Trina: Dropping Singles Again
HipHopDX talks with Trina still da baddest one as she talks about her happiest Single Again moment, spreads love for the newest members of Slip-N-Slide records and expresses how marketing can help more female emcees get out there in the game.
HipHopDX: Your name was in a lot of peoples mouths this year and your new album hasnt even dropped yet. How does that feel?
Trina: [Laughs] I think that its great when people talk about me. It means that I worked extremely hard. Even without an album, my name stays in a circular motion, so I have to be doing something right for someone to talking.
DX: With the baddest bitch title do you ever feel pressured to handle yourself in a certain way when confronted?
T: No, Im always usually the same way Im normal. Being that it definitely means that one has to be a strong character. I am a very strong woman and you have to stand up for yourself in certain situations. Im very independent and focused on what I want. I dont like to take no for an answer. Im not worried about being approached by someone because people are usually respectful. I think its the type of person that I am and they see me as a character. But Im very humble and still very sassy, yet very normal. Im always laughing and they get intimidated by that. I think its just me being outspoken. So, you dont really know the angle that youre going to be presented with.
DX: What should your hardcore fans expect from your latest?
T: The fans should expect a lot of different things. I went into the studio with an open mind. I went in there wanting to do things my way. I did songs that have some Reggae, some Rock & Roll, some techno and all of it was different for me. I have the sexy, fly, aggressive, the party record just a whole variation of records. Its refreshing and new. I was trying different stuff. I know my fans are always looking for me to do the unexpected and on this album, I even sang on a record. Doing the techno song was a different type of thing all together. I had never done something like that before. I thought, Wow. Its a whole different level of music for me to do that and love it, thats different.
DX: What sort of changes have you noticed moving from Atlantic to EMI?
T: The change is different. Atlantic is a major and its a different company versus EMI which is a smaller form of the label. Everything isnt hands on, but I feel business-wise it was the best decision. Its a little bit more work. At Atlantic, things are handled differently, but at EMI you have to do double the work. Im used to that so its not a drastic change for me. Its all still the same to me, its just more work that has to be done on mine and my teams part.
DX: And what changes have you noticed in your own life since making these new transitions?
T: I am still the same person and do mostly the same things, but I am transitioning into a different format. Your life changes when you do all these different things. I set a calendar that plans my everyday life and my albums life. With music, everything kind of changes when you have a project to promote and plan, so you have to transition with that.
DX: You have the new joint, Single Again. People always try to get into your relationships, but what was one relationship where you were happy to be single again?
T: [Laughs] Wow, thats a good question. I have had a past relationship where I felt that I wanted to be out of that situation so badly that once I was out I was relived. When I was out of it, I was happy that I was out it. When I looked back, it was definitely a growing process. I learned what I didnt want to be in.
DX: When you started out, Miami wasnt the place in Hip Hop that it is today. It wasnt full of out-of-town rappers and celebrities. Are there any elements to your city that you miss?
T: Not really. My city is pretty great. Its one of the best states. It has great weather and great food. I just feel really good to be a part of it. To come from that is a blessing and for others to come there to live is a great look. I never thought that I would move away from Miami.
DX: You and Trick are synonymous in Florida and the rumor of him leaving to go for G-Unit had people wondering if there was any tension between you and him?
T: No, not at all. Were cool. Trick is Trick and hes a great person. He has his ups and downs, but were friends and were always going to be like that.
DX: So, how has it been to watch Slip-N-Slide usher in a new class with Rick Ross and Plies?
T: Its actually great. [Rick] Ross and I have been friends for a long time. He sat patiently and his dreams are coming true. Im 100% proud of him and his work. The acts that have been signed to the label have been waiting, and its their time now. With that Im really proud of both Rick Ross and Plies. I remember when Plies sat around patiently and he came out and put out a great record that got people to really think.
DX: You helped to build the label up. Do you ever feel pushed to the side?
T: I never felt that. Im the only girl on the label, so I had a lot of benefits and had the upper hand. Im like the prized possession of the label. So, its kind of a favorable position to be in.
DX: There are women who try to get into rap who follow your archetype of sex sells. Do you think that that impression empowers women or makes them become easily marketable sex objects?
T: I think that everything you do is about marketing. The new girls coming into the game should know that its not just about being sexy; its about you as a person. Its about your will and your determination. Its about how you perceive yourself and why should people look at you. What is your impact? So many girls out there have similarities to mines or Missy Elliotts story, but you have to have your impact stand out. People want to have something to follow; something that they can relate to. You have to be an inspiration to others. You have to do whatever it is that you can do. I just think for any new artist that they should have their own movement.
DX: So, who are some ladies out there that you love?
T: Jackie-O is a very talented artist. I love Diamond and Princess. Theyre doing their thing! Theyre relevant to the school kids. I even like Rasheeda. She hasnt been overexposed, yet. I like Chyna White. Shes still an incredible artist putting out that rugged music.
DX: When The Baddest Bitch dropped in 2000, it was one of the best years for album sales in Hip Hop. In the midst of the 50 Cent/Kanye West sales rivalry and with the Internet so prevalent, do you think that sales can ever get to that level again?
T: I dont know. I hope so. [Laughs] Thatll be great for me and artists who come out. I just think that with everything going on with the bootlegging that its just so hard to sell albums. With them and their competition, it was actually about people wanting to buy a product. I thought it was a great plan and the way they marketed their plan was well. I just hope that people are aware and that they buy the album. We need that, we need the album sales and I think we need great marketing plans to make albums become a commodity again. That 50 vs. Kanye was you heard everywhere! People were anticipating the albums dropping and that range of competition was insane. Those type of things help out in the long run.
DX: I know that this borders into going into your personal life, which I know you want to shy away from. But I have to ask you what was your reaction when 50 Cent mentioned your name in Fully Loaded Clip like that?
T: I kind of laughed a little. I felt that 50 is just 50 and he does what he does. I didnt look at him like, Why would he say that? It wasnt a big thing where I felt like I was mad. He just called out my name. I know that the statement wasnt true. I dont think that theres any need for retaliation. Its not the first time