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Trina

Trina

Rap musician

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Rap musician Trina announced herself to the world in 1998 as da baddest b***h on the single Nann Nigga on Trick Daddys album www.thug.com, and she has continued to push the envelope of rap, with often-offensive, sexually explicit lyrics. Her debut album, Da Baddest B***h, went gold, and her second album, Diamond Princess, solidified her reputation as a new queen of hard-core rap.

Born Katrina Laverne Taylor on April 18, 1974, in Miami, Florida, Trina was a popular student at Miami Northwestern High School. A majorette, she was also voted Best Dressed in her senior class. When she was 17, she began a relationship with Hollywood, the brother of rapper Trick Daddy, but this ended in tragedy in 1994 when Hollywood was murdered in his car. In order to make a living, Trina worked the night shift at AT&T as a telemarketer, and then got a job as an exotic dancer at a club in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She used the money she earned through dancing to pay her tuition at real estate school, and quit dancing once she completed her studies.

In her spare time, Trina wrote rap rhymes, which caught the attention of Hollywoods brother, Trick Daddy, who needed a female rapper for his track Nann Nigga. He was not sure that she could rhyme or deliver, but he gave her a chance. Her comment on the track that she was da baddest b***h led to an album of the same name in 2000. Its title track, along with a video of the song, showcased Trinas lyrics, as well as her looks and attitude, and she was an instant hit with rap fans. According to Evelyn S. McDonnell in Interview, the album, which earned gold sales certification in November of 2000, was all street and sex.

In an interview for Crusade magazine online, Trina commented that on this album, much of the work was done for her; she did not have creative control, but simply delivered lyrics. Everybody was like we got this beat, we got this, we got that, we want you to get in there and write to this track, write to this song, write to this topic.

For her second album, Diamond Princess, Trina was able to choose her own production, name of the songs, and write whatever she wanted to write. She told Crusade, Its more what Trinas about, how Trina looks, how Trina feels, the things that Trina consists of.

Trina told a reporter for Black Entertainment Television that Diamond Princess was the same thing [as Da Baddest B***h] but its different. Im still the same person, still grimy, you have the ghetto reality street part of it, but its just a more mature and stable life for me right now. That maturity and stability, she said, was the result of her success with Da Baddest B***h.

Some of the tracks on Da Baddest B***h emphasize female strength, according to Trina. Two tracks,

For the Record

Born Katrina Laverne Taylor on April 18, 1974, in Miami, FL. Education: Completed real estate school.

Appeared on the Trick Daddy single Nann Nigga, 1998; released debut album, Da Baddest B***h, on Slip-N-Slide label, 2000; followed with Diamond Princess, also on Slip-N-Slide, 2002; founded own record label, Diva Enterprises.

Address: Record company Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic Records, 1290 6th Ave., New York, NY 10019, phone: (212) 707-2000, website: http://www.atlantic-records.com. Website Trina at Atlantic Records: http://www.atlantic-records.com./trina.

ladies 1st and Rewind That Back, feature two strong women in the music business who are making a lot of money and who dont need men to take care of them. Some of the other songs are cautionary tales for men. One song, No Panties, which Trina performed with female R&B singer Tweet, is also a declaration of independence by the two women. Trina told McDonnell, The all-girl vibe is really good because everybody can speak their mind. She also told McDonnell that the album was really fun and bright and commercial and that sex was not its only topic. Its just about me, going from one extreme to the next. Maxim Pozdorovkin, in the Cornell Daily Sun, wrote that although the musical side of Diamond Princess is quite good, Trinas emphasis on material things is a prime example of ridiculous content, and commented that the album does not possess personality, wit, or intellect and that the game Trina plays is one of extreme crassness.

The success of Trinas two albums led to the launching of a clothing line called Diamond Princess Wear that is inspired by her personal look. Ive stepped up to the game, she told Chronic Magazine online. Im trying to pave a way for everybody that wants to follow in my footsteps. She told McDonnell that the clothing line was due to be launched at the beginning of 2003, and that it would be hot, classy, sexy, edgy, glamorous, hip-hopits me, really. Real flamboyant. Trina did not design the clothes, but worked with a New York stylist to create the look.

Trina also started her own record label, Diva Enterprises, and by September of 2002 had signed an artist, Lil Brianna, who was ten years old and working on her first album. Lil Brianna had already appeared on the Diamond Princess track Kandi.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the fact that some conservative and religious groups have protested against her music, Trina told Black Entertainment Television (BET) that spirituality is an important part of her life, and that she strives to serve God. I serve him all day in my whole life. I just feel like without him, theres no me. When youre working during the week, youre working but that dont mean youre not praising him still. She also said, in response to criticism of her explicit lyrics, If you dont like what Im saying, then dont listen to it. In response to rumors that she was gay or bisexual, Trina told BET, If I chose to live a bisexual life or Im gay or whatever, thats MY business.

Trina, who is not married and has no children, told BET, Im free, Im happy, Im young, Im doing whatever I want to do. I feel like anybody whether theyre an entertainer or not should do that, because tomorrows not promised. And she told McConnell that her favorite part of life is entertaining: Its all about attitude and showing people I love them. When Im up onstage its all about connecting with themtheyre a part of me.

Selected discography

Da Baddest B***h, Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic, 2000.

Diamond Princess, Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic, 2002.

Sources

Periodicals

Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 15, 2002, p. L6.

Cornell Daily Sun (Ithaca, NY), September 26, 2002.

Interview, September 2002.

Online

Hot Seat: Trina, Crusade, http://www.thecrusade.net (November 17, 2002).

Miamis Diamond Princess Speaks Out, Black Entertainment Television, http://www.bet.com (November 17, 2002).

Trina, Chronic Magazine, http://www.chronicmagazine.com (November 17, 2002).

Trina, Rap Sheet.com, http://www.rapsheet.com (November 17, 2002).

Kelly Winters

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