Trick Daddy: Thug Honor

For all his transgressions, Trick Daddy is surprisingly moral. The raunchy rapper—with a history of drug charges and jail time—holds strong opinions regarding education and police presence surrounding the hip-hop community. But much like his discography, the Miami native is often overlooked as a legitimate talking head.

We all know Trick loves the kids, but as evident by his work with the Concerned Citizens of Miami-Dade County Schools, he’s more than just talk. While promoting his sixth and latest album, Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets, sat down with Trick Daddy as he discussed politics, his place in hip-hop history, and getting his nipple pierced. Let’s go. Your new track, “Let’s Go” is perfect for you. You seem like a rock dude.

Trick Daddy: I’ll die my hair, pierce my nipple, whatever for them kind of spins. Do you listen to much rock music?

Trick Daddy: I like Kid Rock, P.O.D. You know, rock is just like country and hip-hop, and all of us is like the blues. As long as it got a story and it makes sense, I love it. Any classic rock?

Trick Daddy: I used to listen to Van Halen back in the day. I’ma re-do that song, probably do it with Kim. I ain’t gonna tell you what it is, ‘cause someone gonna steal my idea and I’ll have to f**k them up. ‘Cause I don’t do much suing people. You don’t do much collaboration either, do you? Why is that?

Trick Daddy: I deal with people that’s easy to deal with. I ain’t paying no $100,000 for no features and definitely not that for no damn tracks. Anybody who charge me like that is disrespectful to me. They need to back up. Why aren’t more rappers as candid and outspoken as you?

Trick Daddy: They rappers. They say anything. They don’t want to sit down and look like a fool. When they making music, they say stuff that rhymes. A lot of rappers talk about they cars and they jewelry and this and that. Well, it’s a lot of poor people, a lot of homeless people, a lot of guerillas out there, they don’t want to hear about your cars. They don’t want to hear about your diamond chain and how much you paid for it. Because they can’t afford it; they can’t get on your level. It’s like you belittling them. They don’t understand that. They don’t care about the struggle. A lot of them is counterfeit, made up. A lot of them got a script they trying to stick by. I keep it real. It’s easier to do that. I don’t got to worry about getting caught up in no sucker s**t. To you it’s just a matter of people speaking up?

Trick Daddy: You notice about this [past] election you have actors, you have all types of people from boxing promotes to reverends to thugs, street people, the whole hip-hop nation speaking out on this voting thing, and you wonder why and then still you watch the news and they say Bush is predicted to win again. But we got all these people and we got all this power, they so concerned about what we say in our music, but if what we say goes then how could Bush win? It’s a crazy game. Let me ask you, since Bush’s brother has been in office in Florida, how has Miami changed?

Trick Daddy: They been doing a lot of entrapment. They forgot all about that crime. It’s against the law to entrap somebody. It’s against the law for you ask me about drugs. Or ask me about killing or robbing, and try to get me to do it and then lock me up for doing it. ‘Cause you conspiring with me. It’s been a lot of that going on. Same thing what Bush would do. Personally, I feel like a lot of young males don’t know about stuff like entrapment. They think they’re suppose to answer everything the police asks them, when that’s not true.

Trick Daddy: Police tell you, you have the right to remain silent, never. They never tell you that. They always tell you: You under arrest; Get on the ground; Put your hands up; Freeze. If I’m not under arrest, don’t pull your gun on me. Right.

Trick Daddy: Then they tell you, ‘Oh, Your buddy in the room already told me you did it. Listen, I know it wasn’t you; I know it was him. Just tell us, I’ll talk to the D. A., we gonna make sure you be straight. Other than that, your gonna get life, buddy. This time, we got you this time. You got 15-20 years.’ That’s against the law; they need to stop it. So how can young cats get educated on their rights if they get pulled over by the police?

