Rapper Trippie Redd has released his first rock song. It's called "Dreamer," and the tune follows the musician's high-profile collaborations with hip-hop figureheads such as Juice Wrld, DaBaby and Travis Scott. But it may surprise new listeners that Trippie was involved in rock before he turned to rap.

Perhaps that's why "Dreamer" uses a moody, distorted guitar figure as its main sonic thrust. It sits behind some very emotional yelps from Trippie, the 21-year-old rapper whose real name is Michael Lamar White IV. Listen to the rock-fueled "Dreamer" down toward the bottom of this post.

As Rolling Stone reported back in 2017, before Trippie Redd was a mover and shaker in hip-hop, he recorded alternative rock music. The performer even cites rockers such as Nirvana and KISS as inspirations. But whether rock or rap, music was an escape route for the artist as he struggled with mental health early on.

"I was depressed," Trippie told the magazine. "I didn't have nobody. I was on my own type shit. Music took me from a real dark place to a real bright one. … My mom would be saying shit like, 'You can't always think about music. You gotta get a regular job.' But I didn't want to get no regular job."

Fortunately for the musician, his dreams have come true on the hip-hop scene. But Trippie's always kept a foot in rock. Even before "Dreamer" emerged, the artist's songs owed a clear debt to emo. He has claimed the hybrid sound was spearheaded by himself alongside the late rapper XXXTentacion.

"I've perfected this style," the rapper said in the same Rolling Stone interview. "I'm not necessarily even a part of all the new-wave shit. Me and X, I feel like we're in our own little category. We're the only artists I know who are phat that are on something else. We're timeless."

Trippie's upcoming album Pegasus is expected to reveal some similar rock-based grooves. In a since-deleted Instagram post from the recording sessions, the rapper shared a song preview with a personal shout-out to Kurt Cobain, as Hot New Hip Hop pointed out last month.

Trippie Redd, "Dreamer"

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