AOTY 2023
Trippie Redd - Pegasus: Neon Shark vs. Pegasus Presented By Travis Barker (Deluxe)
Feb 19, 2021 (updated Feb 19, 2021)
This isn't Rock, this is "rock"

There's a lot fundamentally wrong with this album from when it was first placed on the drawing board. Trippie actually finds himself at home on certain soulful trap beats, hence, the ideal concept for him to follow was to work on his existing sound palette and broadening to something more widely acceptable. Sure, Trippie deserves all the credit for exploring outside the bubble of his brand of emo trap, however, being an idealistic artist doesn't assure good music. And that's most evident on this trainwreck of a mess.

What do I mean by it being flawed from the get-go? Well, let your brain process this. Pegasus, the predecessor to this project, was an overtly bloated piece of trap music in the vein of a post-2015 Chris Brown album. It's not outright horrible, it's just a void of nothingness thrown at your ears for more than an hour with little or no variation and directly aimed. However, Neon Shark does just that, unlike Pegasus, it's outright trash but a bit more interesting. What I'm saying is, unlike Pegasus, it passes to the rank of "so bad it's decent". However, this still sounds like rock music for people who don't know what makes a rock song a rock song. This is a cock album, not a rock album.

What does Trippie do to his own career through the medium of this project? Well, a lot to be honest. If Trippie was falling off musically, this is further evidence he is. He now joins the troupe of bad, white, and corny rap-rockers who are a disgrace to music itself. This includes Machine Gun Kelly, Yungblud, and maybe even a few dudes like Blackbear who are on the verge of ditching their Tiktok directed artist image for trying bad pop-rock out.

However, that isn't the only issue about this. I'm not skeptical of Trippie Redd as a vocalist, he can surprisingly stay potent vocally while going out raw, and his screams have the energy of a rocker. This left me expecting a hell lot with this. I knew it'd be corny, but I never expected it to fumble so fucking hard. Trippie is one of those artists who has an exceptional array of tracks that serve as the core examples for good trap songs but his discography is also aligned with a lot of filler fodder. But the vocal energy and rawness that was present on a lot of his early stuff are sadly missing around here. Autotune doesn't work with rock-tinged percussion, get that into your head Trippie. I get the autotune is stylistically aimed but it doesn't add anything like it usually does to some trap tracks. But this isn't vehemently trap music, so the autotune just puts the nail in the coffin. Trippie's writing here is so below par it even undercuts the lyrical themes of "Tickets To My Downfall", and the mixing is so awfully bad it feels like there wasn't even an engineer behind this project.

So if Trippie's gig here is almost brain-dead, the only other thing this album can get a set of wings from is Travis Barker and the list of A-list features. Sure, the features on paper don't look too good, and Travis has the track record of being a washed-up emo star who can't contribute anything to save the sinking ship that is his band, so he stays making disgraceful collabs with rappers who can't hold a vocal note, so this album can most definitely not receive a push that takes it to the stratosphere like in the album cover from the collaborators. And to no one's surprise, they all deliver half-assed performances with a few exceptions. Travis' production is some of the most paltry, off-brand, and flawed trap-rock shit I've heard in a decade, and while there are some standout instrumentals, Trippie's vocals just don't function well over them. Also, the album goes on for long stretches without any switch-ups. The first 5 tracks on this record are irredeemably flawed, to the point where the exciting-sounding Chino Moreno feature and Blackbear's paltry vocal lines outweigh Trippie. Trippie's vocal riffing here is god-awful, and his writing does absolutely nothing beneficial to it. Some of the lyrics here are so blunt and amateur I could fucking write this.

Things change for the better post-Red Sky and Sea World. Machine Gun Kelly follows his now-ubiquitous brand of "pop-punk" and does his thing at times, but both his features are still horrendous. Blackbear is probably the most mediocre pop-rapper to come around in a while, and his uninteresting vocal palette taxes me out. Chino's vocals descend into angelic at portions, but simultaneously his integration into the instrumental is a pain in the ass as Trippie cuts into every one of his moments. However, Red Sky, Megladon, and Save Yourself, the second two in particular are as far as decency goes on this album. It isn't as awful as the first few tracks.

Man, I went into this thinking, I love Trippie's old shit, so this might be a pleasant surprise and these reviewers are just overhating on it. But Jesus Christ, there are zero positive values to derive from most of this record. I hope it serves as a model for Trippie to realize this isn't his genre, and a "wake-up call" for Travis to step up his production game.

