Childhood & Early Life
Trippie Redd was born Michael Lamar White IV, in Canton, Ohio, on June 18, 1999, into a troubled household. His father was sent to prison just before Michael’s birth. The burden of bringing him up fell on his mother, who then raised him as a single mother.
His mother worked hard to make ends meet, but this was not enough to keep him away from the streets, which were riddled with criminal elements. He got involved in petty crimes and drug peddling at an early age.
His mother was a big music fan and listened to many contemporary rappers such as Beyoncé and Tupac. The musical vibes in his house inspired Trippie to become a musician. Over time, he began idolizing artists such as Lil Wayne, KISS, Gucci Mane, and Nirvana.
Trippie had an elder brother who was also interested in making a career in music. However, he later died in a car crash, which turned out to be the biggest wake-up call for Trippie. Soon, he starred taking his music career more seriously.
In 2014, at the age of 15, he started making music and uploading them online. Two of his early songs that were released online were ‘New Ferrari’ and ‘Sub-Zero.’ While both the songs were successful in the local clubs of Ohio, Trippie was not satisfied with them. He soon took them down from the internet.
After his high-school graduation, Trippie moved to Atlanta. There, he met rapper Lil Wop and his career received its first major breakthrough.
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Prior to meeting Lil Wop, Trippie had not even been inside a professional recording studio. Wop introduced him to the world of rap and music production. Both of them, along with another rapper named Kodie Shane, started working together. Soon, they came up with some good work.
Some of the initial albums that Trippie worked on were ‘Awakening my Inner Beast,’ ‘Beast Most,’ and ‘Rock the World Trippie.’ After the success of these projects, Trippie started receiving much better offers and ended up in Los Angeles. There, he signed a contract with ‘Strainge Entertainment,’ now known as ‘Elliot Grainge Entertainment.’
This was the true beginning of Trippie’s music career. Soon, Trippie started working on his debut mixtape, ‘A Love Letter to You,’ which was released in May 2017. It is rare for a newcomer to reach the ‘Billboard 200’ charts, but Trippie’s mixtape debuted at the 64th spot on the chart.
The mixtape was first released on ‘SoundCloud’ and was subsequently picked up by ‘iTunes,’ too. A single from the album, ‘Love Scars,’ became a major hit across nightclubs and radio stations. The single was eventually certified “platinum” by the ‘Recording Industry Association of America’ (RIAA). Within several months of its release, the single earned more than eight million views on ‘YouTube.’
Soon, Trippie started getting offers to feature in the albums of reputed rappers. He collaborated on the song ‘Fuck Love’ from XXXTentacion’s album ‘17.’ The song became a big hit and debuted at the 28th spot on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart.
Trippie then started working on his next mixtape, ‘A Love Letter to You 2,’ which was released in October 2017. Just like his previous mixtape, this one, too, was an instant success. The mixtape reached the 34th spot on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart. The same year, he collaborated with his mentor Lil Wop, for the album ‘Angels & Demons’.
As he progressed with his music, more established artists started approaching him for collaborations. In December 2017, the song ‘Dark Knight Dummo,’ which was the result of a collaborative effort between Trippie and Travis Scott, released. Trippie featured as the main artist in the song. The song reached the 72nd spot on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart. It was the first Trippie song with him as the lead artist to debut that high on the list.
He then released singles such as ‘18’ and ‘TR666’ by the end of the year. He collaborated with artists such as Rich Brian, Scott Storch, and Kris Wu.
In March 2018, he officially confirmed that he was working on his debut studio album and shocked everybody by claiming that Lil Wayne would feature as a guest on it. The album, titled ‘Life’s a Trip,’ was released in August 2018. Trippie announced earlier that his album would have 26 songs. However, the number of songs was later reduced to 16. The album featured collaborations with some of the biggest names of the industry, such as Travis Scott, Diplo, and Young Thug. However, Lil Wayne was nowhere to be seen on the list, contrary to what Trippie had claimed.
The album was not received well by critics. The main issue that was repeatedly raised was the fact that the album had no fresh sound and that most of the songs were too personal and repetitive. However, it received some good reviews, too, that claimed Trippie was capable of producing a great album.
Despite its lukewarm critical success, the album debuted at the fourth spot on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ chart.