Trina: Ladies First

Trina might seem one-dimensional in the eyes of some skeptics. The same woman who’s recorded songs such as “No Panties” and “69 Ways” has a soft spot…in her heart. Take note, the rap world didn’t accept her based solely on her voluptuous, southern curves or dirty mouth. Trina’s got substance on and off the mic. Known largely for her rapping, mostly for her body, and hardly for philanthropy, you’d be surprised to know that just like her Miami counterpart, Trina loves the kids.

The Baddest B-girl has taken some time to clean the filthy, vulgar material built up in young girl’s ears and filled them with refined beneficial advice. Trina has founded a non-profit organization called Diamond Dolls Foundation where she takes females under her Versace laced wing and guides them through life’s ups and downs. Having recently faced some turbulence of her own, she also talks about her search for a new label after splitting with her longtime home, Atlantic Records.

AllHipHop.com: I understand you just started a non-profit organization?

Trina: Yes, it’s a non-profit organization that teaches younger girls about life and uplifts them, give them inspiration to stay focused on education, talk about teen pregnancy and drugs, just a whole bunch of things women go through in life, period. For the younger generation, the younger girls, kind of like, grab their hands and help them along the way. I just want to see their outtake on life and what they’re going through.

AllHipHop.com: How do you choose which girls become apart of the foundation?

Trina: Actually, the foundation has a website. Through the website, there are blogs and there are so many girls reaching out, signing up to become a member, everybody wants to be a member.

AllHipHop.com: Are the girls are only from Miami right now?

Trina: Yes.

AllHipHop.com: How available are you to these girls? Can they reach out to you personally if they needed to?

Trina: Through the foundation’s website, they can send in their questions and there’s also a survey that gives information about STDs, pregnancies, domestic violence, teen runaways, the whole nine. They can actually log on and send it their questions and I’ll personally respond, kinda like a back and forth feedback.

AllHipHop.com: Do you personally provide money for the foundation or do you have fundraisers?

Trina: Because this is the first year we’re doing this and we’re so new, we have sponsors that are donating. They feel it’s such a positive thing that we’re doing so it’s been coming along great, as far as that goes. From women’s clinics to schools have all reached out to help, so it’s looking really great.

AllHipHop.com: Now, on the opposite end, how do you respond to people that question whether you’re the most fit to give advice to young girls due to the content of your songs?

Trina: I mean, I just feel like you can’t really deprive somebody of who they are and what it is they due, regardless of what it is. This is not a perfect world, nobody’s perfect and I just feel like for myself I’m giving back information from personal experiences, or experiences from people that are close to me. Just to share some of those experiences to let them know, it’s okay. Ya know, it’s when you try to keep stuff hidden and there’s a big denial thing, that’s what makes girls wanna be rebellious. Every woman who was once a young girl knows that has had problems in school or was rebellious or has tried to go out and do things on their own, even when it’s not right. I know, as far as myself, being an artist, I talk a lot about sex, men, money, the greatness of life and for me, it’s real. These are things that have gone on in my life. These are things that I’ve endured, maybe not all so personal, but whether it’s me or a friend, it’s a reality check. I know, there are things that I have done that I’ve been like “Wow, if I could go back I would do that a little differently.” So, I’m just trying to help these girls, if I can prevent these girls from doing something they were maybe thinking about doing and get them to open up for a conversation and say things they probably wouldn’t have said or afraid to talk about. And for it to come from such a powerful voice, such as myself, I feel like anything they wanna know, I’m gonna answer to the best of my ability.

AllHipHop.com: Because there is a lack of strong females in Hip-Hop right now, the ones that are in are heavily focused on. Do you ever feel pressure to clean up your lyrics because you are so influential on young females?

Trina: I feel like I just go through the changes. Like with the first album, I was new, it was fresh, I was living life in the fast lane. With the second album, I grew a lot because you can’t do the same thing you were doin’ two years ago, that would be ludicrous. It’s just a part of growth, changes, growing into a woman, and just overcoming so many different obstacles, I try to go with whatever direction my life is going in at that point.

AllHipHop.com: I know you’ve worked with other established females in the game, and even the younger up and coming ones like 2Much, do you plan on bringing any of your own female artists to the table?

Trina: Yes, I am actually thinking about it. I have few girls that I’m working with right now that I’m trying to develop and get in the studio. So, it’s gonna be a good look for me to give back and bring somebody else out to deliver the message their trying to deliver because there’s not a lot of females in Hip-Hop and the ones that are, a unity needs to be drawn a lot closer for the females to be on the same level as the males. We’re like the underdogs, so we have to kind of join forces to be successful.

AllHipHop.com: You’ve made references to the lack of unity among females in Hip-Hop before, but don’t you think that’s just females in general?

Trina: Definitely, I think it’s insecurities, egos, ya know, women spend so much time trying to degrade or come down on other females, instead of just tryna do you. I think that’s the whole thing, it comes from insecurities, if you’re insecure about yourself it gives you that negativity towards another woman. Girls think it’s a good look to slam or talk down to other girls when really it’s a better look if you’re going with that person.

AllHipHop.com: What would you say is the biggest misconception people have about you?

Trina: Umm, I would probably say that people think I’m booshie or stuck up or whatever. I’m really not, I don’t know if it’s the look or the image people have of me, but when they get a chance to meet me, they see a totally different side.

AllHipHop.com: Since you’re no longer with Atlantic, are you planning on releasing your upcoming album independently or are you shopping for a new label?

Trina: I’m actually already in a situation with a new label, I’m not really allowed to speak it, but it’s a great look and I’m really excited about it. It gave me extra motivation to get in the studio and work on the album. Ya know, it’s a business and with the situation with Atlantic, I’ve been with Atlantic my whole career. It wasn’t a bad decision to not be with Atlantic, I just thought it was time to grow, do something different and go in a new direction. To be a fresh face [on a new label], that was my whole reason for not wanting it to be released on Atlantic.

AllHipHop.com: So, it was a mutual decision that you leave?

Trina: Yes, it was. Atlantic didn’t really want to let me go, but we came upon a mutual agreement to let me go in a new direction.

AllHipHop.com: Are you still going to call it The Baddest B***h II ?

Trina: I don’t know. I’m not sure. That was just something that we kinda threw around. It was like the whole strength of me on some serious business, kinda a little arrogant too.

AllHipHop.com: Artists normally release mixtapes to stay connected to streets, so to say, was that your motivation in putting out Rock Star?

Trina: Yeah, I have Rock Star out hosted by DJ Ideal, it’s real crazy, I just did a whole bunch of remixes of the hottest records out. The motivation for me to get in the studio and put a mixtape was because I had started putting out an album and I had never done a mixtape before. It was really crazy, I really enjoyed being able to rap on other people’s beats, especially artists I look up to.

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