Trina She’s “Still the Baddest” and she’s here to prove why she will not lose that title. After releasing hit after hit, Trina is back with a new swag, new album, and new label. This female MC discusses with us her latest developments, her new singles w/ Missy Elliot and Mya, and what it’s like to be a female in the hip-hop world.
by William Hernandez
WHO?MAG: What can we expect on the new album “Still the Baddest”? TRINA: The new album is going to be crazy. It’s going to be a new evolution of myself. It’s my 4th album, so I put a whole lot of work into it and a whole lot of thought in-depth and a lot of creativity I put into this album. I just wanted to go into the studio with a fresh vibe and not be so stereotyped. I worked with the producers to get beats that have a different vibe. I got techno, reggae, hardcore, club bangers, the sexy records, the raunchy records. It’s just a mixture of crazy records for me. I’m so excited and I got so much energy in this project that it’s unbelievable!
WHO?MAG: As far as producers and cameos, who can we expect on the album? TRINA: I worked with producers from Cool & Dre, Scott Storch, and others. The production is crazy on this album. Cameos I have Mya, Missy Elliot, Paul Wall, Rick Ross, and Keysha Cole.
WHO?MAG: What’s the difference between this album and your past work? TRINA: It’s a growth. Everything is growth. Creatively you grow, intellectually you grow. I think this time I tried to cover all areas and give people different flavors of myself. Try different things. My first single I tried singing. I didn’t know how it was going to come out because I’m not a singer, but I loved how it came out. Everybody loved the record. They’re feeling the record. That’s a good thing for me. I was like “wow! I didn’t know I could do that!” I just wanted to give my fans “wow she’s growing and evolving”. It’s different. We need the Trina that’s going to represent the ladies but still the sexy Trina that all the fellas love. I went all over.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Mya? TRINA: Mya and I are cool. I met Mya a while ago when I was on the road performing. We became friends and we’ve been friends ever since. I did a remix for her single which is called “Riding”. I asked her to do a song for me which is called “I Wish I Never Meet You”. She killed it. I’m happy to see her come back out and do her thing. It’s a great look for the women.
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about the new single “I Got A Bottle” with Missy Elliot. TRINA: It’s a crazy single. I’m in the club with my peoples. We in the club popping bottles. We got that brown paper bag money. We just doing it big from the girls’ perspectives. Missy Elliot, you know she’s going to do her thing. It’s just about being in the club VIP. You got your bottles. You don’t need no dude. You’re handling your business. It’s one of them party records. It’s real hot.
WHO?MAG: How did hook with Trick Daddy? TRINA: I meet Trick years ago. We go so far back and so far beyond this music. We went to school together. We drifted apart. I think he went to jail at the time, then when he got out he started doing the music thing. I used to date his brother years ago before he got killed. To make a long story short we just remained close. He asked me to do a record for him and when I heard the record, I told him he was bananas. When I heard the record “You Don’t Know Nann”. It was like “wow!” It’s like a family thing. Beyond music we’re going to always be friends and with music we’re going to collaborate on great records. It’s a great ride.
WHO?MAG: How have you evolved since the Nann song back in 1998? TRINA: I’ve evolved a lot. During “You Don’t Know Nann”, I was young. We was wilding out. It was all about partying and having a good time, basically just talking trash. It was the dudes against the chicks. I had all the chicks on my side and he [Trick Daddy] had all the dudes on his. Who’s the best? We had that whole chemistry vibe, female vs. male. Just growing from there. I keep that whole era to keep growing to this woman that I’ve become. It’s been a beautiful journey.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with Slip n Slide? TRINA: I hooked up with Slip n Slide when I did the first record for Trick Daddy. Once they heard the record, they were like “we want to sign her”. I was like “I don’t know if I want to do music”. They were like “we can put an album out. We got crazy production, crazy beats, we’re going to get Trick in there, Deuce Papi, Tre+6”. We all produced The Baddest Chick album. It’s a classic and it just kicked off from there. I’ve been with Slip n Slide ever since.
