On “Human,” from his recent Guerrilla mixtape, Don Trip opens by rapping, “‘Letter To My Son’ dropped and niggas thought Trip was all positive/Then they heard my trap shit, now they want apologies/Well, pardon me/I never leave the streets, the block’s a part of me.” Here, the Memphis native tackles critiques—which can be both positive and negative—regarding his music, before reminding on the hook, “I’m only human.” Throughout his DJ Drama-hosted release, the 2012 XXL Freshman displays the depth and fullness of his nature.
Street music with depth is typically hard to find, but Trip is in his comfort zone when making sincere cuts like “Help Is On The Way” and “Sorry Momma.” He also proves more than capable of bringing listeners to the block with his storytelling, which, with songs like “Trap’d In The Trap” and “Shut Up,” grips in its ability to be both poignant and pointed without becoming overly descriptive. Trip isn’t as hardened as Styles P, but seems a descendant of the Ghost in his understanding and articulation of the constraints of his surroundings, and a desire to rise above.
The 26-year-old’s rapper’s flow can certainly become monotonous (which seems to be reflective of his personality, as seen through interviews and photos—very guarded, never getting too high or low), and the lack of range on the vocals can wear on the ears. The production on the project doesn’t do much to liven the vibe, either, but it does remain consistent with the gritty energy of the tape on the whole.
As he sets his sights on his debut album on Interscope, Don Trip takes another step towards solidifying his rep as a new generation of street-bred artist with something more to say without abandoning his roots. —Adam Fleischer