Ohio rappers make a pit stop in Athens for #FEST.
At Ohio University’s annual #FEST, they bring in some of the biggest names in musical entertainment and this year’s lineup is no shortage. The stage will boast powerhouses from a spectrum of musical preferences with heavy emphasis on the EDM and hip-hop scene from heavy hitters like Marshmello, Lil Uzi Vert, and Rezz.
Bands, groups, and artists from across the country will make a stop in the small city of Athens, but for Trippie Redd and Crash Rarri, the journey to Athens is a chance to pop in their home state and play for some of the familiar faces that supported them to where they are now. We had the chance to talk with the two Ohio rappers before they hit the stage on April 21 at The Venue of Athens, Ohio.
When I first called Trippie Redd, someone picked up, and for a few minutes, the only sound I heard was a man repeatedly yelling “Ay yo where Trippie at?” I pretty much knew that I was about to talk to a one-of-a-kind artist. Trippie is best known for his song “Love Scars,” which has reached 47.8 million plays on SoundCloud in just one year, but his music can’t be put into the box of just one genre. The 18-year-old Canton, Ohio native grew up listening to every type of music, ranging from timeless artists like 2 Pac and Nas to Slipknot and Gorillaz. And the rapper’s personal sound reflects just that. After releasing hits like “Dark Night Devil” and “No Smoke,” and working with artists like Travis Scott, XXX, and Drake there’s nowhere for Trippie Redd to go but up. Where he sees himself in 5 years? The Grammy’s stage, but for now, Trippie will just have to settle for his #FEST performance. — Ghezal Barghouty
Do you have any memorable moments from working with some of the biggest names in hip-hop?
The memorable shit that I get from like Travis is he brought me out type shit. And there’s like fuckin’ 10,000 people in the crowd. It’s just amazing, that shit was crazy. We performed “Dark Knight Devil.” That’s really like the type of moments I had. I really just sent him this shit. We Facetimed each other and we just fucked with each other so much he wanted me to send him a song, I had that song in the vault, that song was supposed to be on “A Love Letter to You” too, but I ended up not putting it on the record, it ended up being not on the deadline for the tape. So I left it in the vault and then, hey, gave it to his ass. We lit!
What’s it like to be back in Ohio and playing at Fest?
Just being here is a rollercoaster ride. I’m here right now. I just love being in my own city, it never fails to amaze me that I even did what I did. To come back here and just realize that I am who I am, and this is where I grew up, this is the people I was around, they understand that I am who I am.
In your eyes, what are the most important factors for a good music festival?
It’s all the properties of a music festival in one, if that makes sense. For example, if there’s a festival with a lot of opening acts, I would like to see people turning up for the opening acts like they turn up for the last person. And then when the last person comes on, they turn up like somebody just pulled up in a spaceship, you know what I’m saying? I just feel like it needs to be a balance of levels of turning up and shit. But also, what makes a good festival is actually the stage setup and how it looks and shit, for people to be able to be rockstars. Like for me, I was thinking to make me walk further than the surface stage or I want something like trucks outside that I can climb on top of, jump into the crowd type shit. I mean, that shits just fire to me.
What does it feel like to be on stage performing?
That shit is really fun, I mean, it keeps me going, it gives me energy. My whole thing with performing is energy. If you don’t give me a certain amount of energy, I won’t give it to you. I’ll use my energy for myself, turn up for myself on stage, if that makes sense.
With more than 6,000 followers on SoundCloud and being slated to perform at #FEST this year, local Columbus rapper, CRASH RARRI, is primed to blow up. His hip-hop and trap sound resembles that of many of his contemporaries in the rap game right now where one moment RARRI is spitting bars in that iconic triplet flow popularized by the Migos, and the next moment he switches it up to hit that Drake singing/rapping flow that has gained more and more traction in the hip-hop game. But don’t think for a second this is just another SoundCloud rapper with a catchy flow. This dude is talented. Songs on his SoundCloud like “Hood2Hollywood” showcase how fire he can be on the mic while other songs like “The 6” shows just how high the ceiling is for the Columbus-native rapper. — Olivia Balcerzak
How did you grow to be prominent enough to be performing at Numbers Fest this year?
I think just the music. The way I presented myself and the way I made my moves, honestly. I just put everything into [the music]. I took my time with the visuals with releasing it. I took my time with the way I do my cover arts. And I just took my career self seriously, I moved out to L.A…I just kept working and I made sure that I would be recognized on a national level instead of on a local level because that was always my goals.
Can you describe the genre of your music and how you think it touches other people?
Well, a lot of things I talk about in my music is just my life, about like my upbringing and you know, everybody grew up different ways…Everybody just sees hate in some type of way so I feel like people can relate to my music because they listen to it and they understand my story and they understand what I’m saying is real. I like to paint pictures with my music. It’s almost like when you listen to my music you are reading a book and every single song is another chapter. So I feel like that’s the reason why I can touch so many people because it’s like, I’m just this new book, this new artist they just picked up, they just want to keep on putting the two chapters and seeing where it’s going to take them.
How do you feel about coming back to Ohio and performing for a crowd in your home state?
I’m actually extremely excited. The majority of my shows have been in California, Arizona, Texas, New York and I haven’t been back home in a really long time actually. I haven’t been home in a really long time, I haven’t done any shows, like big shows back home. I remember a long time ago, when I first started, I did a small show in Cincinnati, but this is my biggest show in Ohio so I’m extremely excited just to like see everybody and get in front of the people who have been supporting me and like my family, my family out there it is going to be so good just to see them and they finally get a chance to see me on stage and performing and yeah I’m extremely excited to perform back in Ohio. I want to do more shows in Ohio because I want to be able to touch all people back home…There’s a lot of talent out [in Ohio], a lot of people have never even heard of Columbus, Ohio from out of state. There’s people in L.A. who don’t even know where Ohio is on the map, like they can’t even point it out. So it’s like, I feel like that’s where the work comes in. Me coming home to perform it, that’s me putting in that work to let you all know that, there’s a lot of work and we can go to that next level.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just let them know, RARRI, Ohio’s next superstar from Columbus. Biggest artist. I will be Ohio’s next superstar, and that’s a fact. And you can put that in there.