As even the most casual hip-hop fan knows, Soundcloud and the rappers it has produced have become a hot topic of debate in the genre in recent years. Playboi Carti, Ski Mask the Slump God, Lil Yachty, and Lil Pump are just a few of the artists who fall under the “Soundcloud rapper” umbrella, and have already become some of hip-hop’s newest and brightest stars. Ohio native Trippie Redd is one of the latest to enjoy his official moment in the spotlight; he released two official mixtapes in 2017: A Love Letter To You and A Love Letter To You 2, and his debut album Life’s a Trip finally arrived on August 10.

Trippie Redd’s music is a melting pot of all of his inspirations, from hip-hop to rock to R&B. He has specifically cited Drake, Kiss, Nirvana, Kanye West, and J. Cole as artists he listens to regularly and draws inspiration from. The combination of these sounds makes for an interesting listen, as do his own views on his music. He’s made it known that though he does make music about his emotions (“Luv Scars,” “How You Feel”), he doesn’t consider himself an “emo rapper,” and that even though his rise in popularity began on Soundcloud, he doesn’t consider himself a Soundcloud or mumble rapper. On a less flattering note, he has also been part of an ongoing feud with Tekashi 6ix9ine, and was arrested in Atlanta in June for aggravated assault and battery after allegedly pistol whipping a woman (the rapper has denied the claims).

In two years, Trippie Redd has developed a considerable amount of buzz, working with artists like Travis Scott, Chief Keef, and Young Thug. He has also become one of hip-hop’s most polarizing young personalities due to his multiple run-ins with the law and abuse allegations. As his rise continues, you’ll probably want to keep an eye on him, and this explainer is a great place to start. We’ve covered everything from the meanings behind his face tattoos to his religious beliefs to his musical influences. Here’s everything you need to know about Trippie Redd.

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