BREEDING GROUND: Troublesum
Good TroubleAs of late Texas has proceeded to attempt its take over of rap music even though New York has had it in its palm for years. Artists like Mike Jones, UGK, Chamillionaire and others have exploded from the underground scene and unto mainstream music and defined new experiences in Hip-Hop. With this explosion came many Texans staking claim to the throne. This included people like Lil Flip to Chamillionaire and others. However, there has yet to be a female MC from Texas to claim the title of Queen. Until now.
Troublesum is a Houston femcee making her mark musically, with her ill freestyle with Trae The Truth Called "Shook," hot songs with Breeding Ground Alumni Rain on a track called
"I Kno What U Want" solid mixtapes and plans on snagging the 'Best Female Mixtape of the Year' at the Southern Entertainment Awards. Troublesum doesnt necessarily want or need to be Queen. She knows there is plenty of room and money for everyone in the game. She wants to imprint her honest and upfront style and lyricism in the game. Starting with Texas and moving on to the rap scene at large. Troublesum has a plan. Whether it be music or movies, she wants her name to have a resounding affect on audiences.
AllHipHop.com: How did you initially become involved with rap?
Troublesum: I grew up a PK (preachers kid) We moved to Houston and there use to be dudes on the block. I would have to go to the store to get a newspaper for my mom. There would be a whole bunch of hustlers around. They would be bumping screw. The more I went up there the more we started talking. I just started rapping with them. They liked it so much and they encouraged it to the point that I had to take it seriously. So basically I started rapping on the block with a group of hustlers.
AllHipHop.com: Have you found it difficult being taken seriously as a female MC?
Troublesum: Oh My god! You know what? No. If anything thats what ni**as get. When they see me they are less receptive. But when they listen to my joint then they get me. They listen to my joint and they are like God d**n! They dont expect that from me.
AllHipHop.com: You mentioned being a preachers kid, do you think that affects the persona you put out there? Do you consider what your family might think about some of your lyrics etc?
Troublesum: In the beginning but Im a grown woman so at the end of the day no. I have to be my own person. I dont do anything thats belittling to myself or my family. Do I use profanity? Yes. I use it appropriately. I dont just say it just because. If I need to say f**k that then that what I have to say to get the point across and stress that I am literally saying f**k that. My family is very supportive.
AllHipHop.com: You were featured on RapCitys 2008 Spit Yo Game. Tell me about that experience.
Troublesum; That was an awesome experience. I got a call from a friend saying that RapCity was looking for female rappers. At the time they had a lot of dudes on the show. He sent them some music and they said they wanted me to come on. I was accepted. We took it to the roof and literally spit on top of the roof. I got such great feedback. It was definitely a positive forward moving experience in my career.
AllHipHop.com: You also have been acting. You were in the American Dream starring Mike Jones. Do you have more projects coming?
Troublesum: Yes I do. Im working on a film with Trae The Truth. It is called Against Everything. This role is so opposite the character I played in American Dream. Im really a boss bi**h. Real gangsta like. Im busting ni**as in the head. I was Shelly in the American Dream and she was a college student working at Frenchys. She was working two jobs trying to get out. It is definitely an exciting role. I get to stretch myself and try something new.
AllHipHop.com Which role did you like the best?
Troublesum: To be honest, I like them all. Its kind of like when you are dating and you have a thug ni**a, and then you have a pretty boy, well not pretty boy, I dont like pretty boys. You have a dude that is maybe a little bit more low-key. You like him because he is charming. He brings you flowers, etc. But you like the thug because he is such a thug and its like argh! I cant explain it. Both of them are very appeasing so I cant say I like one more than the other.
AllHipHop.com: Where did you get your name?
Troublesum: My parents divorced and me and my mom relocated. I use to get into trouble and acted out. They use to call me and one of my home girls double trouble. Not to say that I was confrontational, I just would get in trouble. When Tupac had the song Trouble Some on his mix tape my sister said that was me. You see me and you dont expect me to be troublesome.
AllHipHop.com: How do you separate yourself from other female MCs?
Troublesum: Im staying true to who I am. Im not letting the industry side get to me. It is so easy to get caught up. I have been grinding for so long. A lot of times a lot of women compromise themselves and that is what I refuse to do. Im working on music that is really me. If its not me at the moment then its based on a past experience that I shared with my family or a good friend. I refuse to compromise myself. We have so many women that will do anything to get on. They think its cute to be disrespectful. More than anything we need a voice that is forward, with class, that will stand up. I think thats what separates me.
