Trippie Redd

A Love Letter to You 4

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Tireless and always emotionally charged, Trippie Redd's amalgamous approach to rap resulted in a web of trap beats, emo acoustic guitar lines, and lyrics sung in a tormented croon. In addition to more fully conceived studio albums, his A Love Letter to You mixtape series was home to both some of his most successful songs and partially cooked experiments. A Love Letter to You 4 is no different, just more of the same disparate elements that Trippie incorporates into all of his music. Clocking in at almost an hour, this is the longest entry in the series, and comes as fully stocked with guest features as most of his projects. After a five-song stretch of unaccompanied numbers, appearances start trickling in from Juice WRLD, DaBaby, Lil Yachty, YNM Melly, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Smokepurpp, and many others. Broken relationships sit at the core of many songs, from the scathing takedown of an ex in the spare opening track "Leray" (named after real-life ex-girlfriend Coi Leray) to the bitter pleading of "Love Me More." Lyrically, Trippie Redd stays firmly rooted in a place of self-pity and dark nihilism. While it's a more enjoyable listen than the dismal and often confusing !, the cloudy beats, whiny hooks, and self-indulgent lyrics begin to blur long before the halfway point of the 21-song collection. Several songs stand out from the largely interchangeable track listing, in particular the catchy chorus of "This Ain't That" and the spare but dreamlike "Love Sick," which falls midway between R&B balladry and lo-fi hip hop, with a beat comprised of backward samples and the sound of distant fireworks. There's some solid material here, but it can be a slog to parse it out from the rest of the project, which approaches a running time almost twice as long as 2017's first entry to the series. Enthusiasts of Trippie Redd's brand of quasi-visceral heartbroken emo rap will have plenty to enjoy, but discerning listeners might have to pick a few favorite songs and discard the rest.

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