Viral Rapper Robbie Tripp: A History of His Most Wild Internet Culture Moments

Viral Rapper Robbie Tripp: A History of His Most Wild Internet Culture Moments

Nick Kasmik
 |  Contributor

The recipe for a successful career online has changed with each passing phase of the digital age. Models must also be influencers, music artists must also be content creators, and vloggers must also be television personalities. In our ever-saturated online landscape, the ingredients to viral success are a complex mix of viral engagement, big name partnerships, and an exhausting degree of consistency in producing quality content. Today’s generation of talent must not only have a large following online but also join engaging storytelling with creative content to even have a shot at rising from obscurity to the internet’s vast spotlight. And perhaps there is no better exhibit of the unlikely journey of an online figure quite like that of viral rapper and internet personality Robbie Tripp.  

In music circles, many know Tripp from making waves after his viral body positive anthem “Big Girl Banger” started a TikTok mega-trend among curvy and plus-size women that generated hundreds of millions of views on the popular video-sharing platform. The polarizing content creator has risen as a distinctive figure in internet culture for creating music, videos, images, posts, and just about anything else that can go viral on the world wide web. In fact, for the better part of the last decade, Robbie Tripp’s ripple effect has managed to create one notable moment after another, transcending from his start as a “body positive influencer” to an undeniable presence in the ever-evolving world of internet culture. 

Known to his fanbase by colorful nicknames such as the “Vanilla Thriller”, “Rap Game Liberace”, or “Desert Flamingo,” Robbie Tripp has been rising as a next-generation hybrid of music artist, content creator, and internet personality. Tripp’s creative output alone over the past five years–starting with the release of his debut single “Chubby Sexy” in 2019–has been nothing short of notable. Through his independent production and media company Desert Money, Tripp is now riding high on the momentum built by his impressively consistent releases–21 singles, 18 music videos to be exact–and a collection of viral moments that have made him both a hero and villain in the never-ending commentary of internet culture.  

As many may still remember, Robbie Tripp was first catapulted onto the world’s newsfeed in 2017 when he posted a heartfelt tribute illustrating his love for his “curvy wife” Sarah Tripp, a popular fashion influencer and curve model. The Instagram post, which featured the Tripps standing on a white-sand beach in Miami, went ultra-viral on Instagram and Facebook simultaneously, generating hundreds of thousands of shares. Mothers, wives, girlfriends, husbands, and boyfriends from around the world celebrated the post’s message on body positivity and size inclusivity and swooned over the couple’s Instagram-perfect relationship. When the viral post hit trending status as that week’s featured Twitter Moment, feminist internet culture voices on the app began to criticize the post’s author as their “least favorite type of male feminist,” as one user remarked. The viral debate on Tripp’s post ignited an international conversation, landing him on Good Morning America, BBC World News, and Good Morning Britain to reaffirm his message of body positivity.  

“What’s crazy is that that post was pretty much unanimously received with love and positivity from the beginning… until Twitter got a hold of it,” Tripp says with a laugh, looking back on his first major viral moment that gave him a polarizing start in internet notoriety in 2017. “So while a lot of people tried to twist the narrative and conjure up some sort of perceived ‘backlash’, I always knew it was just a genuine expression of love that so many people happened to connect with so much they shared it and it took on a life of its own.”  

As always, Tripp also had a reply for the haters. “If people still don’t believe that then I just repeat the same thing I said back when it was all happening: At the end of the day, you’re just hating on a guy who posted about how much he loves his wife.” 

This viral “curvy wife” moment has since become both famous and infamous in the lexicon of internet culture–depending who you ask–and gained Tripp a massive following on social media because of it.  

In the wake of the momentum from the viral post, Tripp had begun rediscovering his love for making music. “I played guitar and played in a rock band with my friends in middle school, then as I got into high school and playing basketball 24/7 I just naturally gravitated more toward hip-hop,” Tripp reminisces when asked about his early start making music. “I was that kid making beats in the computer lab and selling my mixtapes in the hallways. When I got into college it was the same thing, me and my buddies would lock ourselves in our dorm room with our laptops and rap on beats for hours and hours.”  

Even with an early knack for his now-signature flow, an eccentric bravado rich with pop culture references and colorful analogies, Tripp admits his love for music was only a hobby next to his first true love: Basketball. “I had the biggest of hoop dreams,” Tripp says. “I slept, ate, breathed basketball and my goal to play college basketball was my only focus, so writing and creating were always on the backburner for me, something to do when I wasn’t playing basketball.” 

Eventually, Tripp would achieve his dream of playing college basketball, but dropped out of school after an injury sidelined him from the basketball team. From there, he met and married his wife Sarah Tripp, a luxury blogger and fashion influencer, and the two began to build their careers while living in San Francisco. So it would come as a bit of a surprise to Robbie’s online audience in 2018 when Tripp announced he was working on a song and music video, his debut release as an artist. In May 2019, after nearly a year of bringing the project to life, Robbie Tripp released “Chubby Sexy”. The song and its official music video made immediate headlines, driving internet culture reporters wild after hearing about this new offering from the viral “curvy wife guy.” An in-depth Vox profile followed Tripp around Scottsdale for a week leading up to the release, and named him “the most controversial figure in body positivity.” 

The release of “Chubby Sexy” reignited a wave of op-eds and think pieces on Tripp’s unique presence on the world wide web, earning him prestigious mentions in The New York Times and The New Yorker. This viral moment was crystalized after being named by GQ Magazine as a ‘Moment of the Year’ and featuring Tripp in their annual “Men of the Year” issue.  

