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Trina: Who’s Bad?

When you think of Katrina “Trina” Taylor the word vulnerable isn’t what comes to mind. Since premiering in Trick Daddy’s video [“Nann”] in a silver sequinned bikini top spitting lyrics so heavy in sexual gratuity that you needed a cigarette afterwards, she made it more than clear who she was. The “Baddest B***h,” a title that may evoke listeners to search for more empowering female rap examples only to find that when it comes to mainstream vitality, they are few and far between. Yet Trina is more than just a female rapper looking to prove herself amongst her male counterparts. These days you may still find Trina hitting the club showing off a healthy helping of skin, but if you talk to her you will get a totally different vibe. Trina is a laid-back, focused, and well rounded woman. After being MIA for two years, her third album, Still the Baddest, is set to drop in February of this year. Regardless of what you think of her you can’t deny the confidence in her swagger. Admit it maybe you’re just a little curious about what she has to say about her and Lil Wayne, those damn relationship rumors, and why female emcees can’t catch a break.  AllHipHop.com: Your new single, “Single Again,” sounds very personal, where did the motivation come from?Trina: [Laughs] the new single stems from the energy that’s around me. It’s my life. I am single and of course I’ve been through personal situations, and I reflected it in that particular song. It’s just about getting myself focused and being happy about myself regardless of if I’m in a situation or not. I’m single and I’m happy to be single. It was crazy because when I was in the studio recording that wasn’t how that record was going to be, we were just playing around. I wanted something that was going to be a ladies anthem. It was a fun record, I had a great time doing it.[Trina “Single Again”]

