Halftime Leisure

“KNIGHT CRAWLER”: your next hauntingly genius listen

March 15, 2023

“She do white like Home Alone.”

“KNIGHT CRAWLER” by Trippie Redd featuring Juice WRLD, a dynamic rap hit from Redd’s latest album MANSION MUSIK (2023), has been topping international charts since its release. Juice WRLD fans are familiar with songs being dropped from his vault, or by those he collaborated with before his death. These songs often detail his struggles with addiction and depression, weaving in important issues in upbeat, catchy refrains. “KNIGHT CRAWLER” fits with the general vibe of the album—when you see the all-caps titles, you know to expect an immersive, intense experience. 

What strikes me about this latest release is the ability to encapsulate feelings and questions often jokingly asked—like whether we were too high, or too drunk, or relying too much on substances to cope with negative emotions. 

At first listen, the techno prelude to the track comes as a shock, but the 808s kick in fast and the rap immediately grabs your attention. While I am always taken aback by songs that start so intensely, this one did not put me off or disrupt the vibe of my chill playlist. This catchy single works perfectly as a gym hype song or a between-sets motivator. 

Lyrics like “Kids, don’t try that shit at home/I forgot how sober feel” and “She do white like Home Alone” provide clever references to pop culture. 

The album that hosts this single, MANSION MUSIK, has generated mixed reviews. Fans and critics alike have called it a chaotic jumble of sounds lacking coherence or narrative. Many are also disappointed with the lyricism as a whole, claiming the phrases fall into common rap tropes. 

What makes Redd unique is his desire to blend different genres, including cloud rap, emo rap, and trap, as well as his collaborations with other notable artists that have influenced his style over the years. “KNIGHT CRAWLER” in particular stands out due to how it brings back the element of blending, combining techno moments with the flow and ingenuity Juice WRLD was known for. The artists have crafted lyrics that encode a larger message, perfect for fans who enjoy rap that tells a story. Combining these two artists brings out the energy and pizazz of a Trippie Redd song, coupled with the emotion and yearning of a Juice WRLD track. Listening to this song live would bring out a different element of the fantasy nature the artists are trying to convey—with lighting and amplified sound effects, the audience would be in a similar hallucinogenic, overstimulated state as the artists. 

While “KNIGHT CRAWLER” may be a tough song to digest on a 9 a.m. walk to Car Barn, its allusions to addiction, struggle, and sadness while remaining an upbeat, compelling track give it an important place on the album. The vulnerability Juice WRLD has shown us in his most recent tracks and albums keeps fans connected to his work for a lifetime. I hope that Trippie Redd will be influenced by this collaboration and embody that same openness in his future work as well, as it would increase his relatability as an artist and bring in more fans. While the all-caps and overall picture of the album seems intimidating, at its core, “KNIGHT CRAWLER” is surprisingly similar to Taylor Swift’s Midnights—perhaps, trying to cope with our own destructive spirits that emerge in the depths of night is more common than it seems.

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