Dreamer is one of the worst singles of 2020, and its presence here worried me from before I first got a whiff of this album's much-flawed soundscape. However, right before Dreamer, and right after it, the album gets a bit of a pep shot, at least instrumentally, which saves things from going all awry. Mainstream Media probably thinks this is better than Whole Lotta Red, but this whole EP is tear-jerkingly bad, not in a good way. Even a change of pace with Leaders on here does good to the record, but that's one of many minute changes that could've made this EP passable. But nothing works, and it's only the final half that works. Even though I like some of the tracks on this portion of the project, this doesn't mean anything, because I swear to god I'm never coming back to a single track on here in the near future. I gotta give it to the Zilla and Scar song though, that song has the energy the rest of the project was missing, and what it could've potentially been. But even this song is slightly flawed on the instrumental side.

Tracks I found a tiny-bit enjoyable along the bumpy road: Without You, Red Sky, Megladon, Save Yourself, Leaders and Dead Desert

Tracks that are irredeemably flawed to the point of no return: Female Shark, Dreamer, Pill Breaker

Pill Breaker is personally soooo good, but great review! :)
@Cry thank you. hmm maybe pill breaker isnt as bad as i thought it was
@TomBejoy No problem lol! ' irredeemably flawed to the point of no return' is what you called it lollllll
@Cry stream sus LMAO
How many people that don't understand music is quite shocking. I lost all credibility for you when you slated Yungblud and called him a rapper....he most certainly isn't a rapper and has one of the most powerful voices in the modern music industry. Also what a lot of these artists stand for for people's mental health, especially in times like this, is priceless. The amount that MGK has done for some kids this year, has quite literally saved lives. Yungblud stands for a lot of equality. NASA played his cover of Bowie "Life on Mars" during their recent Perseverance landing, so please go educate your close mind before slating other people's work. Travis is one the hardest working people out there. Music is all about emotion and we all feel different emotions. Just because its not emotion you connect with, this does not mean its a "train wreck of a mess". In places its very post hardcore and has similar vibes to bands such as Hawthorne Heights or Thursday, who both inspired huge artists.
@ChristineCarniv I called him a rap-rocker/pseudo-rocker. Ok, I correct myself, he is indeed, a pseudo emo-rocker who can only put out a bunch of paltry, corny "omg i'm a white boy living in a multi-millionaire penthouse i'm drpessed"/"i'm not like other boys" based music. I'm glad I can't associate to emotons like that to be honest. Hey, if my credibility to you is negligible, then let it get further tarnished by this comment. At least I don't go around spreading hate at people for expressing their opinions on music and calling someone's taste garbage. And if this site's anything to go by, I deserve more respect then you around here, and your comment suggests something, it's that you know even less about music than an amateur, average ass reviewer like me. Ok Thursday is decent, and Hawthorne Heights is irrelevant, but who even cares about those two bands? I agree with the Travis part, he puts work in, but the collaborations he chooses to do are a bit icky.
For example, Travis has a fucking song with the chainsmokers. Their garbage. He has two whole trash rap-rock crossover projects under his helm as of late, and while he's contributed his best to them the vocalists simply don't belong in this genre. It's Trippie Redd, not Death grips. I didn't really call Dom a rapper, but even if he was a rapper that isn't a bad term at all. He isn't a good artist to me, and to many people with a solid sense of music. His stuff is partially corny, and while Mars is a powerful track, his nasally vocals and pitch correction on there ruins the lyrical caliber of it, which is just sad. I believe he has potential but he's trash to me for now. Ok, Nasa played it, but his performance outweighed the original song. The original song simply isn't as grandiose as the live performance, and that performance too wasn't reliant on his vocal lines, but on the brilliant instrumentation backing it
@ChristineCarniv Our topic here was about Trippie Redd, not MGK and Yungblud. But speaking on the whole mental health thing, I'm aware they have a positive impact, but I see a bunch of kids calling their work "the comeback of post punk" Like man, there are better artists making better work in the underground, i have no idea why people are so adamant on listening to the most mainstream derivation of punk music that isn't even punk music. Those kids have bad music taste irrespective of how the music helped them, lmao. Trippie Redd's album is an absolute trainwreck on the mixing and lyrical front. It's a disaster considering I used to love Trippie's vibe but he fell off hard. Yungblud and MGK might be powerful, they might've done something for peoples mental health and covered positive topics, but in no means does that assure they are good musicians. They simply, are not.
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More Reviews by TomBejoy
Trippie Redd - Pegasus
Mar 17, 2022
Trippie Redd - Sleepy Hollow
Oct 9, 2020
Trippie Redd - DREAMER
Sep 10, 2020
Trippie Redd - Death
Sep 10, 2020
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