Trae Tha Truth is everything his name embodies.
Hailing from Houston, Texas and reppin’ H-Town to his bone, Trae, real name Frazier Thompson III broke out in ‘98 off a feature on the legendary Z-Ro’s debut album Look What You Did to Me.
Two decades later, he arrives with that same hunger, drive, and passion as he first started.
His 11th studio album Exhale arrived with no features, and a standout record titled “Nipsey” dedicated to the late rapper and close friend.
This follows last year’s release of Hometown Hero, which detailed his efforts repairing the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in his city. It was in those moments he chose to put his rap career on hold to help those in need.
Exhale also arrived with silent listening parties in every major city across the states.
AllHipHop caught up with Trae at Diamond on Fairfax in Los Angeles to discuss the new album, politics, and dear friend Neighborhood Nip.
Off the rip, he describes himself as “an all-around solid dude. I’m one of the frontline heads of Houston, Texas, as far as the Texas culture, music, and everything else.”
AllHipHop: I was actually just in Houston for James Harden Weekend. Were you there?
Trae Tha Truth: Yeah I was there vibing. I played in the game Sunday. It was cool.
Trae Tha Truth: I don’t think nobody could tell my story for me better than me. With everything I was going through at that point, I just needed to let it out by myself.
AllHipHop: What’s one thing you want fans to get from the project?
Trae Tha Truth: Truth. It’s self-explanatory. You know, it’s just something they can appreciate because it’s a lot of people who go through stuff and don’t really have people to be their voice or a person to speak for them. It’s definitely something they can relate to.
AllHipHop: What made you dedicate a whole song to “Nipsey”?
Trae Tha Truth: That was my bro. I’ve done way more than dedicate a song, that I felt it was only right for the song to be spoken on. Because the song wasn’t really for the world. I mean of course I was going to put it out, but it was just a conversation of me talking to him. How I feel.
AllHipHop: What was his influence on your career?
Trae Tha Truth: We were just brothers man. You know, we got a long history with each other. I think we definitely tried to push each other both to excel higher. Hustle word. A lot of people feel we’re real similar.
AllHipHop: I always think of “H-Town in my Cup.” What was your favorite Nipsey song?
Trae Tha Truth: Let me see… probably “N##gas Ain’t Hard Enough” with him and Mozzy
AllHipHop: I’m from the Bay, Mozzy’s my guy.
Trae Tha Truth: Me and Mozzy got a movie coming out, and we got part two to our album coming out. You know we did part one (Tapped In), we did part two too already.
AllHipHop: What can we expect from the movie?
Trae Tha Truth: Just know we’re enemies in the movie, that’s all I can say.
AllHipHop: How do you plan on living out The Marathon Continues legacy?
Trae Tha Truth: I’m one of those people who believe in walking it instead of speaking it, so definitely going to be doing everything I can to make sure I make bro proud. Because I know he’s looking down.
AllHipHop: What are your thoughts on Trump appropriating hurricane money for Puerto Rico?
Trae Tha Truth: I wasn’t even familiar with that, but I don’t care nothing about what Trump got going on.
AllHipHop: Facts. Do you have any plans for more climate activism after saving so many people from floods?
Trae Tha Truth: I’m always doing that. I just got a call today saying a hurricane coming up Florida, so they reached out to me already. We gotta take a day at a time to see, not just pick up and move on impulse.
AllHipHop: Thoughts on Geto Boys running for office?
Trae Tha Truth: I gotta salute it! At the end of the day, anybody who’s trying to achieve greatness, you can’t do nothing but salute it. I’m not the one to stop anyone, so they got my support.
AllHipHop: Will you run for office?
Trae Tha Truth: Not right now. They’ve been trying to get me to run for office for a long time, but not now.
AllHipHop: Where do you see yourself in a place where you’re able to or want to?
Trae Tha Truth: No time soon, because I gotta be there. Everything I do, I’m all the way in.
AllHipHop: Do you have a candidate you’re leaning toward yet?
Trae Tha Truth: Not yet. I’m cool with Beto. I’m real cool with Shaun King, he’s been really endorsing Bernie Sanders. I haven’t sat down with him. When it’s time, I will.
AllHipHop: What do you want to see in the next president of the United States?
Trae Tha Truth: Someone who’s just genuine and cares. We haven’t really had that, at least not recently.
Trae Tha Truth: Yeah but that’s not recent.
AllHipHop: After the shooting in El Paso, what do you think about gun control?
Trae Tha Truth: It’s a hard situation because s##t be idiots out there with guns that move like that. But on the flip side, you’re supposed to be able to protect yourself. You gotta be able to protect your family, so that’s really a hard one. But in Texas, all we knew was guns.
AllHipHop: Texas has an open carry, students can even pack class in college.
Trae Tha Truth: Definitely, we not doing it right. [talks to infant daughter Truth] You wanna get down?
AllHipHop: She’s so cute. Do you have her with you at all times?
Trae Tha Truth: I only get her once a month. So when I have her, if it’s work, work gots to come second. I always gotta be a dad first.
AllHipHop: What’s the biggest lesson you learned in fatherhood?
Trae Tha Truth: Appreciate the time with your kids, because they grow up fast. Some of the moments you can’t get back so you gotta appreciate it.
AllHipHop: Does she know daddy’s a rapper?
Trae Tha Truth: She knows daddy controls whatever she needs.
AllHipHop: I spoke with Maxo recently and he told me someone got lynched at a high school in Houston. What’s your reaction to that? He’s saying how the KKK’s out there and stuff.
Trae Tha Truth: I wasn’t familiar with that. I mean, there’s racism everywhere. I’ve been locked in the studio so much, I need to do my research.
AllHipHop: What are some goals for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?
Trae Tha Truth: Only get better and only get greater. Help my community more. Instead of crashing on a lot of these young homies, give ‘em guidance the right way.