Trip, born and raised in Chatham on Chicago's Southeast Side, started exploring his creative talents in grade school at Dixon Elementary but did not know how to take the next step with his creations. Fast forward to high school where Trip attended MSA "IIT Math and Science Academy" - a time where Trip started to invest in the creative field and his art, beginning with photography and designing custom clothes. Previous to us sitting down and starting the formal interview, Trip expressed that he doesn't want to be known or pigeonholed into one creative outlet. He wants to be viewed as an artist, not just a photographer or designer. The passion is there, the work ethic is there, and most importantly, the vision is there.
When asked if he had a motivation behind his creations/if he knew he wanted to pursue art:
"I definitely knew I wanted to do this shit, I hated school. I hated school so much, I couldn't do it. Everything about that shit. It was crazy because all my teachers would be like, "he's so smart, he's so this, he's so that", but they would never take real interest in who I wanted to be as a person and how to help me correctly. I was always being setback in certain ways in school and being targeted and pointed out over like little bullshit, like I wouldn't listen in class. I mean, I was a really bad student. I was a shitty student, I was getting kicked out all the time and shit. They would constantly ask me why am I doing this to myself. I'm like, "I don't want to be here right now, y'all are not helping me want to be here."
While attending MSA:
"That's a charter school, that shit was lame as fuck. Uniforms, detentions if you do anything you're not supposed to do. At the end of the year one time, I had 73 detention slips or something like that. Everyone has a certain way of learning and that was definitely not my way or learning."
Who is your favorite person you've worked with?
"Kim Products, I enjoy working with my homie Kim. She just recently moved to New York for school, I always enjoyed working for her whether I'm modeling or taking photos and it's always a good experience with her because she hustles a lot. She's a Chicago-based brand, even in New York she dropping Chicago shit."
Website : http://kim-products.com
Instagram : @KimProducts
Twitter : @KimProducts
If you could pick anyone to work with, who would it be?
"Pharrell. I really enjoy Pharrell and Nigo's effect on the culture as a whole throughout the years, especially in like 2006 and now even more recently like 2012 and maybe even 2015. They really have had a crazy impact on everybody. Even if it's not very well recognized, Human Made is doing a lot of different things with their cut and sows and how they produce their clothing. They're coming out with hot designs like all the fucking time and it's limited too, they making like 2 or 3 of these things and releasing them. It's taxed but it's fashion bro, I appreciate this a lot, like how they put that effort into their clothes. They don't do shit without purpose."
HUMAN MADE FW19 LOOKBOOK
What inspired the Kaws x Elmo backpack?
"I sat on that idea for like a year. I had this photoshoot with Iridium back when I was working with them, doing their lookbooks and shit like that. There was this Kaws Elmo toy that a model had used as a prop, that was probably like 2018, and I just released that piece around ComplexCon (ComplexCon hosted the 2 day event in Chicago on Saturday, July 20, 2019 -July 21, 2019). Having the model work with the Kaws plush toy, I was like "I can do something with this, let me take my time with it though". I also got a few other pieces up on my Instagram, I got some pants and some shorts I did. Everything else I've designed is in the crib, being worked on."
What is RIPS?
"It's a homewear brand, a lifestyle brand. From backpacks, bracelets, shoes, socks, containers, and also individual pieces. Really what RIPS focuses on is like custom, 1 of 1s, whether that's like maybe a fucking RIPS trash can just for instance, just random shit bro. I like homewear a lot and I like pieces you can put up in your place like pillows and rugs and shit like that. It's broad, I want to take this to the moon, ya feel me? The focus is custom clothing but I'm doing limited drops of different things that I design and also eventually want to get into making homewear goods, like rugs, covers, fucking blankets, pillows- shit like that. The focus for now is custom clothing whether that's 2 of 2's, 3 of 3's, 10 of 10's- limited shit. I don't want to see everyone wearing the same shit. That kills me, I don't want somebody wearing like the same exact design, because I feel like once you have a piece in your closet, you should be able to own that and really be proud of it. I don't want someone wearing my shit cause it's cool, I want them to wear it because they appreciate that shit for real."
"I like rugs a lot bro, I like being able to wake up and see something cool under my feet, even at ComplexCon I got a couple of these Pyrex things from Converse, they're like big cord containers, they're cool as fuck bro. I like shit like that, you can wake up and it's in the crib. You know Kaws toys? I like those a lot, I fuck with him heavy because he doesn't really fuck all that resale nature. He even just stopped a drop because a bunch of bots were raiding the website."
