You might expect Trina to be rowdy. Or expect her presence to be raunchy, overpowering a room and commanding the attention of everyone in it. After all, she has been known over the past decade as “The Baddest B*tch” in Hip-Hop but she is so much more. With a new outlook on her career, she is ready to show fans a side of her that they’ve been longing for. Make no mistake, she’s still “the baddest”…but evolved.
Her provocative image, raunchy lyrics, southern drawl, and barely-there outfits have served as her niche in an industry that has seen many female rappers fade to black. However, when asked about the keys to her success and longevity, she replied “hard work and dedication have made me successful. I work as much as I can and when I need to take a break, I take a break. I always try to come back with a different energy. The provocative lyrics are just a part of being sexy to me. I just have a foul mouth sometimes. I like to say whatever I want to say, however I want to say it.”
Although it gets the people going, being provocative has proven to have its downside. A downside Trina is all too familiar with. “There’s a big misconception of who you are. Most people think I am ‘the baddest b*tch’, the person they hear on the record. A part of me is that but I’m also a regular person. I’m [actually]extremely shy. A lot of people don’t know that unless they know me. People always think you’re at 100 and most of the time I’m under 5. [They] think everything on the record is your lifestyle and it’s really not,” she says.
In the age of the independent woman, the portrayal of women in music and media is constantly under scrutiny with most female artists either walking a tightrope between being sexy and slutty or completely ignoring the line, choosing instead to push the proverbial envelope. Many women believe that exuding sexuality does a disservice to other women. Trina believes that “as a woman, you have to be in control of everything about yourself. Nothing is wrong with [being sexual]. Everyone is sexual and sensual. Some are just shy about it. It’s all about how you feel sexy and what makes you comfortable. Do what works for you.”
Throughout the years, Trina has seen hip-hop grow and evolve. Eventually becoming a lifestyle, shaping popular culture as well as today’s youth. When asked to share her view on how the art has changed, she replied “the diversity of it [has changed]. People are being more creative and stepping outside of the box. We’re in a different place now than we were before, which is good. You can be more expressive. You’re not stuck in a little box. You get to try different things and say different things. That’s the best part about it.”
With the constant growth of Hip-Hop’s landscape, Trina’s evolution as an artist became inevitable. Of her own evolution she remarked, “In the beginning, it was a lot of fun…a lot of partying. I was just all over the place. I think now, I’m a lot more stable. I know exactly what I want. I don’t have to do what the label wants me to do as opposed to what I want to do. I get to pick and choose the things I want to do. I’ve just grown up a lot. I’m a lot more mature, a lot wiser. A lot of things I did when I came into the game, I probably would not do now. I don’t really have regrets but I just look at a lot of stuff and I’m like ‘what were you thinking’ [laughs]and some stuff I look back at and I loved. So it’s kind of mixed emotions but more good than bad. I learn from everything and I just keep it moving.”
Now, as she works on her sixth album, she hopes to show her core fans another side of herself and distinguish Trina the artist from Katrina the woman. “It’s hard to make six albums. Most people don’t even make three. So, I’m just in the studio having fun. I just want to make music that means something. I want it to reflect my life today. I’m in a great space. It feels good. Trina, the artist is just fun. She’s a strong, independent girl. She makes her own way, her own money. What I talk about in music is totally different than the person I am day to day. People think it’s two different people. It’s like, ‘well, who is that person on the record?’ I laugh because sometimes I go into the booth and I just lose myself. I’m just expressive. [I’m] a different person when I step in the booth…I’m an animal.
Katrina is just a regular person. She’s the really quiet, shy person. She cooks, likes to eat sweets, hang out with her friends, go to the spa. Outside of my career, I have a boring life. I like to have friends over and talk about life. They are two different people…totally different,” she says.
Her longevity has already cemented her in Hip-Hop history. However, she’s more focused on leaving behind a strong musical legacy. After a moment of reflection, she says, “This album is just personal. It’s really about me as a person and everyday women…the things we go through. With this album, I’ll get to show that. My fans are raunchy [laughs]. They want that ‘get down to the floor’ [type of music]. I just want them to be happy to see me evolve. This round I really get to give them more of me. They’ll get to see what I’m really thinking. I’ve made some records that were able to move and shake some people. Just to say I was able to do that…to have those fun records and 30 years from now you can go back and remember those memories. To have those memorable records…I just want that.”