A Love Letter to You 3
Trippie Redd has often been pegged as one of the leaders of so-called emo-rap—his vocals range from sung to caterwauled, his lyrics delve into the dark sides of love, drugs, and mental health, and he’s released songs featuring him singing over unaccompanied electric and acoustic guitars. The Ohio rapper’s new mixtape, A Love Letter to You 3, takes the burgeoning subgenre closer to one of its logical conclusions: pop. Like its two predecessors, both released in 2017, the project was written after a breakup, which it often addresses head-on. But the sound is lighter, more melodic, and much more hopeful—a far cry from the distorted, SoundCloud-centric music that first gained Trippie fame. The first single, “Topanga,” named after a bucolic Los Angeles enclave known for hills, hiking, and hippies, might be his most joyful song yet. Trippie tells Apple Music about his love life, depression, and oversharing. Do you go to Topanga Canyon a lot? Are you into hiking? I actually didn’t even realize that Topanga was a word until after I recorded the song. The craziest thing about it is my friend Juan, he lived in Topanga and I used to stay up there with him. It’s like one of those words that I knew that just snuck up on me. When you hear it, it’s like, “You made it! You’re here!” You recorded this album right after a pretty public breakup, and you can hear it in the music, especially in “Toxic Waste.” “Toxic Waste” is about a toxic relationship—and that’s all I can really say about that. A lot of people be looking for trouble. I think even sometimes I be looking for trouble on purpose. What about “I Tried Loving”? It’s easy to imagine writing that after a breakup. It’s about depression and shit. I almost ended up changing up the title to “I Tried Loving Myself” ’cause that’s what it was supposed to be called, low-key. You aren’t shy about your personal life, whether in your music or on social media. Does being so public take a toll on your relationships? No. I feel like I should just be open with everybody. I just speak what’s real, what’s on my mind. A lot of people would say they don’t fuck with me for doing that, but it is what it is. I like the people that like me for me at the end of the day, so I’m not going to act like somebody else. I’m going to act like myself. You like me, you like me. If you don’t, oh well.