Trick Daddy: First thing, they need to go to school. The answer is in school. We need to pay our teachers more so they can teach. The parents need to raise they kids better, know what I’m saying? We need to keep the kids out of the police’s arm reach. Keep the police from our schools. Police not making our schools safe. Police never caught nobody in school with a gun. Police come to the scene once the man been shot with the gun. Make the school a fun place. Make them learn. Make the school so a kid wants to go. Somewhere where they wanna be. They take all the little boys that have problems and they put ‘em in class with other little boys and all they do is conspire. When they get time, when class changes, they do something bad. They been around boys all day. A guy acts different around a girl, you know what I’m saying? Mix the class up. That’s interracial class with all nationalities. White Americans, black Americans, Spanish, Cuban, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Haitian, Jamaican, Guyanese, Chinese, put them all in a class together. We also need to pay more attention to our kids. ‘Cause if your kid is gonna be a serial killer, he had to start off killing cats and dogs, you know what I’m saying? You mentioned Cubans, and I wanted to ask you about Pitbull. Not on any beef tip, but you’ve been putting it down for Miami for a while and this is your sixth album. Do you ever feel slighted because they keep asking Pit in interviews about putting Miami on the map?

Trick Daddy: Nah, I’ll never be overlooked. I believe what they asking him is about representing where we from. That’s all. Me, Pitbull, it’s a lot of unsigned artists, it’s a lot of [us] representing. Representing for the crib. Luke started it. Luke actually put Miami on the map. Luke and 2 Live Crew. They ask a lot of questions because they want Pit to be a different type n**a. They want him to be one of those beef having n**as. Pit not like that. Pit is his own man. They want Pit to be soft. They want me to be a fuck n**a. They want us to not like each other. They want us to compete. We have to get money, man. We grew up in the gutter. We grew up from nothing. In a recent article, you talked a lot about your mom and how she was strapped up and thugging. What kind of influence did she have on you?

Trick Daddy: My mama just had to get it however she could get it. My mama, she wasn’t like the, uh, wasn’t like Good Times. Like, Good Times always had bad times. But every time James got a good job, Florida Evans always said, [in Florida Evans voice] No, James, James, James. I got a good job; no we can’t leave Chicago. My mama never had opportunities like that. Mama raised 11 kids on her own, know what I’m saying? Where a real family, you know, cousins, and aunts, and uncles, and grandchildren, and grandparents, mom and daddy, all you got a long—Ain’t too many people in my family grew up with their mommy and their daddy. So that’s what’s different in the South, man. It’s different in the South. What else influenced you? Because you’re a pretty sharp dude and yet you don’t hold yourself higher than anyone else.

Trick Daddy: You know, some of us are better than most of us in some things, but none of us are better than all of us in everything. Like, ‘cause you a real n**a don’t make me no f**k n**a. ‘Cause you a killer don’t mean I’ma let you kill me.

Do you read a lot? Where to do you get your information?

Trick Daddy: I watch A&E and Court TV, and I watch all the news channels. I read the Donald Goines books. And I read all the crimes in the newspapers. I just watch what’s going on around me. I read the newspaper; I want to know what’s going on. I always know what the weather’s like when I get there. I pay attention, that’s what I basically do. A lot of people is getting dough and they ain’t looking at the gas needle. Do you every have any concerns with any of your lyrics, because you try to reach out to the kids? Because that song with you and Jackie-O is pretty vulgar.

Trick Daddy: That’s grown people s**t. But you got grown people s**t with something for the kids on the same album.

Trick Daddy: I mean the children songs are for the kids. And it’s always stuff for the kids—that’s why we sell clean albums and dirty albums. I’m a grown man, now I’m old enough to be dirty. And parents need to teach they kids what’s right and what’s wrong. I remind them. I always do a song of encouragement. I always let them know you can’t be football, basketball players, you can’t be rap stars, rock stars, you can’t be R&B stars, pop stars, without an education. Along with education, I let them know the s**t that I do wrong is not only wrong for me, it’s wrong for them. I let them know I’ve been to prison and if that’s where they want to go, that’s where they going.