Trina: The Nicest Side of the Baddest Bitch
by Rachel Chesbrough
Unda$treaM recently got to sit down with the (in)famous, the sexy, the confident, the self-proclaimed Baddest Bitch; Ms. Trina. Eight years after the output of her sophomore album “Diamond Princess” May 2010 saw the release of Trina’s latest cd, “Amazin.” If you listen to Trina’s past and present music, it’s easy to assume that she would be an abrasive, take-no-shit, get-to-the-point-or-keep-it-pushin type bitch. You can practically hear her lip curl when she spits a verse, and she never seems scared of much, least of all some raunchy lyrics in songs like “Dang a Lang” and “Look Back At Me.”Her hooks alone are bolder and dirtier than what most rappers (rappers, yall, not just female rappers) dare to pepper their verses with. Ahem, “Tounge Song” for example? “I like it when you niggaz go duh duh duh/Baby make my pussy go duh duh duh/I know ya wanna hit it slow duh duh duh/Work that tongue tongue tongue.” Yeah, the chick ain’t shy.
So it comes as something of a shock when this quiet, laid back, borderline child-like voice gets on the phone. From jump we got to see a different side of Trina than the shit that’s constantly marketed to the general public. She gave Unda$tream an exclusive peak into the side of her life that includes her motivation, her charity, and yes Denverites, her rarely confirmed relationship with one of our favorite local athletes.
Since her appearance on Trick Daddy’s “Nann Nigga” in ’98, Trina has been hustlin her flawless ass off in this rap game. She puts out an average of one album every 2 years, has been featured on tracks with some of mainstream’s heavy-hitters (Ludacris, Gucci, Pitbull, Dawn Rachards, etc.), and has been nominated for what seems like countless titles at the AMA’s, The Source Awards, BET Awards, MTV VMA’s, and Soul Train Awards. So what keeps her motivated? When asked what the best piece of advice she’s ever received is, she answers without hesitation, “Failure is not an option.” She certainly seems to have lived her professional career by that motto, but if she could do it all over again, what would she change or do differently? “You know what? Just focus, focus, focus. I think that’s the key to everything is just to be focused, you know? When you’ve been through all I’ve been through, and seen so much and done so much you could sit back and think if you could do it all over again, you know, a whole different route, I would definitely say just focus.”
It’s hard to imagine Trina much more focused than we see her now, as she continues to thrive in a male-dominated industry, contending with several other females who are also getting some serious shine, for those coveted few spots that females are allowed. “I think they could be stronger,” Trina says confidently about these other female emcees. But don’t call her a hater. “I think it’s impacting a lot more, you got more females that’s comin out and more girls that are putting out music, and I think that’s great. So I definitely think the impact…it’s gonna continue to grow.” That’s not just talk. Instead of forcing a feud for publicity’s sake, Trina collabs with her “competition” like Nikki Minaj and Eve to create chart toppers like “My Chick Bad” (ok, so Luda helped out too). Beyond that she never fails to put out those tracks like “My Bitches” and “Single Again” that the ladies love, and the fellas love to hate…publicly, anyway.
And while we’re talkin about fellas, Trina, all of us here in Denver are wondering about that song “Capricorn.” Does that particular Caricorn happen to have a December 30th birthday? “Yes,” she says before giggling. That song, clearly about Kenyon Martin of the Nuggets, is the most personal track for Trina on the new album. “It was just this record and it was one of them records that I was just really not rappin- basically I was talkin and it was a lil poetic and I was basically explaining what a Capricorn means to me, and it was just a beautiful moment in a beautiful record.” The couple have kept us guessing about their relationship, but Trina has this to say about how men should treat women, “I think that even though we have strength and we put on a hard front, women are very emotional and vulnerable.” She adds that the one thing women need to remember is to “just to know yourself. Definitely. More than anything. Just to have that trust. That trust factor takes you a long way I’d say definitely.” Trina obviously trusts herself, musically at least. When asked who her influences are she says “I would say definitely Beyonce, Christina Aguilara, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey. Those are like my favorite, favorite.” She references no other rappers, male or female, only strong, hugely successful women. She adds that she listened to Salt N Peppa, MC Lyte, and Missy, but clearly she doesn’t mold herself after anyone. She doesn’t try to be anyone but her damn self.
So what could Trina possibly be squeezing in to the already packed schedule of an album release? Plenty. Her charity, Diamond Doll Foundation (aimed at building confidence in inner city girls) is gearing up for the new school year. “I just think this time it’s gonna be a little different, we’re gonna get the kids a lot more active due to the fact I did the cosmetic line, which will be amazing. Cosmetics and lipwear; lipgloss and lipwear for girls. We’re gonna try to get that involved with it as well to make it a little fun and make it more creative and you know, they do like a questionnaire and it’s like a seminar.” She also has a VH1 reality show in the works called “The Baddest Chick” which she says will be great, and really, who wouldn’t rather stare at Trina for an hour than Brett Michaels?
Trina’s star continues to rise, and the title to her newest album can easily refer to her drive, passion, career, and/or general mentality. When asked to elaborate on the title, and what it is about herself that made her chose that, she says “Hard work and determination, the person I’ve grown to become and just basically starting with nothing and turning it into something…that’s pretty amazing.”It’s hard to argue with confidence like that. So go ‘head and give her whatever label you want: bitch, hustla, philanthropist, sex symbol, emcee, etc…just do not count her out any time soon.