“A Love Letter to You 3” Review

(Caroline Distribution.)

Dear hip-hop-heads-buried-in-the-sand,

Listen up.

On Friday, Nov. 9, Canton, Ohio native Trippie Redd dropped his fourth full-length project, “A Love Letter to You 3.” Since May 2017, the ALLTY series has exploded the 19-year-old emo-rapper’s prominence, and this installment ramps up the artist’s energy and vision.

Emerging from the Soundcloud scene alongside acts such as Ski Mask the Slump God and the late XXXTentacion, Trip has made his own sonic mark with a signature blend of crisp, clean flows and wailing, gritty scream-singing that is utterly captivating.

What I love about Trippie Redd’s music is that it is unabashedly his own. His unique image pairs perfectly with his unmatched consistency and creativity. There are no other rappers currently mixing singing and rapping quite the same way as Trippie Redd.

ALLTY3 starts off strong with “Topanga,” a pre-released single that combines Trippie Redd’s fast-paced sing-rapping with a sweet, pitched-up sample of Maurette Brown’s 2006 gospel track, “It Ain’t Over.”

On the song, Trip juxtaposes the image of guns with a new relationship, rapping, “I can take you to Topanga / Open my hand like Jesus and save ya / Know I’m known to tote bangers / Said ‘Boom-boom-boom, you in danger.’”

The smooth progression of the tracks on this album highlight Trippie Redd’s attention to detail and craftsmanship. Following “Topanga” are “Fire Starter” and “Toxic Waste,” two of the most solid songs on the project. “Toxic Waste,” in particular, is one of the most touchingly introspective from the often closed-off rapper. He laments, “Won’t you help me? / This not healthy / But I need some more love.”

Other impressive tracks include “Elevate and Motivate,” featuring Baton Rouge rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again, and “I Tried Loving,” on which Trip boastfully celebrates his rapid rise to fame, singing, “You can try / I guarantee the sh*t won’t work.”

The track “Camp Fire Tale” is a departure from the rapper’s typical trap-punk mashup style. It is backed by a slow and simple acoustic guitar, over which Trip sings, “Will it take my death to see? / to see my destiny? / They say I live in a fantasy / I’m just lit off Hennessy.”

Overall, this album is definitely an improvement even over “Life’s A Trip,” the rapper’s third album, released earlier this year in August. ALLTY3 finds the rising star contemplating newer and deeper emotions, reflecting on his positionality at the vanguard of the new school (especially as such a young talent), and exploring new musical genres and styles, which is always exciting.

The album has also found mainstream success right out of the gate. Trippie took to Instagram in the early hours of Saturday, Nov. 10 to share a screenshot of ALLTY3 sitting at number 1 on the Apple Music hip-hop charts, with the caption reading, “KEEP DOWNLOADING AND SHOWING A LOVE LETTER TO YOU 3 it’s truly amazing to watch s**t go crazy so fast.”

Clearly, Trippie Redd is feeling the love.

If you are still unfamiliar with the up-and-coming new school of rap, the time has come to open your ears to the wave. Trippie Redd demonstrates on ALLTY3 that not only can the young generation of rap talent bring raw, real, good music, but they are also making their own distinct mark on the landscape of hip-hop, which will last for years to come.

Listen up.

Love,

Zach

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