Live Report: Trippie Redd – O2 Academy Brixton, London

SoundCloud rapper delivers a bravura performance...

Trippie Redd took to the O2 Academy Brixton stage at one of two London dates (July 12th) after giving fans an appetiser at Wireless, Crystal Palace, and cemented his status as one of the most electrifying performers of the new age rap generation. After bursting onto the scene in 2017 with his fresh mix of emo/rock-inspired trap, Trippie’s career has only gone from strength to strength. A true pioneer of the SoundCloud wave and one of its last remaining success stories, the Ohio native is stepping into the prime of his career. His wild vocal inflections are still just as ear-grabbing as when I first heard them on ‘Love Scars’ but he’s also experimented with new sounds, like on his recent hit ‘Miss The Rage’. In fact, the rapper even managed to coin the term ‘rage music’, an almost 8-bit style of production that has inspired young rap stars like Yeat and Ken Carson.

Live Report: Trippie Redd – O2 Academy Brixton, London

Sweaty concert-goers weren’t put off by the stuffy British summer and neither was Trippie. As the lights dimmed and “big 14 know what the fuck going on” echoed around the venue the sold-out crowd stormed to the front to embrace the off-the-wall energy that was forthcoming. Having ‘Dark Knight Dummo’, one of the rapper’s biggest hits, as the opening track set the precedent. Bass shook through the venue as mosh pits spread like wildfire, while a collective anthemic yell of “count my guap” rang through.

In between songs lights would go red, distorted bass would ripple through the crowd and Trippie would disappear off the stage, is this what dying feels like? It’s probably close. Maybe Trippie would slow things down a bit after that scintillating entrance? Guess again. In comes the Three Six Mafia sampling ‘Death’. Now I think I’m dying.

Live Report: Trippie Redd – O2 Academy Brixton, London

Sporting his own merch, a shirt saying ‘1400’, the street that Trippie grew up on, he breaks into the Juice Wrld assisted ‘1400 / 999 Freestyle’ and allows the crowd to spit Juice’s iconic verse, to which they gladly and skillfully do. Finally, a moment to catch a breath offers itself with ‘Wish’. Trippies strained, emotive vocals sound just as good live as they do on the track and I wonder to myself how he’s never had any vocal issues. My vocal cords feel like they’re ready to snap at any second already only a few bars in.

‘Fuck Love’ is another sombre, intimate moment as Trippie begins chanting ‘long live X’ referring to close friend and collaborator XXXTentacion, who was murdered in 2019. Even in a seemingly more relaxing moment, the crowd can’t resist but to open up more pits. The crooner then tells the crowd he’s got a special guest, which perked everyone up, although maybe he should’ve kept this guest backstage. Tion Wayne burst onto the stage with a mixed reaction from the crowd, understandably so as Wayne and Trippie are probably about as far apart stylistically as you can be. 

Live Report: Trippie Redd – O2 Academy Brixton, London

Hilariously, at one point a fan throws a Bible on stage, presumably poking fun at Trippies’ previous use of 666 symbolism. “These guys threw a bible up here,” Trippie says while laughing. As the show nears its end it dawns upon me just how many huge songs the star has under his belt, ‘Rich MF’, ‘Holy Smokes’ and ‘Taking a Walk’ could all be considered concert closers but for Trippie it’s just another track on the setlist.

By this point, the transition of red lights and isolated bass did get a little repetitive. It happened almost after every song and did get rather predictable towards the end. However, Trippie made sure to leave with a bang. Just before finishing his set Trippie asks the crowd “who in here can backflip” and, of course, there were plenty of amateur gymnasts ready for their moment. Now, with a nominated back flipper at the ready the synth lines of ‘Miss The Rage’ begins and everyone is ready to lose it. Once the bass kicks in confetti is launched in the air, pyrotechnics are blasting and backflips are happening in any open space available. If it felt like I was passing over earlier in the show, this must be the afterlife and I’m not quite sure if I’m in heaven or hell.

Live Report: Trippie Redd – O2 Academy Brixton, London

Words: Chris Saunders
Photo Credit: Leon Heaney

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