Where does the name RIPS come from?
"It comes from Trip. When I first started, I had this thing called Triple C Productions and it was stupid as fuck. Then people just started calling me Trip, you feel me? Like my friends would be like "Trip" and I was like "why y'all calling me this?" They started calling me Trip and I'm like, "RIPS" cause I always liked distressing things and sewing patches on and shit and I would just rip clothes up and fucking put em' back together. They wouldn't be released because they were kinda trash, you feel me? But the whole thing is rip and repair, so I'm taking like salvaged shit and giving them a new meaning. It's nothing new but it's what I like to do and I'm tryna do it the best way that I can. A lot motherfuckers don't do the patchwork style well, you know what I'm talking bout- the big ass pants- and I'm like, "he did that first and you really just copied him". So, the name came from Trip and I just shortened it. I didn't want it to say RIP, because that's kind of morbid and I'm not that."
Thoughts on ComplexCon:
"It was pretty weak"
Best Experience and Worst Experience at ComplexCon:
"The lines- they tried to take that whole waiting-in-line culture and resale culture and limited culture and put it into some marketed event and experience; it didn't really work out so well. A lot of things they did for other ComplexCons, they didn't do for Chicago. They misused that space completely, they had this big ass area for check-in but that's usually the area they put all the cars in for the auto-show. They missed that opportunity, there's 2 different spaces. They fucked that shit up and they put it in the back, where they had you walk over the bridge.
The performances were cool, I guess. What I got from ComplexCon was motivation to just create, because I'm seeing these big ass booths and like ChinaTown Market, DBM and Chicago brands. The booth I liked the most was Half Evil's booth, it had a skate ramp there and it was really fucking cool. Instead of just saying they're a skate brand, they actually catered to skaters and they had a whole fucking half-pipe in that bitch.
How did you get connected with Lyrical Lemonade?
"I know a lot of those people, a lot of people that work for Lyrical Lemonade, that also fuck with Lyrical Lemonade . It's not like I don't really see them around, I see them around all the time. How I got into Lyrical Lemonade the very first time was sneaking in. I don't remember the concert hall but it was the Playboi Carti show. I snuck in through the back door, and I really started fucking with Lyrical Lemonade because I would sneak in they shows and shit. Then I started getting acquainted with people and being able to like actually get in through the front door. I didn't get a chance to shoot last Summer Smash (2019) because I was just kicking it. I was kicking it backstage, motherfuckers was fried. I was just backstage chilling.
Photos taken by Trip at Summer Smash 2018
The first day they was handing us these CBD tacos, they was just handing them to us bro and we was all eating that shit, everyone back there was so chill. It was cool as fuck. I think they infuse the meat and pour the CBD on top of it. I remember eating that shit and you know when you smoke, you get a little anxious; I used to have bad anxiety attacks, like I'd be freaking out. I'd be inside my head freaking out. Them CBD tacos chilled me down, Kim (Products) was there too. A lot of my people were there. Fortune House was there, I'm partnered up with them and I do a lot of work with them. They focus on community and small scale events for people to chop it up, it's mainly for music artists but they working on other shit also. I fuck with Fortune a lot, my peoples. I used to go to high school with a lot of them. I know a lot of people that I know now because I knew them back when I was a kid- I still kick it with the same people, you feel me? I stay true to the people I came up with, if they stay true to me. Komla, my cousin, got me connected to Lyrical lemonade. I give props to other people, you can't get nowhere without nobody else. I don't give a fuck what nobody say.
What deters you from releasing a piece you've made?
"Everything I make, I'm like, "I can make this fucking better". Why don't I make it fucking better, I'm just taking my time with it. There's no rush- I'm 19, I'm gonna be 20 in 6 months. I have plenty of fucking time to make shit happen, even though I want to make shit happen right now, but I have time to release things and time to really focus on projects and individual things that I'm working on instead of spitting out shit. We live in an era with a constant stream of content, I don't be on social media a lot because it's all that content just rotating in our faces and eyes. I can never just observe and appreciate things outside and things around me and shit. It's really fucked up, so I try to work on shit for a long time, sit with it, and see how I feel about it tomorrow. I'll put some shit away for months and then come back to it and be like, "alright, I want to change this, this, and this."
