Trick Trick Interview
|Next Project:||The Villain|
|Twitter:||Trick Trick on Twitter|
|Website:||Trick Trick's Website|
A few years back, it seemed as if Detroit was destined to become one of the biggest cities in hip hop. Due in large part to the spectacular success of Eminem, Motown had begun to receive music industry attention at a level not seen since the golden days of the label of the same name. Though Detroit was unable to parlay that wave of popularity into the prominent position on the hip-hop map that it deserves, it looks as if it’s gearing up for a comeback; Slim Shady’s much anticipated Relapse is on the way, as well as Royce Da 5’9’s Street Hop, and, to round it off, Motor City vet Trick Trick is back on the scene with the follow-up to 2005’s The People vs.
Trick’s sophomore set, The Villain, released on Tuesday, finds the rapper playing “The Bad Guy” in a drama that’s fixing to bring him and his city back into the mainstream spotlight. The Ice Cube-featuring lead single, “Let It Fly,” as well as the DJBooth featured cut “Who Want It,” (which boasts a beat and guest verse by Em himself), should give listeners a good idea of the gruff, streetwise heat that fuels The Villain‘s nefarious scheme to take hip hop by storm.
In an exclusive interview with DJBooth’s DJ “Z,” Trick Trick steps into the Booth to talk about his move from Motown to Koch Records, why rappers need to tone down the bragging and let their music speak for itself, and who the real villains are in today’s music industry.
Listen to the Interview
Trick Trick Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, everybody? It’s your boy “Z,” doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth is an emcee from Motown who left Motown for some greener pastures over at Koch. His new album, The Villain, is in stores. Please welcome one of the most down-to-earth artists I know, Trick Trick – how you doin’?
Trick Trick: What’s goin’ on, baby?
DJ Booth: As I’ve told everyone that I’ve spoken with, in honor of Barack Obama winning the Presidential election, we’re gonna start every feature interview inside the DJ Booth with the same question. So, Trick Trick, where were you when the announcement was made, and what does this mean for the future of our country?
Trick Trick: I was in my hotel room in Indiana, glued to the television, on the phone. A friend of mine on the phone had mentioned that it was 297, and I’ll be honest with you, man, I just broke down, started tearin’ up when I heard, ‘cause I knew that it was hope for the world, and the world was changing, it could change for the better. The majority of the country is not biased to race anymore; everybody really wants to change together. We all want better for each other. I remember once upon a time, black people couldn’t vote, and now we have a black President, man, and that means so much to me.
DJ Booth: We’ve certainly come a long way. It is a monumental occasion. If Trick Trick became the next President of the United States of America, what is the first thing you’d propose to Congress?
Trick Trick: End the war.
DJ Booth: End the war, right now.
Trick Trick: End that war in Iraq, right now. Bring them babies home.
DJ Booth: Somebody who has been a proponent of war is our current President, George Bush, and he’s been villainized for it, and that leads perfectly into the title of your new album, which is The Villain. It’s your sophomore set. I know you call yourself “The Bad Guy,” so is The Villain simply a spinoff of that nickname?
Trick Trick: Pretty much. It wasn’t so much me callin’ myself the bad guy, but everybody else sayin’, “That’s the bad guy.” I’ve been looked at in so many different people’s eyes as a terror, only because I’ve handled certain situations in my life in a fashion where they won’t come back. Leave me the f*ck alone, you know what I’m sayin’? People always look at it as I’m doin’ things in a bad way, I’m the bad guy, I’m the villain, so I just took it and said, “Okay, if a villain is what you want, then that’s what you’re gonna get.” I’ve noticed throughout my career, things have been looking up since I hooked up with Eminem, but I do so much good for my community – you know, I speak to children, I donate money to Little League football teams, I go to church, I coach wheelchair basketball, I donate to the homeless shelters, battered women and children – and nobody [brings] this stuff up. But, if I strap a motherf*cker ‘cause he done walked up in my face on some bullsh*t, oh, this is a top story! People are driven by negativity.
DJ Booth: Isn’t it interesting how people are not interested in the philanthropic work that you’ve done in your community, but any time you strike up any controversy whatsoever it has to be a headline, it has to be front-page news?