WHO?MAG: Who are some of your influences as a rapper? TRINA: I love everybody from Jay Z, Trick Daddy, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Missy Elliot, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Mary J Blige, Keysha Cole. The list goes on and on. People I can respect that have survived in this game. You got to be built strong and hard because it’s like a 9 to 5 job. It’s not like what you see on TV and the videos. You got to put a lot more work than that. You got to work 24 hours around the clock. We travel go from the States to overseas, radio early in the morning to photo shoots, interviews. It’s a lot of work.
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about your clothing and perfume line? TRINA: The clothing line is called Pink Diamond Contour. I’m so happy I’m going to bring this to reality in February at the Magic Show. I’m also launching the perfume fragrance in February as well. The perfume has been doing very well and the response has been great. You can get it online at www.shoptrina.com and there’s a lot of hip hop stores in the mall that you can grab it.
WHO?MAG: How did you hook up with The Shop Boys for the remix of “Party Like A Rock Star”? TRINA: When the record came out, I actually did the remix on my own. When the heard it, they were like “wow it sounds crazy”. It was a great experience. I got my little clique, The Rockstar Family, so when the record came out we was like wow! We’ve been saying that. We rock stars. It was great to be able to jump on that because it all made sense.
WHO?MAG: How did you feel when you got nominated for female single of the year in 2003? TRINA: I was excited and felt I deserved it at the time. I worked really hard to be part of that whole movement. I think we need a lot more unity as far as the females is concerned. Hooking up, doing collaborations, being in the game and getting awards and nominations. It’s so male dominated. T o actually win that award that year, I was actually excited.
WHO?MAG: How do you feel about female representation in hip hop now? TRINA: I feel there’s not enough representation. I think we need a lot more support and put our feet down a little harder and work more. Do more things together. That’s the only way it’s going to make sense. It’s the only way people are going to give you that respect that you deserve. I can say it and preach it all day, but everybody is not out there joining forces. The movement ain’t moving. You got to go as hard as the dudes go and get that brown paper bag money. You got to get out there and work. It’s all about work.
WHO?MAG: Why did you leave Atlantic for the EMI group? TRINA: My situation with Atlantic was almost over and it was time to move on. I’ve been with Atlantic since my career started. They’ve done a great job to getting to where I’m at today. I just feel that with my last project, it didn’t as much exposure as it should have. It wasn’t represented like it should have. I had one of the biggest singles in the country “Here We Go” feat. Kelly Rowland. I just felt it didn’t get enough marketing and promotion that it should have, but it’s still all good. The label, they’re going to do what they’re going to do. I felt that era was over. It was a new situation for me to be in and still join forces with Slip n Slide. It was time to move forward and test the waters and do something different. Being with EMI, it’s more money on the backend. That was actually a great thing. When you been in a situation for so long it kind of becomes safe. I wanted to step out of that safe zone and see how far I can push myself to the next level.
WHO?MAG: Talk to me about your Diamond Doll Foundation? TRINA: The Diamond Doll Foundation is about me reaching out to the inner city younger girls to see where their minds are at as far as life situations like teen pregnancy, drugs and alcohol abuse, education, domestic violence, and dropping out of school. It’s about reaching out to the younger girls and keeping their heads in the right place and trying to understand what it is they want to do with themselves and their lives. To be able to give back and give them some of my stories and hear some of theirs. To see how I can help with that reaching out to them girls. It was a successful summit. I had a little over 500 girls for the first year. That was amazing. This year I’m expecting to do even more. I have a lot more sponsors. It was really fun to work with the girls and see what they got to say. You’d be amazed at some of questions you get from a 13 year old or a 12 year old and where their minds are at. Just being a part of that. I had Tracy Mourning, who is Alonzo Mourning’s wife, accompany me in the procedures. I had K FOX from WEDR here in Miami, FL. I had a couple of doctors and lawyers and people from the schools and clinics come out and speak to the girls. It was a real great turn out.