Still Da Baddest: Trina On Longevity, Trick Daddy, and Love For Latto
By Stereo Williams
Trina has earned the right to take her time. "The Baddest Bitch" has become a testament to longevity in a rap game that hadn't been known for sustaining careers—especially not when it comes to women. But the Florida rap icon has made it look easy, while traversing the treacherous peaks and valleys of fame. More than twenty years after she made jaws drop on Trick Daddy's 1999 hit "Nann Nigga," Trina is just as vital, just as inspired and just as focused as she's ever been.
But make no mistake; she's on her own time.
"This is gonna be my baby—I'm super excited about it," she explains. "This will be my seventh album, so I want it to be very special, very creative. I want people to understand the space I'm in creating this album. It's going to be raw, unfiltered and just a different vibe."
She's never been afraid to try something new. Trina has stepped out of her comfort zone from the moment she dropped her multiplatinum debut Da Baddest Bitch in 2001. She's built a career as an artist and performer, while also becoming a brand spokeswoman, radio host and media personality. On this particular day, she's at RockStarr Film Studios to make an appearance on Trick Daddy's cooking show B!tch I Got My Pots.
She dropped The One in 2019 on her own RockStarr label, and Trina is very much about ownership and control; and understands the power in sustaining both. And she's been able to keep a high profile as an artist. Some of the most iconic women in Hip-Hop have diversified but without maintaining their rap careers; Trina has been able to do both. On The One, she embraced growth, on what was her first album since the 2000s; and maturation is evident in her approach. She's a grownass woman who also understands the generation she's helped inspire. Her presence is felt—she's dropped singles like "Receipts" and "Clap"—and her pen game is sharp. She's also currently on the road with the Legendz Of The Street Tour which also features Jeezy, Rick Ross, Gucci Mane, Fabolous and DJ Drama.
And in August, she's taking the stage at the Rock The Bells Festival in Forest Hills, Queens. It's a moment that the rap queen says she's especially looking forward to.
"I just cannot wait to get up there and perform for the fans and turn it out," Trina shares. "This is a major thing for me. I'm super honored and super grateful."
"Consistency is the key to everything," she says. "You've got to stay consistent, you've got to stay focused, you've got to stay determined. It's not always peaches and cream, it's not always glitz and glam. Between some of that is smoke and mirrors. So I feel like [it's about] the consistency, and staying focused."
"Don't let nobody get in the way of or stop that. And get away from distractions. Sometimes it's kind of hard to stay focused in the game. Every record may not hit, but consistency is always gonna win."
And her time with Trick has led to an ongoing bond with her fellow rap superstar from the Sunshine State. He may seem to be a lightening rod for social media controversy, but Trick and Trina have always understood each other.
Her latest single "Clap" is a collaboration with rising Atlanta rap star Latto. After grinding since she was a teen (she won Lifetime's The Rap Game as a 16-year old and was a protege of Jermaine Dupri), the young rapper opted for an independent career hustled her way up via red-hot mixtapes and singles. Now signed to RCA, with the release of her second album 777, Latto has become one of the hottest stars of the past year. And she has a co-sign from a southern rap legend.
"[We have] great chemistry. Latto is amazing," Trina says. "I met her awhile before we did 'Clap'—way back when we did 'Bitch From the Souf.' And just working with her is just a pleasure. She's young and fresh and energetic. I just love her whole stance. I love what she's doing. I love that she's a hustler and she's focused and she's determined and she knows exactly what she wants."
For Trina, it's bigger than royal titles. She's built a career, a brand and a legend, and she knows the power that so many young women in the rap industry currently wield. She wants to be a guiding force because she's seen what strong Black women can do in this game.
"They were very influential; you've got Missy Elliott, you've got Lil Kim—there was Eve [who] came out with myself, there was Foxy [Brown]. There was women who I felt [were] amazing. And I just felt like, when I came into this game, they embraced me. So with that embracing, [that's] just how I continue to be: always embracing the next new up-and-coming artist. If I vibe with you and I like you and I feel like you're sincere and genuine, then that's what it is."