AllHipHop.com: Have you had much temptation to go in a direction you didnt necessarily want to go into in order to further your career?
Troublesum: You get it so much. Any attractive women whether she is a model, rap, whatever you do, there is always going to be a couple of dudes trying to sway you. At the end of the day I am going to have to look myself in the mirror and know that I got here because of talent. Not because I spread my legs or did anything inappropriately but because of pure talent. Do you think about it? Yeah we are human. At the end of the day would I do it? F*ck no. It doesnt make sense. If I have to compromise myself to get on then that means I dont need to be on.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any kids?
Troublesum: I have a son. He is nine.
AllHipHop.com: How do you balance being a mommy with your career?
Troublesum: It is not the easiest job because you travel so much and you work long hours. You have your child who has a set schedule. You have to prioritize and figure out whats important to you. My son is everything and he is the reason why failure is not an option. I do it for us. He is my priority so my work schedule revolves around him. The only time I compromise that is when I have to travel. I bring him to the studio and show him what I do. That way when I say mommy is recording you have a picture in your mind of what Im doing. He has been able to meet the great late Pimp C. So it gives him some bragging rights when he goes back to school. The balancing thing is just the way you prioritize things. Is it difficult? Of course. It is not the easiest thing but it is worth it in the end.
AllHipHop.com: Are you conscious of that when you are developing your lyrics and image? Do you think back to him? Or is it two separate identities?
Troublesum: I think it is. When I am with my son I am Tabitha. Im mommy. At the same time I know that I wouldnt represent myself in anyway that would be disrespectful. It is certainly different as far as how I speak on a record versus how I speak around my son. It goes back to the saying there is a time and a place. Certain times I dont let my son listen to some of my songs. It is not that the song is bad it is just that you are not mature enough to understand what Im saying.
AllHipHop.com: You have also worked with Murphy Lee on a show called The Grind. Tell me about that experience.
Troublesum: That was the highlight of my career. The whole point of the show was to take the artist out of their comfort zone and city and you have no team, no management, no street team you are basically naked. You have to hustle all over again. It makes you understand like you work hard but you are not there yet. I was in St. Louis nobody knew Troublesum there. There were a few people who knew me but I had to remind them of the song I did with Slim Thug. It was very humbling. Murphy Lee is a great guy.
AllHipHop.com: I heard that you like Jay-Z and Tupac. Why are those two your favorite rappers?
Troublesum: Im a total Pac head. Is he the best lyricist? No. But, he evokes so much emotion in the song. When he was talking about pain you felt him. For about 4 or 5 years my father wasnt there and he filled that void. If you listen he would give you game. He didnt just spell it out for you , but if you read between the lines he was so real. He was compassionate but he was hard core. Jay-z is a crazy lyricist. The way he puts his lines together. People who know me know I can never listen to enough Jay and Pac no matter how old the albums are. Every time I listen to a joint, its like I didnt hear that last time. I get something else. Everything that Jay-Z has done for Hip-Hop. Not discrediting anyone else. He has made it so profitable. The clothing line, to the platinum selling record label, to getting into movies, to getting a sneaker line. Thats big. It is not necessarily about being a rapper anymore its about being a businessman. He has longevity. He can drop an album and still go platinum.
AllHipHop.com: What is your opinion of how women are portrayed in Hip-Hop?
Troublesum: I think that we have been disrespected for so long, but Im not upset at the dudes. Ive always been told that a n**ga cant do anymore to you than you let him. So, I cant be mad at the dudes because if you put yourself out there to get played then it is what it is. Do I like it? No. What can I do about it? I can get in the game and change it. I can do my best and play my position. Its not only raunchy rappers out there. Some that when dudes hear they are like Damn! I want to take it back to the Lauryn Hills and MC Lyte. If we look good then that is a perk. If we can dance and all that then thats an advantage but lets get back to the lyrics. I cant go along with some of the A and Rs that want you to go out and be a hoe. That doesnt sit well on my conscious.
AllHipHop.com: What are you working on right now?
Troublesum: I just dropped Rise To Power: Reloaded. I am going on tour soon and hitting up Texas. I will also be on the Forgotten City Tour featuring Mike Jones, 2 Pistols and some other acts. That is going to be in certain cities. I have been nominated for Best Female mix tape on the Southern Entertainment Awards. So hopefully I will come home with that.
Visit Troublesum's Myspace Page at www.myspace.com/teflondiva