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Hartwick College's Student Newspaper

The View From Oyaron Hill

A Music Review: Trippie Redd, 6ix9ine, and Rich Brian


Gabriella Flannery

            Welcome back to the music review section of Hilltops. In the last music review we took a look at “Clout Culture”, a rapidly growing social movement and rap subgenre. Today we are going to be taking a closer look at some of the biggest clout rappers out there.

Trippie Redd, also known as Lil 14, is an 18 year old clout rapper from Canton, Ohio. It is known that Trippie Redd is associated with the Bloods gang, grew up with his father in jail with his mother raising him as a single parent. Many don’t know that despite this, he graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA.

A Love Letter to You 2 album art

            Trippie Redd, like most clout rappers, started his career on the audio distribution site Soundcloud. He was inspired by the rapper Lil Tae who tragically died in a car crash in 2014. Trippie Redd began taking his music career seriously and recorded his first songs “Sub-Zero” and “New Ferrari” in 2014. After graduation, Trippie Redd moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he worked with the rapper Lil Wop and was signed to a record label. Soon after beginning to work in a professional recording studio, Trippie Redd began pumping out music and gathering a large following. His debut mixtape “A Love Letter To You”, was released on May 26th, 2017 and rose to be a hit. The lead single “Love Scars” has become one of his top songs to date.

Trippie Redd’s second album “A Love Letter To You 2” was released on October 6th, 2017. The top tracks included “Bust Down”, “In Too Deep”, “Hellboy”, “Woah Woah Woah”, and “Back Of My Mind”. My personal favorite is “Bust Down” which currently has over 37 million plays on Spotify. The album features the guest artists Khalil, Cydnee with a C, FOREVER ANTi PoP, Bali Baby, Chris King, UnoTheActivist, and Rocket Da Goon.

Rolling Stone describes Trippie Redd as “a SoundCloud rapper full of childlike flamboyance and ephemeral wordless intonations.” One of my favorite things about his rapping style is the way he seems to let his voice just take him away. The inflection in his voice seems almost out of his control, like it just happens as he is recording and it works for him.

Some people criticize Trippie Redd’s second album, calling it not nearly as good as his first. After “A Love Letter To You” landed #20 on Rolling Stone’s top 40 rap albums of 2017, I can understand why some feel “A Love Letter To You 2” didn’t live up to their expectations. Personally, I would rate the album a 3.5/5 stars as I found it to be enjoyable, but it definitely falls a little short. I still think it’s worth a listen as it has a lot of great featured artists that I had never heard of before I found this album. 

Day 69 album art

            Up next we have 6ix9ine, also known as Tekashi69, a 21 year old rapper from Brooklyn, New York. 6ix9ine exploded onto the rap scene seemingly out of nowhere when he was featured on Trippie Redd’s song Poles1469. He quickly gained a following and started making music of his own. 6ix9ine is known for his eccentric appearance with rainbow-dyed hair, a rainbow grill, and multiple versions of the number 69 tattooed on his body. 

After making an Instagram post in July 2017 that went viral on Reddit and Twitter he quickly became an internet meme because of his appearance. In November of 2017 he released his debut single “Gummo” which reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Followed by his second single “Kooda” in December which debuted at number 61 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 50. His third single “Keke” featuring Fetty Wap and Boogie Wit Da Hoodie was released in January and is currently at 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is still rising.

On February 23rd 6ix9ine released his debut mixtape “Day69” which features “Gummo”, “Kooda”, and “Keke”, as well as seven new songs and a remix of “Gummo” by the artist Off Set. Featured artists on this album include Off Set, Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Fetty Wap, Young Thug, and Tory Lanez. 

On February 23rd 6ix9ine released his debut mixtape “Day69” which features “Gummo”, “Kooda”, and “Keke”, as well as seven new songs and a remix of “Gummo” by the artist Off Set. Featured artists on this album include Off Set, Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Fetty Wap, Young Thug, and Tory Lanez.

 By far my favorite thing about this album is the cover art which depicts 6ix9ine drawn in the style of popular cartoon Adventure Time. 6ix9ine’s harsh guttural rapping style is something I’ve certainly never heard before. He has received a vast amount of criticism for his appearance, behavior, criminal record, gang affiliations, and bad blood with other rappers. However despite all of that he has gained one of the largest followings of any clout rapper in less than a year.

If I had to rate the album “Day69” I would give it a 4.5/5. 

It is most definitely one of the most unique rap albums I have heard in a long time. Even if you don’t support 6ix9ine’s choices or even if you don’t like his music you have to appreciate the career he has built for himself. I think it is impressive considering the struggles he endured as a young child. After his father was murdered in 2009, 6ix9ine worked various jobs and sold marijuana in order to help his mother.

Amen album art

Rich Brian, also known as Rich Chigga, is an 18 year old rapper from Jakarta, Indonesia. He has never had any formal education, and spent most of his time as a teenager helping at his parent's café while he was home-schooled. In 2010, Brian began his career with social media when he was 11 years old. Through platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Vine, Brian was able to teach himself English as well as begin posting content. Brian wrote his first rap song in 2014 and recorded it with an iPhone microphone, over a produced MF Doom instrumental track.

In 2015 Brian released “Living The Dream” on his YouTube account which was produced by DJ Smokey. He soon released debut single “Dat$tick” which gained international success. Rappers such as Ghostface Killah, 21 Savage, Tory Lanez, MadeinTYO, Desiigner and many more reacted publicly to “Dat$tick.” Rich Brian’s music career really began to take off at this point as his following continued to grow.

Fast forward to February 2nd, 2018, when Rich Brian released his debut album “Amen”, featuring artists like Offset, Joji, Niki and August 08. Top tracks off the album include “Glow Like Dat”, “Chaos”, “Cold”, “See Me”, and “Attention”. One of my personal favorites in “Kitty” which starts off with the line “let me tell a story ‘bout a boy named Brian” and the rest of the song is told like a story with a serious plot twist at the end. I think the best thing about Rich Brian’s style is the humor he incorporates into his music. Like the opening line in “Chaos” which is “Yeah, happy birthday to me I'm 18 now and women can legally have sex with me”.

Not only is Rich Brian hysterical and talented he comes from humble beginnings and I can really respect that. I would give “Amen” a solid 4.5/5. If you’re considering giving it a listen I recommend you do it with the bass booster all the way up. I hope you have a great week and listen to some great music.