Published in Word on Tha Streetz
By Kandis Knight
Before the interview began Trina made it clear. “Don’t ask about my personal life because it just opens the doors,” she didn’t look too happy. On this day, the Diamond Princess laid curled up like a panther in her crushed velvet tracksuit.
Instead, she wanted to keep things positive and focus on business. “I am working on my fourth album, it is more of a comfort zone for me,” she reclined into her velvety throne, alone on a posh love seat in her suite at the Buckhead Intercontinental Hotel in Atlanta.
She was obviously referring to her “on and off” again relationship with Lil’ Wayne. In July, gossip website Mediatakeout.com reported that Trina was engaged to Lil’ Wayne who is rumored to be romancing Supahead (see Supahead’s controversial video at www.karrine.com).
Her royal badnessss has been experiencing her share of struggles as of late. In addition to her personal life, she severed ties with her distributing label, Atlantic Records in 2006 (Slip-N-Slide is still her label home). According to Trina she was not dropped from Atlantic as people have speculated. “It was a mutual decision, I had the choice to record another album with Atlantic or not to.” Atlantic representatives were contacted but refused to comment.
Trina’s fourth album is tentatively called Baddest Bitch 2 and is slated to be released December 19th, 2007. “I do have a deal in the works but I am not allowed to speak on it until it is finalized,” she smiles and makes faces while typing vigorously in her diamond encrusted blackberry.
“I am in charge. I can work with the producers I like, Scott Storch, Cool and Dray, Swiss Beats. I can do what I want versus what the label wants me to do. I go to the studio without the label.”
Trina’s most recent album, 2006’s Glamorest Life reached it’s height at number 11 on The Billboard 200 and sold close to 400,000 copies in the US, according to Soundscan.
“The project before (The Glamorest Life ) I don’t think they (Atlantic) did everything they should of done. I didn’t see the vision they saw in it.” Trina has generally released an album every two years since 2000. “Everything didn’t gel together. Do I stay with them or do I gamble. Or do I take the chance? I had to ask myself,” she explained.
Even with her toughest game face on, it was easy to sense her insecurity about the decision. “I didn’t know if it was the right decision to ask to be released. Most of the work on my project didn’t get done. It was very disappointing to me.”
Another thing that disappointed Trina was the way Khia came at her in the media. “I don’t even know her (Khia) and at the time that beef was serious. In my mind, a true beef should be about money or a fall out but I don’t know her.”
Trina alludes to the beef being more about gaining publicity than genuine. “It all happened around the same time she was trying to get a name. The business is about being competitive. Everybody wants to win. I am good, I am content, there is not an insecure bone in my body. I have never had to say anything negative about another woman. She came out and she was just talking shit about me and you don’t know me, you never held a conversation with me.”
Although feminists would be slow to accept Trina amongst their ranks, Trina expresses a sense of responsibility despite the fact that she did fire back at Khia’s attack. “I am not cool with the woman bashing thing. I want to see other women prosper. I am cool with every female in the industry so there has to be a problem and it is not coming from me.” Trina has a message for Khia. “The little bit of press you got is all you are gonna get. It’s over.”
Then in a very polite manner, she admits to stepping out of character for a moment. “I had to tell her I hear her. But she needs to do her. She don’t know nothing about Trina. She is supposed to be a mother so she should carry herself different. It is foul to me,” she crosses her legs and straightens her back, still holding her head high.
“When you are a female you are the underdog. You got to stay level headed. It is a lot to take. The guys in the industry can say anything, whatever guys do and say it is acceptable but when a girl says something everyone judges. There are girl groupies and guy groupies. I put myself in the frame where I am thinking like a dude. I am ten steps ahead of whatever they do. The game is hard. It is a hard grind. It is still like having a 24 hour job. When you are a female, everything is critical. People don’t understand that.”
Her blackberry lights up but she doesn’t miss a beat, she begins rapid fire-texting and talking. “You have to accept bad photos, video, everything. You got magazines and the public and fans, everybody is criticizing everything you do. I am still a human. I have great days and I have horrible days. I am human I am not a robot. I am happy most of the time sometimes I get sad, sometimes I cry. I go through things like any female. I just have a special job, it is rare, there are not as many female rappers as there are singers. I don’t want to be 100% perfect. I have industry friends, and regular friends, I have some that are just regular it makes me stay regular, I want to go to Wal-Mart, I want to go to the movies, I don’t want to seem untouchable.”
The door bell rings, it is room service rolling in carts of fancy food and drinks, she puts her blackberry down and stands up, then sneaks a peak in the mirror.
“It is hard to always be up. If I walk out of this building and anything is not right I am gonna hear about it in the media. I can be having a great day and then hear something in the media and it may mess with my spirit. I just like to let it go and move forward. Whatever I did yesterday it is done. I am starting over today. I am not trying to go back. Mentally for me I like to close my eyes and see myself going forward and I don’t like to doubt myself.”
As she settled into her dining experience she had one last thing to say. “This is me, I am only hype when I am on stage, the rest of the time I am mellow. This is me.”