Through constant touring, Trippie Redd has ensured his connection to his fans is stronger onstage and in person than it is online—where he has a combined 7.2 million followers. For Trippie, it's the little things, like chatting with fans while relighting a blunt someone threw at his feet, or pausing during his set to drink tea with honey after conducting the crowd to belt a hook a capella.
“You're actually in these people’s faces, they’re seeing your face, they’re really getting to vibe with you and feel your vibe through the music,” Trippie says backstage on his Life's A Trip tour stop in New Haven, Connecticut.
While an authentic connection with his fans is of paramount importance to Trippie, 19, it's also part of the reason why he finds himself so visible on social media. “It’s not like I necessarily have to get off [stage] and be like, I’m going on [Instagram] Live,” he says, making clear his accessibility comes from a genuine place and not a label-made press-first checklist.
Trippie Redd understands how to be successful in the social media era better than most, but maybe more importantly, he's acutely aware of what it means to make a lasting impact beyond the digital scope.
DJBooth’s full conversation with Trippie Redd, lightly edited for content and clarity, follows below.
DJBooth: How does it feel to have sold out dates on this tour?
Trippie Redd: Amazing. Hell yeah. That shit feel crazy just to even know that there’s hella people ‘boutta come to all my shows and it only took 24 hours for everybody to pay for the fucking tickets.
What is the true value of touring in the digital age, with social media and online marketing so important?
A lot of artists like me, when we sign deals and shit, the most time you gonna make money is when you tour, you know what I’m saying, so it’s always better to do tours because you're actually in these people’s faces, they’re seeing your face, they’re really getting to vibe with you and feel your vibe through the music and just see how you really operate so it’s all around crazy, you feel me? We all going crazy having the time of our lives and at the same time, I’m still able to provide for my family so it’s always crazy.
What’s the difference in the vibe between being an opening act and a headliner?
I mean, with this tour, we really solidified that the opener/headliner aspect of it was gone, like fuck that. I want everybody to vibe to everybody. A lot of people, what they do on tour is, they’ll turn everybody else’s set down on the speakers and shit, and then when the headliner comes up they turn that shit up, I don’t do that. I let everybody’s shit be loud, I let everybody do everything they can because I feel like that’s how we really get our message out. That’s how we really be able to vibe with the people in the crowd, so I want them to take my fans as much as I want to perform in front of my fans, so I want everyone to have a good experience. I hate that shit, I really hate that stereotype, but I’m changing the game. Fuck all that.
How much creative control do you have over your own tour?
I have control over everything. Anything I do is because of me. Like, my label has nothing to do with me. I have creative control. I hand-picked everybody. I love Lil Keed, that’s my brother. Lil Duke, of course, that’s my brother, that’s Thug’s brother, you know what I’m saying, like, I wanted Thug to come with me but I just ain’t want no big, big artist with me so I just did it with the bucks you know what I’m saying.
How has your media presence changed from the time you were independent to after you signed your first record deal?
Independent to when I got a deal, how did it change… Well, of course when you sign a deal you know the label is gonna have some type of social backing to push the artist, you know what I’m saying, so we get a lot of these bigass organizations that have these little pages that post everywhere so I was definitely a part of that… but at the same time, I think I organically blew up off of just me being an internet person myself and me just speaking out and doing what I do every day.
Does it get tiring having to keep up social engagement?
Not really because it’s always on whatever I feel like, like it’s not like I necessarily have to get off here and be like, I’m going on [Instagram] Live and I just got offstage, it’s not how it is. It’s more like I’ma go back to my fucking bus and I’ma smoke a blunt and go Live and be like, yeah I just killed this shit, dadada, it’s more, like, however I feel. It’s more of that creative control.
What advice do you have for anyone trying to break into the music industry?
The best thing to always do is to stay to yourself. Never get big googly-eyed over other artists, or just… numbers, you know what I’m saying? Numbers can mean anything. You could sign a deal in LA, like, and then next thing you know you signing a deal for a million, right, but you not even knowing like, LA’s taxes are like more than 40 percent so then you get to about 600,000, then on top of that you just hired a fucking accountant, you just hired a fucking manager, you just hired a fucking, uh, a stylist, you just hired fucking lawyers and you got a whole label so then on top of that they get their little cut so that’s about 300,000 of that, and then you’re about 200,000 down so you gotta pay attention to the shit you do in this industry.
You really gotta read between the lines and really see what you doing and see how you operate. You can’t just get googly-eyed over numbers or fame or any of that because you don’t know how these people are, you don’t know who these people are. And internet ain’t shit. Trust me. You think you know me you probably don’t even fucking know me. You don’t know a lot of people you think you know.
What’s one thing that fans don’t typically know about you, then?
Things fans don’t typically know about me is that I’m really not a people person. I don’t like people. I never have [and] I probably never will. I’m more so like a loner and then when I open up to people they tend to cross me or fuck me over and then I end up not fucking with them. But then at the end of the day, the moral of the story becomes that I’m not gonna focus my energy on something negative. I’ma be more focused on my shit and that’s what keeps me being positive in this career, this lifestyle I live.
What’s one of the most positive experiences so far that you’ve had touring?
Just being here and being able to vibe with everybody is crazy for me. It’s crazy for me to even have so many people know who the fuck I am. I used to be by myself walking around with no one. It’s just crazy to even have people around.
Additional reporting by Elias Benda.