People who think short term just live and go nowhere at all. Especially the relationships you build, you can burn bridges but its all about taking your time with people and learning who they are and appreciating everybody else. You don't have to be mean if you don't want to be. If you don't have to, sometimes you got to be a dickhead to some people and do shit you wouldn't necessarily want to do but you have to. Karma isn't like how we think of it like, "I'm gonna do this good thing and its going to instantly reward me". It takes time.
That's why I slowed it down with photography, because I would be kicking it with a lot of "famous" people and they would have these huge ass egos and their ego would be so much bigger than who they were and where they are in life. It's just lame as fuck. Like I see through the facade that you're putting on for everybody else in this room or everybody else on social media. It's lame as fuck bro, I'm not really fucking with that shit at all. Who really gives a shit? Maybe the people who follow you, but what's your impact in real life? What's going to New York? What's going to Texas? What's going to LA? Who knowing you out there?"
Any Season, Any 2 Brands. What collaboration piece are you making?
"I like winter and fall things, I like layers. I'm choosing to make a heavy coat, not necessarily like a puffer jacket or anything like that but a winter coat. All weather, so you can switch into fall with it. Maybe a detachable sherpa lining and have like a heavy canvas jacket. I would collaborate with Brain Dead. I like Brain Dead a lot; a lot of the stuff they put out is expensive, but quality is key. They're one brand that really pays attention to their quality- what they print it on, what fabric their sourcing, and how they bring it to life. They just recently collabed with A.P.C and I really like that new collab.
Brain Dead X A.P.C. INTERACTION #3
Artists you're listening to right now?
"Detroit motherfuckers, LA people- I have a broad taste, my daily driver is rap music but I can switch into some smooth shit. I like musical things, I like real musical shit- guitars, singing. Right now it's Detroit people- Dame Dolla, Baby Smooth, Sada Baby, Dame Dot. They're raw as hell, I like a lot of that type of shit. It's just street shit and I'm from the hood. I try not to say that shit because it kind of sounds corny to me, but I was able to see other things and experience other shit. I wasn't just limited to where I was, I appreciate my mom doing that for me because she would have me exposed to a lot of different shit. I like Tame Impala, I've been recently revisiting the Rolling Stones albums, Pink Floyd albums. I like the BJ The Chicago Kid too, he got a long ass name though."
"Birkenstocks. I like wearing Birkenstocks a lot. I'm a sandal person, I just like putting my feet into something and going. I'll usually have a pair of shoes with me, but Birkenstocks are my go-to. They're comfy as fuck."
What do you think separates you from other creatives?
"My need to create and to create shit with substance. I feel like that sets me apart from a lot of people because of how I speak and how I move around and navigate this world. I try not to be bogus as fuck, I try not to be doing shitty work and putting out everything and being in everybody's face just because I can. I try not to do that shit. I want to say my genuineness and what I want to put out and bring to people. Real substance."
Anyone you want to shoutout?
"Myself, fuck everybody else. I feel like I deserve shine."
"I hope they cancel me"
"When was this, 2018? Ah shit. I don't even know what the fuck. I didn't have no bops at that moment. I used to be juggling 3-4 motherfuckers at one time but I'm faithful at this moment. I'm faithful and in a very happy relationship. Shit, like 2018 October I was hunting for everything and anything. Not ugly-wise though. If you was fucking with me and you was decent, you was getting knocked down, ya feel me? Man, I thought you was gonna pull up something else, like some crazy shit."
"On God. I don't fuck with Bari. I don't fuck with any of them. I don't fuck with that Vlone shit. Vlone is super corny to me. Super corny. You got a big ass "V" on your back and then a lot of people wanted this shit because a rapper had it on or they favorite artist had it on, so they would just copy. So I'm like, "fuck it, man, I'm not fucking with that shit". I will only buy that shit to resell. I can make $400 off that, I'm not gonna deny money now. It could be corny, but money is money."
"Yea. A lot of motherfuckers be looking good on the camera and then you see them at a party or little function and I'm like, "damn, what happened?". What happened to you? You know a lot of these motherfuckers be strung out. They got the filters on. Some people really just fucking ugly too. You gotta be honest with yourself. I used to be ugly as fuck bro. I used to be fat for real. I was like, "damn. I'm not doing this no more, lets be real."
Trip has an upcoming project releasing on November 10th, follow him below to keep up with his work.
Below is a gallery of Trip's work: