Deep Cut Conversation: “Cadillac” by Trae

    As a Houston underground mainstay, it can be difficult for Trae to get acknowledged by the same fans that heard him on the official remix to Yung Joc’s “It’s Going Down.” Despite strong singles, including his recent “Screwed Up” with Lil’ Wayne, sometimes an album cut from an artist like Trae goes even farther.        A Screwed Up Click alum, Rap-A-Lot Records’ newest star made a hood classic album in 2006 with Restless. Although the album didn’t bring home any plaques, it raised a lot of eyebrows. One of the sleepers on Restless was “Cadillac,” a posse cut with Three-6-Mafia, Paul Wall, and Trae’s younger brother Jay’ton. With a masterfully crafted screw beat courtesy of unknown Johnnie Jones, it’s Trae’s turn to take what could have been an insignficant album cut, raise the trunk, and tease it out.AllHipHop.com: Tell me about the making of “Cadillac”…Trae: A dude from B-Line Entertainment shot me the beat.  And like when he shot me the beat, I was in the process of closing the [Restless] album, the album was kinda wrapped up.  When I heard the beat, I liked it. But I was tryna see if it would fit in my album….but two of my partners, Crisco Kid and DJ Kool-Aid from out there, they came and they heard the track and they was like, “Man, Trae that’s you, that’s you all day right there.”  So you know, I got in there and did my thing. And in the process of listening to it, I had done hooked up with Three-6-Mafia and me and Todd was cool. And we just put the song together and it just came out crazy.AllHipHop.com:  Was the chorus with the vocal in it, was that already in the song when you got the beat? Trae:  Uh huh, the dude Jonathan B-Line [producer, Johnnie Jones] did us, the instrumental was already in there.AllHipHop.com: Tell me about your life as a car enthusiast, because obviously you rap about them in a lot of your verses.  Do you own a Cadillac? Trae:  Yeah, we got a Cadillac.  But you know man, we got like a lot of old school cars.  We got a Cadillac, we got a Fleetwood Brougham, we got a whole bunch of different s**t.AllHipHop.com:  Tell me about your first Cadillac, how old were you when you got one?Trae:  I don’t know, dude.  We been dealing with Cadillacs throughout our whole life.  That wasn’t just my perfect little car, but I f**k with them, so the song made sense.AllHipHop.com:  How do you feel that an old school stands up to these new foreign cars that are coming out?Trae:  Everything about old school is right. I got a ‘67 [Chevy] Impala that look like crazy, man.  It’s platinum feeler.  I only had 30,000 [miles]. What I just did to it is I painted that whole black on black swinger. Yeah so I painted that whole black on black swinger that’s a classic.  We just bought another ’70 Impala.  It got on twisters that we putting on, we painting it candy orange [paint].  We just doing a lot a s**t.AllHipHop.com:  How do you think that Texas style of cars differs from Atlanta, or Miami, or the various movements that we see?Trae:  All we really known for is candy paint and swingers.  I mean we do the 26’s, 24 [inch rims] know what I’m saying.  I know there’s nobody in Houston who riding [donks].  I like the way the s**t look on some cars, but what we known for is the candy paint and the swingers.  You can find the rims. People used to go the Cali, other places, because you can find them in junk yards.  Matter of fact, now that we talking about Cadillacs, swingers are originally from Cadillac; through the year ’83-’84.  You can go outta state now to find the rim that be in the junk yard and nobody know what they is, you get them for dirt cheap.  But out here, a set of 20’s can go anywhere from 5 to 8 thousand dollars.AllHipHop.com:  What is the significance of putting the trunk up when you’re driving?Trae: You might as well say that’s a daily greeting with us.  ‘Cause when we pull up in that club parking lot or where ever the f**k we pull up at, we gon’ greet your ass with that trunk up.  It ain’t disrespectful, but you know, each trunk represent each individual.  Like with us, we got mad when one of the trunk pop open and say, “It is what it is.” It’s just like a whole bunch of different s**t.AllHipHop.com:  In a lot of those Cadillacs, to open the trunk you got to go into the glovebox, correct?Trae:  Yeah, when you pop the trunk, what you gotta do is, there’s like a switch installed, and you hit the switch and the trunk raise up and down while you driving.  If you in an original car and you pop trunk from the glovebox, you gon have to get your ass out and go close it.  Yeah so out here you can open and close it from the switch.AllHipHop.com:  What year is your Cadillac?Trae:   The Caddy we got right now is a ’94 maybe, I don’t know, it’s a big, long one.   It’s a ’84 swinger, candy blue.  It got air bags, up-down, side-to-side, ostrich interior; pop-truck that say, “I’m an a**hole.”AllHipHop.com:  When you were growing up did you listen to the records where people were talking about cars?Trae:  I listen to all kind of music.  I’m glad you brought that up, ‘cause if you listen to my music, a lot of my music comes from an old school.  AllHipHop.com:  I don’t believe “Cadillac” was a single,  and like you said the album was done—Trae:  — “Cadillac” kinda was a single. It just didn’t get pushed, like it caught people off guard.  You gotta understand, you had us, Paul, Sleb, and Three-6-Mafia on there, the song was there.  Right now to this day, I still feel the song to be a single.AllHipHop.com:  If you release an album, and everyone’s running up on you saying, “I love ‘Cadillac,’ make it a single,” how much are you in a position to do that?Trae:  You know with me, I let the streets choose.  On the last album, them motherf**kers ran “Swang” and “In the Hood.” What’s funny is, in the hood it’s still going like it’s never been out before. It’s like, I let them pick it.  I got a whole bunch of singles off of that.  If you go to one of my shows, you’ll see people going crazy over [rare records].  On my new album [Life Goes On], I don’t know what they gon’ jump to.  That’s why the one I put out first is the one [“Screwed Up”] with me and Lil’ Wayne. AllHipHop.com:  How did the react that you got from Restless effect the way that you went into this next album?Trae:  I mean they said it was a classic, right?  Which was good about it, because now motherf**kers know the music that I’m capable of doing.  But at the same time, it was so much of a classic that they thought I got lucky.  Which nobody really even knew that the album was two years old, like I was just doing songs and I just put the s**t together.  Like this album that you fittin’ to hear now, this is me.  Restless just had a whole bunch of songs already done.  This album, mark my words, its way more of a classic than Restless is.  Just the whole sound-wise, this whole album is like crazy.  I got a couple of singles… I got a single with Lloyd and Rich Boy [“Ghetto Queen”], one [“Smile”] with me Jadakiss and Styles.  One with me and Pharrell…lots of heat.

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