“I feel like honest music is what keeps Hip-Hop alive." Simplistic eloquence encompasses Don Trip’s statement. Afflicted and ameliorated by personal experiences, this Memphis son continues to share his perspective. Expressing humanity through broad lyrical strokes, his words are life. Trip's artistic journey is appreciated. Already, the Interscope signee has earned the acclaimed distinction of being inducted into XXL's 2012 Freshman Class.
Mr. Don Trip's latest project, Help Is On The Way, recently dropped. Contemplating trap-n*gga-outreach to understanding the conflicted mindset of a single-mother possessed by resentment, this confident MC demonstrates that as long as there's life, there's hope. With that that, AllHipHop.com secures an exclusive interview from Don Trip:
AllHipHop.com: Thank you for this exclusive with Help Is On the Way. Please explain the concept behind constructing it as a mixtape/documentary. During its creation, were there any unique challenges or rewards?
Don Trip: For the most part, the challenges were clearing the beats. Actually, I approached this as if it wasn’t my album. I actually went after big-name producers, and for the most part, I tried to do the same with the features. I didn’t want to flood it out with features because, again, I wanted it to feel like it was my album. And, the reason I did that was because the time for me to put out an album is indefinite. It’s undetermined, and the fact that we don’t know, I’d rather keep giving out good music instead of doing the same old thing.
Help Is On The Way has multiple meanings: for one, for my family, we have an opportunity to pursue other things, to make money other than the way that we’re used to, and that we’re accustomed to. Where we come from, we get to make some music outside the trap, basically. For the music industry and for the people who actually enjoy quality, honest music, realistic music, you know, help is on the way. I feel like [today ’s music scene] is very empty when it comes to people speaking their minds, and speaking their hearts through the music. Right now, it’s just party music. It’s party music, or that shoot-them-up-bang-bang! I feel like that’s something that’s needed. I feel like honest music is what keeps Hip-Hop alive.
AllHipHop.com: Is “She Want” the lead single? What was the thought process behind choosing this track to lead off?
Don Trip: Actually, “She Want” is the second single. The first single was “Prolly”, featuring Yo Gotti. You hear a lot of records all the time, ‘It ain’t tricking if you got it.' Where I grew up from, it’s still tricking, no matter what. So, I just felt like the people that grew up the way that I grew up—the people that believe in what I believe—if I’m going to give a woman the world, it’s going to be my woman. I’m not going to randomly give women everything that they want. I’m not tricking, period.
I feel like it’s a lot of people who feel the way I feel. With that record, I wanted to show that she gets what she wants, but she’s mine. That’s why she gets what she wants. Juicy J was on it; I felt like it made more sense than anything, because Juicy J got more history with those kinds of records. So, I felt like that added a great touch to it.
AllHipHop.com: You’re quoted as saying, “The more honest I am, the more open I am with exploring everything, the more people will cling on it, and will be able to relate to what I’m saying.” As a man and as an MC, from this tape, which track best demonstrates your bottom-line-truth?
Don Trip: “Hold Back Tears,” I don’t know which number that is on the tape. But I think, “Hold Back Tears,” is one of the most standout records. It’s a very personal record. For the most part, it’s based off my upbringing, my life, so to speak. There’s a lot more [powerful] tracks on it, too. That’s one of the main ones that gives you a quick biographical look at my life.
AllHipHop.com: When you’re creating music, in relation to your personal intent, versus the public’s interpretation of what they hear through you music, how are you learning to relinquish creative possessiveness?
Don Trip: I actually approach every record like I’m painting a picture. When people view pictures they see what they want to see. Anyway, they take their own interpretations from it. I feel like, if I go in making the kind of record, then I’m trying to cater to a certain perspective, then it will never work. It’s only a certain amount of people who will fully understand my point-of-view. I just try to give you my point-of-view, and hopefully, at some point, you’ll be able to relate to it. If not all of it, then you may be able to find something that you can relate to. That’s why I try to keep it as honest as possible.
AllHipHop.com: Until the next time, what future projects should your supporters anticipate? Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Don Trip: The most important project is, Step Brothers 2 is on the way. We’re actually still recording and putting it together. That’s two of the most exciting projects to date. The first StepBrothers was exciting to me and ‘Lito, both. So, Step Brothers 2 is on the way.