Trippie Redd attacks his third album Pegasus with a distinctly experimental flair, allocating new ideas plenty of room to blossom over a monstrous 80-minute duration.
Trippie Redd’s third album Pegasus might not feel as lively as his two previous records, but what it lacks in radio friendliness it makes up for with creative flair. From a willingness to experiment with the format, to a short film released alongside the record, Pegasus flies into unchartered and interesting new territory.
That said, the seeds which planted these ideas will be familiar to Trippie’s fans. The biggest tracks on Pegasus hit with the same vigour as his previous work; the pitched rap bars and sampled beats aren’t too far removed from his MO. When Pegasus hits, it hits. When it gets weird, you’ve just gotta strap in and enjoy the ride.
To be expected, the first thing you’ll notice about Pegasus is the slew of guest appearances. Anyone on the 10K roster commands attention of course, but as a label flagship Trippie Redd pulls features from Quavo, Future, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Busta Rhymes, and even Sean Kingston. That’s only half the crew.
These moments, alongside fellow industry one-percenters, are where Pegasus will strike streaming gold. I Got You reimagines Busta Rhymes’ 2002 mega-hit I Know What You Want (originally featuring Mariah Carey) for the mumble rap era, low-passing the mix, lending it a sleepy, emotional quality the original track never found.
Sean Kingston fits handily into the reverb-heavy Red Beam, trading melodic blows against Trippie with plenty of drive. Rap features (Lil Wayne on Hell Rain, Young Thug on Spaceships among the cleanest), lend some energy into a record that isn’t afraid to drift into dreamy, lazy jam territory.
Where the album goes most off-piste is in the four-track epilogue featured on the ‘Spooky Sounds Edition’ of Pegasus. Tracks such as Laugh or Woooo are what they say on the tin; explorations of a single sound, repeated, modulated, and twisted to form a full stop on the record. Indeed, they’re spooky.
Thanks to both versions of the album – with or without the Spooky Sounds – being available on streaming services, you can choose to forgo this outro on your listening experience. But for anyone who was waiting for Trippie Redd to do his John Cage thang, here you go. Play it next time your boy hands you the aux.
The second half of Pegasus, Spooky Sounds or not, is where Trippie Redd is at his most expressive. The guest spots feel like more unexpected representations of the featured artists, such as Kingston’s surprisingly sombre vocal, and the production becomes more thematic. It’s dark and decadent, but still sings with that classic Trippie Redd glimmer.
Pegasus has a few moments that’ll raise an eyebrow, for sure, but the variations upon his established formula make for a more wholistic, experiential listen. End-to-end the album is a journey to be had, full of bumps and left-turns that’ll make you appreciate the destination ever more.
Pegasus is out now via 10K Projects/Caroline Australia. Stream or buy your copy here.