In 2011, Matrel "Fat Trel" Reeves won "Breakout Artist of the Year" at the 2011 DMV Music Awards. The accolade was a welcome reminder to Trel that, as the saying goes, "If you can believe it then you can achieve it."
After leaving school at 15 and experiencing the hardships of life in the streets, Trel focused on the one thing he wanted more than anything, to be an MC. It didn't take long for people to begin noticing his in-your-face rap style as raw and pure talent. Within no time, he began releasing mixtapes like No Secrets and April Foolz and touring so that those outside of his native D.C. area could hear his story.
AllHipHop.com spoke to Fat Trel as he was putting the finishing touches on his new project, Nightmare On E Street, which is set to drop in March. The DMV representative talked about his past, present, and what fans can expect from him musically in the near future:
AllHipHop.com: What’s good, Trel?
Fat Trel: Chillin', man, just chillin'.
AllHipHop.com: So tell me, when did you first fall in love with Hip-Hop?
Fat Trel: Man, I first fell in love with Hip-Hop from the beginning, for as far back as I can remember. Music is bigger than Hip-Hop, though, and I love all genres, Rock & Roll, R&B, all of that sh*t. I love music period, and I first started in the industry at open mics on all the college universities, high schools, other live performances, and rocking with DJ’s; sh*t like that.
AllHipHop.com: Do you remember the first Hip-Hop album, record, or cassette that you purchased?
Fat Trel: It might have been Scarface, Balls & My Word; I purchased [Nelly’s] Country Grammar. I purchased all the Hot Boys sh*t, man, Guerilla Warfare, Checkmate, all that sh*t and all the Juvenile joints. I can’t remember all the names, but that was around the time when I started copping sh*t.
AllHipHop.com: How would you personally describe your own style of music and Rap?
Fat Trel: I describe my rap style as “n*gga music”; just real “n*gga music,” you know what I’m saying? Just not giving a f*ck and spitting what you know. Honesty is really the only thing I can think of and speaking about what you live.
AllHipHop.com: You won “Breakout Artist of the Year” at the DMV Music Awards last year. This year you’re nominated for “Best Rapper” at the Washington Music Awards alongside Wale, Phil Ade, both of which you’ve worked with. What does it mean to get recognized for what you’re doing by the places you’re doing it in?
Fat Trel: It means a lot, man. You know, I’m overwhelmed by the love. I’m very thankful for the nominations, and it just feels good to know that your work is being admired, knowing that people are actually paying attention. I’m sure the other artists feel the same way.
AllHipHop.com: Now, I want to talk about the music itself. Tell me about your upcoming project, Nightmare On E Street.
Fat Trel: Well, Nightmare On E Street is real epic; I feel real good about it. It’s just one of those bangers. As I drop each project I’m bringing you more and more into the life of a 100 percent real city n*gga or a real n*gga from the District of Columbia. I’m pretty sure the whole world is interested in hearing that story.
AllHipHop.com: And that’s supposed to be dropping soon right?
Fat Trel: Yeah, it’s dropping in March.
AllHipHop.com: What’s the significance of the title?
Fat Trel: It came from of course me being from E Street, a very well known hood in the D.C. area, and I called it a nightmare because basically how I’m feeling right now at this time in my career is that I’ve been going through a lot in the last couple of months. You know, life’s crazy. My whole life has been based on a nightmare before rap. Every day, every night, everywhere I would go is just a nightmare. That’s the story behind the title.
AllHipHop.com: I hear you. You’ve worked with and been on projects people like Phil Ade, Wale, Red Café, and French Montana, so who are some of the other people that the fans can expect to hear rocking with you on Nightmare On E Street?
Fat Trel: Like you said, Red and French. You can expect to hear Young Moe, Chris Bo, those are two artists from the DMV, they on my team and with the company. The Slutty Boyz will be on there, Rich Hil, Big K.R.I.T. is going to be on there too. Yeah man, you know it’s just a really well put together mixtape that came from the heart.
AllHipHop.com: Well I can’t wait to hear that. You mentioned the Slutty Boyz before, I know that’s your group and you guys dropped a project at the end of December last year titled The Results Are In. Tell me about the response you and the group have been getting on that project.
Fat Trel: Oh, man, they loving the Slutty Boyz right now! I mean they are genuinely loving the Slutty Boyz right now. I think people had to spend more time coming to terms with who we really are, besides rappers, for them to understand the music. It’s a lifestyle you know; it’s not a gimmick. I think now they know it’s real, and the Slutty Boyz are winning right now. They still dropping freestyles and working hard so that’s that whole story behind that.
AllHipHop.com: Can you give me any insight into the meetings you’ve been taking with some major labels recently? What do you have in the works?
Fat Trel: I can tell you that we definitely have been meeting and discussing business with the labels; that’s definitely going on. We’re not really geared towards signing right now; that’s not mandatory of something that has to happen as of right now. I’m just going to continue to work hard and do what I do.
AllHipHop.com: Looking ahead past releasing Nightmare On E Street, what comes next for you?
Fat Trel: Just more hard work and more dedication to the game. A lot of videos, of course, and shows, and basically, the next project I’m thinking about is looking out for the company, and that’s going to be a compilation mixtape with me, Young Moe, Chris Bo, Slutty Boyz, it’s going to be a crazy, crazy, crazy tape. I’m pretty sure I can almost say that you will hear the best music from the DMV ever on that tape.
AllHipHop.com: That’s a bold statement, man.
Fat Trel: I stand behind that.
AllHipHop.com: We’ll all be waiting to see for sure. Is there anything else you want the fans and readers to know?
Fat Trel: Nightmare On E Street is dropping in March and February 23,I’ll be shutting down Constitution Hall with the boss Rick Ross and also Jeremih is going to be on that show, too. Just f*ck with me, man, know the kid and know the company. Slutty Boyz forever, and that’s it.
AllHipHop.com: Alright, man, I appreciate your time.
Fat Trel: I appreciate the love, man. Thanks.
Follow Fat Trel On Twitter: @FatTrel