Amongst all the hordes of SoundCloud rappers that came and went between 2015 and 2018, Trippie Redd has managed to remain near the top. In many ways, Trippie along with a select few others like Lil Yachty and Lil Uzi Vert triumphed as some of SoundCloud’s only successful graduates, albeit it’s important to note drugs, tragedies and trauma took away, or derailed some of the other stars. Although he hasn’t dropped a definitive album or toppled the charts with multiple top-10 hits, Trippie has stuck to a strict diet consisting of frequent releases and an innovative musical spirit. From rapping to rocking and mixing in some raging, Trippie has spread his musical web wide enough to garner a wide variety of attention.
There’s a chance he can hold this attention by capitalizing on the lack of January rap albums with his lengthy fifth studio album, Mansion Musik. The tracklist is 25 songs long with a runtime of well over an hour; a slog for anyone, no matter the genre. Though some of the album’s faults get balanced out by executive producer, Chief Keef. Sosa isn’t really known for his executive producing chops but this new Trippie album appears to have Keef’s fingerprints all over it. He’s got that EP credit, he’s featured on two tracks (“Atlantis” and “Rock Out”) and fans might remember that Keef also had a project of the same name released in 2018.
The title track and intro sounds exactly like one would think a Trippie Redd song executive produced by Chief Keef would: mega synths, thundering bass, rapid-fire hi-hats and plenty of shit-talking. The next two tracks (“Atlantis” & “Psycho”) keep this exact same energy sounding nearly identical.
More and more features spew in over the next few tracks including a second one from Future, Lil Baby getting off a mediocre 16, and a rare tastefully used post-humous Juice WRLD verse. Out of the 25 total tracks, Trippie is left to his own devices on only four songs. No one is saying that a solely Trippie rapped, produced, mixed and mastered project would have been a better offering but with this many features, its hard for the “main” act to shine. The mansion-sized album has every room occupied, and the guests overstay their welcome.
A cut like “Van Helsing” is a perfect example of why Trippie should have had more alone time on this album. It’s one of the only moments on the album where he’s getting off some traditionally brazen yet audible bars that aren’t covered by distorted synths or the violently loud ad-libs of others. Trippie gets off some clever lines like: “N****s switchin’ colors, they chameleons in this bitch/A reptilian in this bitch, with the brodies, hittin’ licks.” Later on “Free Rio” he delivers a slick verse-closer: “And you know I’m Big Redd, n***a, just like some licorice/I just bought a Rolls-Royce, don’t that mean really rich?/Walk around with 1400 hoes on my damn dick”. This might not be a lyrical miracle by Lupe Fiasco’s standards but for Trippie it gets the job done. Trippie’s superpower as a rapper has always been the way he delivers the bars, not necessarily the intricacy of the bars themselves. Chant-worthy choruses on pseudo-rap anthems, made for teenage ragers at summer music festivals is exactly what Trippie does best.
If the first half of Mansion Musik is the intense nouveau-crunk-rap floor in the mansion, then the back half is an ensemble of trap doors and hidden rooms filled with experimental rock and rage. The shredding guitar and bass on “Krzy Train” with Travis Scott would blow any car speakers out no matter the volume level. “Who Else!” sounds like a song that would be played while you ascend to battle a final boss in Elden Ring. And just when listeners thought Trippie couldn’t have pulled more inspiration from Gamestop, “Witchcraft” proves that Trippie has perfectly captured the angst of today’s musically ambiguous e-boy.
As the 76-minute run time comes to a close, one thing is glaringly apparent; Trippie needs more time alone to create shorter projects. Perhaps it’s his likable, collaborative spirit or his concept of creating a “mansion” sized project to house a hostel of featured guests, regardless, decisions needed to be made, and this project is simply too long. The songs themselves are actually quite good in their own unique way but it’s difficult for anyone to jump around a 25-track album and get the most out of it. The Mansion would have been better off as a collection of mini condos.
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