After the success of his debut single, Tripp entered 2020 with a new energy, releasing a consistent stream of creative projects throughout quarantine. First came his single and music video “Luka Doncic”, named after the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA All-Star and Slovenian basketball prodigy. The official music video displayed Tripp’s own basketball prowess, showcasing the skills he learned as a young player with basketball dreams of his own. The song made a splash in Europe and eventually was requested by billionaire owner Mark Cuban personally to play during pregame warmups at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Tripp’s next flash of creativity came with his single and music video “White T-Shirt”, produced by Grammy Award-winning rap producer Jahlil Beats. The music video was Tripp’s first filmed in his hometown of Las Vegas and features many landmarks around the city. 

In 2021, Tripp continued his unlikely ascent in the rap game, collaborating with hip hop heavyweights such as RiFF RAFF and Dizzy Wright. Tripp’s colorful summer showcase of wordplay titled “Flamingo Freestyle” featuring RiFF RAFF (also known to his global following as internet rap icon Jody Highroller) further established Tripp in the internet rap multiverse, while his hometown collaboration “Raider Gang (All Black Everything)” featuring legendary Las Vegas emcee Dizzy Wright became a favorite of Raiders fans and its NFL cheerleaders. Tripp would be highlighted yet again for his musical success in the professional sports world when his single “Suns in 4” featuring iHeart radio veteran Johnjay Van Es caught fire during the Phoenix Suns run in the 2021 NBA Playoffs and was named “Song of the Year” by the Phoenix New Times. 

Despite the consistent upward trajectory of Tripp’s creative projects, it wouldn’t be until the summer of 2022 when Tripp would “breakthrough” as a music artist to a worldwide audience. Robbie Tripp’s acclaim online would reach a new tier with the success of his ultra-catchy body positive anthem “Big Girl Banger”. Tripp teased a snippet of the track on his TikTok in early 2022, and it quickly spread like wildfire among curvy and plus-size women on the popular video-sharing app. Women from around the world, from mothers to models, influencers to OnlyFans creators, shared their body confidence to an infectious bassline and Tripp’s smooth hook : “Stretch marks tattooed on the tan lines / It’s a Big Girl Banger”. The song reached over 300 Million views on the #BigGirlBanger hashtag on TikTok, and after generating thousands of coveted pre-saves as an independent artist on the app, Tripp officially released the single and its accompanying music video. Both surpassed millions of plays quickly and solidified Tripp as a rising artist of the internet era. 

As the TikTok music gods shined their light down on Tripp, he didn’t take long to bask in the glow. Riding the momentum into this year, the Las Vegas artist has only put the pedal to the metal. Starting in February, Tripp teased his fanbase with a new flood of music (“This is just the beginning of an unprecedented run in 2023…” Tripp teased to his global following on Instagram), starting with his witty “Desert Money Freestyle”, a smorgasbord of rhymes that pay homage to Tripp’s basketball dreams, love for the city of Las Vegas and curvy women, and of course, plenty of bars for his haters.  

Just weeks later, Tripp began teasing “his biggest production yet” and shared snippets of an energetic rap video, repeatedly mentioning being on “demon time” for the project. On March 31, Tripp debuted “Basic Bro”, a darkly catchy new single and high-energy music video to his global audience. The heavy-hitting drill-inspired banger was perhaps a left turn for many of his fans who came during “Big Girl Banger”, but “Basic Bro” quickly made waves in hip hop comment sections across the internet. Clips from the official music video, showing Tripp moonwalking and rapping in a bright red Prada puffer vest and red leather pants, went viral across major rap blogs WorldStarHipHop and RapTV, and hip hop megaphone No Jumper.  

As “Basic Bro” quickly became Tripp’s fastest music video to surpass the 1 million views mark on his official YouTube channel, the Las Vegas artist didn’t skip a beat. Tripp followed up with a double punch of major features, earning him notable co-signs in the hip hop industry. In May, he released another energy-filled track titled “Money Honey” featuring fellow viral rapper Lil Seeto. The collaboration with the Washington artist came at the perfect time, as Lil Seeto was still buzzing after creating his own viral moment in the rap world when he appeared on a popular West Coast rap blog cypher with a blistering verse. Only weeks later, Tripp delivered a right hook to his rapidly growing fanbase, by dropping “They Said” with BlocBoy JB, securing a massive co-sign in the rap industry from a major label artist. James Baker, known as BlocBoy JB to his global fanbase, is most known for his smash hit “Look Alive”. With the “6-God’s” stamp of approval on the rap anthem, Drake and BlocBoy JB surged to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Tripp’s collaboration with BlocBoy for “They Said” grabbed the attention of the rap world, as comment sections continued to light up with discussion on Tripp’s rise in the rap game. 

When asked if he has any intention of slowing down, Tripp responds with energy. “I’m charged up on a dream,” he says from his home in Las Vegas. “I have a destiny to fulfill and I will never stop chasing my personal legend.”  

Currently, Tripp is coming off the release of his electric single and music video “Vanilla Thriller”, an ode to his nickname and “charged up” persona. He shares that he’ll be capping off his impressive run of releases this year with an ultimate “summertime smash” that boasts a major name on the production side. Tripp has begun teasing his highly-anticipated single “I Wanna Have Fun…”, which he describes as “a really fun and sexy vibe” and reveals it was produced by Grammy Award-winning producer Andrew Dawson, known in the music industry for his work on several of Kanye West’s highest-selling albums. 

“I am the rap game Don Quixote,” Tripp says playfully. “I believe in my dreams, I believe in my ideas, and I find passion and joy in the creative process of turning them into reality.” 

One thing is sure, as the internet chatters about what Robbie Tripp is doing, he continues to create viral moments to chatter about. Tripp’s energy, creative content, and unique body positive messaging continue to spark broader cultural conversations, pushing boundaries on social media, in the music industry, and beyond. Love him or hate him, Robbie Tripp has been making an indelible mark in the sprawling realm of internet and music culture, one viral moment at a time. 

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