Los Angeles-based rapper HoodTrophy Bino (Tadashi Sayres) grew up surrounded by gang violence in the South Central LA projects, and used his childhood love of music to create a better future for himself. HoodTrophy Bino met Soulja Boy while circulating in and out of jail. After writing him a letter and offering Soulja Boy a bag of Hot Cheetos, the two became instant friends and natural collaborators.
It was only a matter of time before Bino was approached by Big Draco after his release and signed to his Stacks On Deck Money Gang label. HoodTrophy Bino’s music reflects on past obstacles while growing up in the projects, witnessing gang violence, and losing loved ones. Through music, he hopes to shed light on communities that face similar struggles.
HoodTrophy Bino talks with AllHipHop in an exclusive interview and teases upcoming new music.
AllHipHop: Who were the artists that drew you to music and what aspects of them did you see in your childhood self while growing up (in the South Central LA Projects)?
HoodTrophy Bino: Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Eminem. We all had a hard time growin up in the hood and fitting in, whether it’s the police, or our peers – it’s a difficult situation.
AllHipHop: Tell me about how you started working with Soulja Boy and how he has impacted your understanding of music.
HoodTrophy Bino: I met Soulja when we were both locked up. I gave him a bag of hot Cheetos and wrote him a letter, we became friends. After he got out he wrote to me in jail. He reached out when I was released. We recorded a song together, “Racing In Traffic,” in 2021 and he signed me to S.O.D.M.G. (Stacks on Deck Money Gang). I have toured and opened for Soulja — I owe him the world. He’s family.
Soulja gave me the courage to actually become an artist. I wanted this my whole life. My brothers and sisters are in music; my older brother has multiple songs. My one sister was on Love & Hip Hop Hollywood, my other sister sings R&B and rap. They all sang in my parents’ church gospel choir.
I’d been asking my siblings to help me make music for a long time, they didn’t have the time. Soulja took that time, grabbed me by the hand and gave me the confidence to do it. It was true unconditional love. Very grateful.
AllHipHop: On “Project Baby”, you reference some tenderness toward the relationship between you and your mother. Can you talk about how your mom has influenced your career and inspired the art you produce?
HoodTrophy Bino: My mom has 8 kids and made sure, no matter what, we always had what we needed. Even if we had to share it. The reason I can keep going, no matter what anyone thinks, is her. She is determination.
“Project Baby” is me telling y’all that I’m the hood n#### I am – but I’ll always be my mama’s baby. You feel me?
AllHipHop: Do you believe that music has the power to transform people? If so, how has music transformed you?
HoodTrophy Bino: Music can turn you into a different kind of n*gga. The music comes with money and money comes with power. It depends on the type of heart you got, because you don’t know what’s real and what’s fake no more. Music can also talk to you at the same time. If you in love, depressed, or ready to go slide on some gang sh*t.
AllHipHop: A lot of your lyrics reflect on past experiences, what do you hope people take away from the messages in your music?
HoodTrophy Bino: I hope y’all feel me and don’t think I’m bipolar! I jump around. Sometimes I’m lit; sometimes I’m sad.
AllHipHop: If you could work with anyone, who would it be?
HoodTrophy Bino: I f### with Lil Baby, No Cap and Toosii. Gorilla Pimp and Moneybagg Yo – I’m ready to work! Both of them on a song, it’s lit for life, for real.
AllHipHop: Finally, what’s next for HoodTrophy Bino?
HoodTrophy Bino: There’s kind of a meme from me that’s been going viral online: I say “Wake up n—ga, we ain’t rich yet!!” People have been posting it in all kinds of situations – the meaning is, keep GRINDING! I will make it…trust me… no one wants it more. The more people doubt me, the harder I grind.
I’m finishing our Back to School tour of LA, Riverside and Arizona public schools. Blueface did it to blow up – I’m doin it to give back to the kids. We throw school supplies, shirts, snacks, shoes, and even dollar bills to hundreds of kids. I bought out the ice cream man at my high school in Palmdale and gave all the kids free ice cream after school. They DM me and tell me that it made them so happy…gave them some hope and happiness. A lot of kids have nothing. I know what that’s like.
I have a dope Halloween party in Tempe, Arizona at the Varsity Tavern. We performed in Tempe with Luh Kel this summer and the college kids loved us. We wanted to come back.
I have some small shows in LA until the end of the year and am doing a toy giveaway for the little kids for Christmas. I’m dropping my first EP in January. “Wake Em Up” with K. Shiday from Atlanta is my next single. Fire! on the way.