked the first project in his “Love Letter” series. Later that year, the rapper dropped volume 2 in this series. In 2018, Redd put out his first studio album entitled LIFE’S A TRIP. In 2019, White delivers two more albums, ! and A Love Letter To You 4. ALLTY 4 contains a remarkable 21 songs, 12 of which are collabs.
The second, third and fourth songs on the album are perfect representations of Trippie Redd at his most successful. “Who Needs Love”, arguably the strongest track on the album, includes an eerie, mellow guitar melody underscored by a hard-hitting, bass-heavy beat. If this were not enough, Redd satisfies listeners with obnoxious wailing that compliments the lyrics: “And I’m destined for this . . . greatness”. Additionally, the third track uses this same formula. “Love Sick” is a soft, calm rap song featuring a guitar melody, trap beat and the use of a firework sound effect in the background. This combination yields a moody, serene and melodious rap song. Finally, the fourth track entitled “Love Me More” is comprised of an electric guitar, bass beat and Redd’s pop-like vocal performance desperately singing lyrics like, “I wish that you would love me more”.
Also present throughout the album are subtle elements of heavy metal. This is seen in the thirteenth song, “The Grinch”. Drowning in 808s, White takes advantage of his baritone voice to create a suspenseful and haunting vibe, which he then alternates with extreme and malicious yelling. After listeners hear the melodious songs mentioned previously, “The Grinch” feels out of place and overly hectic. Furthermore, heavy metal is present in “Death (feat. DaBaby)”. In this song, Redd and DaBaby rap over a sea of screams as they communicate intense and unsettling messages.
Listeners of music were devastated after hearing of Juice WRLD’s passing on December 8th of 2019. In ALLTY 4, “6 Kiss (feat. Juice WRLD & YMW Melly)” proves to be a notable song on the album and sadly, one of Juice’s last collaborations. “6 Kiss” opens with a video game sound effect followed up by a somber guitar melody both used to uniquely set this song apart from other works. In the track, listeners can hear the seamless transition between Juice to YMW to Redd. All of whom emotionally and gloomily sing a rhythmic and melancholy rap song. Specifically Juice exclaims the lyrics, “Won’t look at the past, it’s behind us”.
More so than in any other album, Trippie Redd makes sure to include some of the greatest and most relevant names in rap. However, more interestingly is Redd’s collaboration with French artist Youv Dee in the song “Bust Down Deux (feat. Youv Dee)”. Surprisingly enough, Trippie Redd’s signature outbursts of passionate emo-rap are paired with French rapping, both overlaid on top of an ominous, bass-heavy beat. Redd’s ability to travel around the world in his music demonstrates his versatility.
In addition to the songs mentioned above, listed below are some honorable mentions that contribute to the album’s memorability: “Hate Me (feat. YoungBoy Never Broke Again)”, “Sickening (feat. Tory Lanez)”, “M’s (feat. Lil Yachty & Pi’erre Bourne)” and “Chosen”.
Trippie Redd uses catchy and somber guitar melodies and, of course, trap beats to craft hit after hit after hit. In this album specifically, White takes advantage of many talented musicians that help to enhance his already successful emo and rap sound. A Love Letter To You 4 is a robust 21-track album that manages to maintain originality and uniqueness throughout its entire progression. Redd is able to generate hard-hitting and emotional songs that continue to display his success in the music industry, all done so at the ripe age of 20-years-old.