Trick Trick: And I had to push my album back because of this sh*t that happened with Yung Berg, ‘cause I didn’t want people to think I was tryin’ to come up off of some negative publicity, and I was tryin’ to be known for fightin’ and beatin’ motherf*ckers up and sh*t like that. Even though I’ve gone into the actual story of what happened a few times, and explained that I had absolutely nothing to do with the situation, that I actually saved the little n*gga’s life, people still will say, “This is the guy that snatched Yung Berg’s chain!” Hold on, motherf*cker! One of the chains around my neck is worth more than that big piece of sh*t that he had on! Why would I wanna steal something from somebody else? I make money in movies, film companies, I make money with production, I sell beats all week. I got artists that I work with, I got clubs that I venture off into, businesses, energy drinks – I got money! What the f*ck I look like snatchin’ some little boy’s goddamn chain?! That n*gga weighs 101 pounds maybe; I’m 267 f*ckin’ pounds – what do I look like?! And people still say, “Trick Trick did this,” so, okay, [if it’s] the bad guy you want, then it’s the bad guy you’re gonna get.
DJ Booth: Let’s take this a step further, into the music business – who in the music business plays the role the best of the villain? Is it record executives? Is it people who illegally download music? Who should be villainized the most, when it comes to the industry where you make most of your bread?
Trick Trick: The people who really piss me off the most are bloggers who disrespect artists and talk sh*t. They hide behind that laptop or hide behind that keyboard, say whatever the f*ck they want to say, but they walk out the house and put their hood on and tuck their tail between their legs, because they’re scared of the motherf*cker standin’ next to them in the grocery line. A bunch of f*ckin’ p*ssy-ass n*ggas. [They say] I’m extortin’ Eminem. I grew up with that man! Get the f*ck out of here! That’s one of my best friends – the f*ck you mean I’m extortin’ him?! You know, f*ggot-ass Ron Mexico, b*tch-ass, I hope I can find this motherf*cker – I’m gonna bust his motherf*ckin’ head wide the f*ck open if I lay eyes on that b*tch, with that f*ggot-ass XXL sh*t, talkin’ about I’m extortin’ Eminem! And I explained to him, “That’s my motherf*ckin’ friend! Get the f*ck out of here with that ho-ass sh*t!” And he still printed that ho-ass sh*t! He’s the villain!
DJ Booth: Trick, do you feel like you need to explain yourself here? I mean, honestly, if you have this relationship, and it’s sincere, and it goes back a long while, who is anybody to question that?
Trick Trick: F*ck him – he don’t count, know what I’m sayin’? I’m the kind of person that, I’m like the elephant; I don’t forget sh*t. When I run into you… oh yeah.
DJ Booth: [laughs] You’re gonna stomp him.
Trick Trick: Yeah. I’ll take his motherf*ckin’ clothes off him, too!
DJ Booth: [laughs] Well, I can promise you this interview’s nothing but love – no controversy being started here.
Trick Trick: Oh, it’s all love, homie. That’s why we can speak openly.
DJ Booth: Most definitely. Last time we actually sat down to do an interview about one of your projects was back in January of ‘06, shortly after you debuted The People vs. At the time, you expressed your frustration and your upset at Motown dropping the project too early; they didn’t give you enough time to really get into it. Nearly three years later, you’re in a new situation with a brand new project comin’ out. Explain the difference between both situations.
Trick Trick: With a label like Motown, you don’t have an up close and personal relationship with the person at the top, or the person that’s working your record, or the person that’s doing the mix show or the video or marketing, whereas, with a label like Koch, I talk to Alan Grunblatt every other day, if not every day; some weeks, me and him speak every day. I have a close personal relationship with these people, and we work together, collectively, so if I say, “We need to push this album back,” they say, “I agree – let’s do it.” That’s the big difference. Major labels do dumb sh*t like spend $100,000 on circular newspapers. Nobody I know that is a fan of my music actually reads the newspaper. I have a lot of older fans – you know my grandma and her friends, and maybe my mom and her friends, and my aunties might go through the sale paper…
DJ Booth: But they were gonna buy your album anyways! [laughs]
Trick Trick: They were gonna buy it anyways. But [the little homies], they don’t read the newspaper; they just know the Trick Trick album’s comin’ out any-motherf*ckin’-way.