AllHipHop.com: So I guess that the rumors about you and Kenyon Martin being an item aren’t true?Trina: No, I’m single. People are always insinuating and making up things. It seems like if you speak to somebody people want to put you with that person. That’s just the industry, that’s how it is and that’s not necessarily the case. I’m single, I’m happy, I’m focused. I was in a situation—I’m no longer in that situation—I just needed time to myself to find my own self worth and this project; that is the most important thing to me. I’m happy about that.AllHipHop.com: How has the Trina from back in the day, “The Baddest B***h,” changed?Trina: I think I’ve grown a lot. I’m still the same person but just in a whole different element. You can’t still be in the same place from when you first come out. I’ve changed assistants; some friends are no longer my friends. I’ve been in love and out of love, so you just grow. I think life is a challenge. There are just so many different experiences that I’ve been through since I first came into this business. Being more business wise, being more responsible, branching out, the whole thing is like growing into a woman. It’s really crazy but it’s been a blessing. I’m happy to see myself evolving and growing through different things.  I still think I have so much more to go through and so many changes to make so I’m preparing myself for that also.AllHipHop.com: What were some of the things that stopped you in your tracks and aided in your growth? You don’t have to talk about Lil Wayne, but you can… Trina: You’re funny! [Laughs] I would say being in a situation like that and going through different situations in that relationship and coming out of it was another growth period. I got to see a lot of different things. Love is blind so you’re not seeing everything you should see. Then, I was in a great situation. I must say, I have no regrets about it. It’s just that people grow. They have different visions in life and I had a different vision.No longer being with Atlantic Records was a big thing for me because I’ve been with them my whole career. When my label [Slip-N-Slide]…when we decided to not do my current album with them it was like starting all over. I’ve grown so much with them and we became a family but I felt like it was time for me to change and do different things. They were so accustomed to doing things one way, I don’t think that they really saw that I wanted to grow and do different stuff. Being able to step outside of that was like a relationship; and to branch off to something else and start a new relationship with EMI, all of this is different. You have to meet different people, you have to go through the whole thing of trusting people with your project and making sure they have your best interest at heart. AllHipHop.com: Being a well known female rapper why do you think that female rappers are important to Hip-Hop?Trina: I just think that the industry is so male dominated, everything is coming from a man’s perspective. We [women] like the type of music in the club where you can dance but when it’s coming from a woman it’s a different thing. When I do music, I know it’s explicit and it’s raw, it’s coming from what I see. It’s coming from the streets. It’s coming from what I come from. This is everyday life and I think that women can relate a little more when it’s coming from a woman because we are more emotional. We are more personal. We think about stuff more than guys. AllHipHop.com: Why do you think there is a lack of unity among women rappers?Trina: I think it’s just women. Women have egos, women have their selfish ways. Everybody wants to be number one. There’s nothing wrong with that but you don’t have to be number one knocking somebody else down. It’s like, “Can’t we all just get along?” Obviously that’s not possible because in society even if you’re not an artist you have girlfriends and friends that you hang out with and fallout with. Women just don’t seem to understand how to be united. I don’t think that women get that and it’s a sad thing. I like to see when a woman is prospering because it feels like that’s another woman that’s doing her thing; and that’s a good thing. I work just as hard as a guy—sometimes harder—so I have a problem with someone trying to knock me down. Get out there and do you! Whatever your hustle is just get out there and go do it, you’re not going to be any higher from knocking anybody else down.I’ve had doors close in my face, I’ve had people tell me no. It didn’t make me want to get mad and write a rhyme and talk about somebody else. It made me want to grind harder and just continue to do me. If you don’t like me, if you don’t like what I say don’t listen to it.  It’s not going to make you lose any sleep. Women need to understand that. If it’s not putting money in your pocket to like it and if it’s not taking money out your pocket to not like it then just choose to listen to something else.AllHipHop.com: Do you get a lot of hatred from females?Trina: I get a lot of love. I also get the “ughs” on the side but I really don’t look out the side of my eyes. I’m so busy trying to look ahead. Ten years from now I’m not going to be doing music, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing. I’m securing myself for my future. I plan on having a family and getting married…all the things that matter to me. So I just don’t have the energy to waist on the stuff that’s coming from the side. When you think about it at the end of the day it’s not writing a check, it’s not helping you out. So what’s the energy used for? It’s just negative, and I don’t like to surround myself with it. I like to keep it moving!  AllHipHop.com: Is Miami Hip-Hop still relevant or has it been slipping?Trina: I feel like its growing. There aren’t a lot of artist out in Miami but you have Rick Ross who came out and made an immaculate mark on the industry. You have people that are up and coming. I think that with the South and music being so big everybody is thinking that the South is such a relevant factor right now. It gives Miami a lot of shine. There are a lot of artists coming out of Miami from rapper to singers. If they work hard people are going to embrace it. Rick Ross came out and it was a big thing to the world but I’ve been watching Rick Ross for years. He’s been on the grind and when his time came it was his time to shine. I respect that in an artist. It’s the same with everybody, when it’s your time nobody can stand in the way of that.AllHipHop.com: Where is Slip-N-Side Records headed and how has it changed over the years?Trina: It’s changed a lot. Slip-N-Slide was one of the biggest independent companies out. It has been successful well over ten years. The owner of the company Ted Lucas, he’s constantly signing new artists. You have Plies, who’s doing a great job in his career. He [Ted] has other artist that he is working with and I just think that [the] more the merrier. I can still see Slip-N-Side years from now standing strong and being one of the strongest companies in music.AllHipHop.com: Why is Trina still “The Baddest?”Trina: I’m strong. I’m independent. I’ve been through a ton of different things. I don’t feel like I’m any different from any other woman I just do a different job. I think that’s what keeps me humble. I stay focused. I stay working. Regardless of what anyone has to say I’m on my grind and I continue to shine so you can’t knock that. I can open my mouth because I paved my way in this industry. Nobody gave me anything. I hustled and to get to where I am right now. So that’s what makes me the baddest because I did it and I did it working hard through everything. No matter what I never stopped working. I haven’t had an album out in two and a half years but I’ve been from Miami all over the world with no album and I’m still here! I have a brand new album coming out. I’m just so happy to still be in this business. It’s empowerment to me and it motivates me to stay strong and to keep moving until I decide I’m going to give it a break and focus on Pink Diamond Couture, my clothing line, and Diamond Princess Entertainment and on the things I love to do outside of music.AllHipHop.com: You sound like you have it together.Trina: I’m a regular girl. I have a family. I like to chill out with my family when I’m not working and do nothing. I don’t like people to put me on a pedestal. I’ve been through everything that any other normal woman would go through. So I like to keep myself in that mode so it doesn’t make me feel like I’m untouchable. I’m blessed to have the career that I have and to be doing the things that I love to do and that’s just it.

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