DJ Booth: Let’s talk about the project. You have appearances from fellow Detroit natives Kid Rock, Royce da 5’9, and Eminem, who also lends some of his talents behind the boards. Trick, earlier this decade it seemed like Detroit was poised for consistent success. Unfortunately, I think the city hasn’t really produced as many recognizable voices as I know the city would’ve liked to, so what has happened?
Trick Trick: Radio has a big play in that. These guys here in Detroit, we have a lot of artists who are very talented, great artists. The access to outlets to promote their product is sidewinded by the fact that, if you listen to the radio here, it’s Wayne’s world. It’s T-Wayne’s world. It’s all about Jay-Z, T.I. Has three records and Jeezy has a couple records. There’s no variety, and there’s no true support of artists from Detroit from radio.
DJ Booth: How can this change, though? How can more Detroit artists get exposure by the means you just explained, not just locally but mainstream, across the country.
Trick Trick: Well, I can only really speak for Detroit, first of all. Detroit needs to come together even more. We’ve come together as artists collectively. We have to build the attitude, we’re not givin’ up till it’s done this way. You don’t [have] to fight nobody, you don’t [have] to beat nobody up, but they have to develop the attitude of, “I’m gonna stay in your face until you play this record.” You know, “Out of sight, out of mind;” that applies everywhere. If you gotta go visit the same DJ three times a f*ckin’ week, and buy him a beer, or sit there and kick it with him, or get his number and call him at home, and become friends with this motherf*cker, then that’s what you’ve got to do!
DJ Booth: Whatever it takes.
Trick Trick: Whatever the f*ck it takes.
DJ Booth: You mentioned Detroit artists coming together. You and Royce have a song on the new album, “All Around the World,” in which you discuss what’s wrong with the current state of hip hop. You spit, “Everybody wanna be better than the next, and everybody claimin’ that they’re better than the rest.” I’m gonna play devil’s advocate for a second – wouldn’t you say, though, that friendly competitiveness and confidence in one’s own work actually could breed better music?
Trick Trick: I think that the competitiveness needs to just come out in the music.
DJ Booth: Without saying it..
Trick Trick: Without saying it, ‘cause when you say it you spark a flame under people’s ass. If you say something about you being better than me, you’re gonna rub me the wrong way. I don’t have the attitude to accept that f*ckin’ bullsh*t that you throw at me. My competitive attitude is, “[I’ll] f*ck you up,” but my main competitive attitude is to record different and better music, without havin’ to say it. I’ll say it in a song, ‘cause everybody is better than this n*gga, and y’all are the coldest in the city, and you’re the coldest in the world, ain’t nobody f*ckin’ with you… show me a motherf*cker in hip hop that outsold Eminem – I’ll wait.
DJ Booth: I don’t have one for you.
Trick Trick: My point exactly! No matter how they’re hating, [it’s] bullsh*t. He took that gift and that art and he mastered it – something you didn’t do, because you’re stuck on the block with the crack, poppin’ the bottles for the b*tches or rollin’ on the rims. You’re stuck right there; he went somewhere that you were afraid to go to.
DJ Booth: Trick, would you say that artists who feel the need to brag about their skill, and the difference between what they can do and what someone else can do, are really just making up for a shortcoming musically?
Trick Trick: I don’t know, because I don’t know every artist’s motive. I don’t know an artist’s motive when he gets to speak about “Such-and-such couldn’t do it, so I did it,” because if that was the case, I’d be on my record talkin’ about [how] I got a verse from Em and Lil’ Wayne couldn’t do it. Well, Em didn’t wanna work with Wayne, so f*ck him – he’s out.
DJ Booth: Well, I know what your motive is, and that is to prove to everybody the talent that you have, and the talent that your city has. Trick, I want everybody to find out more about the new release, and about what you have comin’ up in the next few months, so go ahead and give everyone a website or a MySpace page.
Trick Trick: My MySpace page is myspace.com/tricktrickgs, I’m also on tricktrickonline.com. The album – I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I have to pat myself on the back, because a major label would have a hard time recording the album I recorded, with the features that I got.
DJ Booth: Well, I look forward to getting my hands on a copy, so I can listen to it from front to back, side to side. Trick, I appreciate your time greatly, for joinin’ me inside the DJ Booth, and, as always, I wish you nothing but the best of luck, my friend.
Trick Trick: I appreciate you having me, man. Anytime.