YOU DIDN’T KNOW? TRINA IS AMAZIN’!
BY AJA DIONNE | PHOTO CREDIT ROGER ERICKSON
Can you believe it’s been 10 years since Trina bombarded the scene and blew our minds with her nasty “Nann” verse? It has been 10 years of memorable magazine covers (everyone remembers that KING magazine shot), hot singles (that song with Kelly Rowland was on constant replay), albums that function as instruction manuals for other “Bad Bitches” in training and that infectious laugh. 10 whole years of Trina, a female rapper from the MIA, who came through and set trends, set examples and set the competition in their place. She is evolving and expanding her reach through the industry and crossing unexpected boundaries and we love where she is headed…and with 10 years of interviews under her belt, she is still Amazin’.
FULL BLAST: It feels so good to see you out. You’re on BET, MTV and on You Tube with two new videos… It’s been so long since you’ve been out, where have you been?
TRINA: I’ve been working! I’ve been in the studio recording the new album which is out in stores May 4 entitled AMAZIN’. I’ve been doing shows, on tours, just working all over the place, in the states, out the states, everywhere. The work don’t stop, you know? It just continues to go on. I just try to balance it out from actually performing and recording the album.
FBM: Ok so for “Million Dollar Girl,” how’d you get Diddy and Keri Hilson on the same song?
TRINA: Actually the “Million Dollar Girl” record was supposed to be me and Keri. I think she has an amazing voice so I automatically knew I wanted to use her on the hook. Then Diddy heard the record and wanted to get on there. He’s such a great artist and such an icon and I was like I’m honored more than anything to have him on the record. He just jumped on and I was like ok. He is one of the most amazing artist, I must say, that I’ve ever worked with. He’s very humble, very respectable, he on point, a perfectionist. He came to the set with a lot of energy and you know, it was such an amazing thing. I didn’t know what to expect being in his presence and I gained a whole new level of respect for him. He is a great person.
FBM: Was this your first time meeting and working with him?
TRINA: It was my first time working with him. I actually met him a couple of times out and about, so actually being able to work with him, seeing how he works and how he makes magic, it was just a beautiful thing. On the set for “Million Dollar Girl,” we had a great chemistry. We laughed a lot and we just had a great time.
FBM: So who else can we expect to hear from on the album?
TRINA: Besides the one with Diddy and Keri Hilson, I have the second single coming out which is featuring Monica. I’ve got Lyfe Jennings on the album, Flo-Rida, Nicki Minaj and Lady Saw, [Lil] Wayne and Rick Ross is on a record together and man, I got some heavy hitters on this one.
FBM: Ok its crazy for me to hear you say you’ve got Nicki Minaj on the album because she is like a hybrid of you and Lil Kim, like a 2010 mini version. So how have you maintained your “Baddest Bitch” title with her in the mix because she is holding her own. Do you feel like you have to be like “Wait bitch, I’m still here”?
TRINA: You know, it’s just interesting because I feel like I love her character, I love the way she does her thing. When I came into the game I was embraced by Lil Kim, Eve and Missy and now with her coming into the game, before she started doing so many records and it was just the whole grind and mixtape thing, I know how hard it is to try to get into the game and when you see her putting it down, you respect that. So I respect that about her. I respect her for doing her thing differently. We have two different styles. I’m Southern and she’s from up north so it’s a lot of different chemistry and I wanted to feel that. That was the first thing I thought of when I did this record with her and Lady Saw, three different females doing three different things, same thing but three different styles, three different ways. Lady Saw brought the island flavor, Nicki Minaj brought the up north flavor and then me with the down south and just to see how good it went together, I love that. You know I give Nicki her props for grinding it out and coming from just getting into the game and making a name for herself. It’s like once you get in and that door is open, you just have to smash it and that what it’s all about. I know the feeling because I have been smashing for 10 years and it’s a great thing. As a female it so closed door, it’s not a lot of space and so male dominated that you damn near knocking down the windows and pushing through barricades to get in. Once you get in, I think that instead of people putting you down they should just be like that’s a good look. It has been a very empty space so it’s like here we go. Just like me doing the Ludacris remix with Eve and Diamond and her coming onto the scene with Crime Mobb and moving on to the next phase. Now here she [Diamond] is standing on her own, trying to do her own thing and it feels good to me. We had a blast on the [Ludacris] set trying to learn the dances, you know, just hanging out, acting like girly girls and I think that’s what most important. I think that is what’s missing.
FBM: Yeah that’s good because most of the time we hear the cattiness of women so that’s cool that you all support each other. Speaking of girls, is your group Pretty Money on the album?
TRINA: They are actually in the studio working on their first single. We actually did a record for the album but it was one of those records that was a crazy sample that was almost impossible to get cleared and I was so upset about it because it was one of my favorite records. We just diverted and went into the studio to start working on Pretty Money. I am actually not featured on the single, I’m like an intro on the record and I just let them do their thing. It’s going to be a great record and I am looking forward to it, I am so excited about it. They are really fun and energetic, like little firecrackers ready to explode. I look at them and I laugh and smile, I motivate them and they understand it’s not easy being a woman in this business. You have to be serious and you have to do your thing, so I am just happy to be working with them and trying to get them out there.
FBM: This is definitely a hard business for women so how do you think the industry has changed you?
TRINA: I think I’m changing in the business aspect because as an artist, you make records, you do your show but then the more you grow the business aspect starts to develop. Everything is about venturing out, doing something different and taking it to the next level . You have to make sure you’ve got your business right and the right people working for you and just around you. As a woman, I know that’s exactly where I’m at, everything is business mode. It’s a good thing and it’s a 24 hour job. I’m focused and I can see myself doing different things like a television show and probably acting. I foresee so many things outside of the music. I have a cosmetic line that is launching in May with lip glosses and eyelashes, you know, girly stuff. I know girls love lip gloss and nice pretty lips. It’s very fun just to be able to go into a whole other field of just cosmetics and beauty.
FBM: Trina, everybody wants to know, what is your work out plan? The stomach is in, the ass is right, hips and thighs in check…what is the secret because I love fried chicken!
TRINA: And me too! So you know how hard that is! I am going to be honest, I ‘m not the person that loves the gym the most. I absolutely hate it but because what I love to eat, all the good wrong stuff, the red velvet cakes and the sweets and doughnuts and just the great stuff, I know that I have to do cardio. I at least try to do three to four days of cardio a week for like an hour. I don’t do too much weight lifting but I have to do lunges and squats. I do too much running around on stage so the lunges and squats help me be ok in heels when I am performing, it strengthens my legs. I want to try other stuff and I am constantly thinking I want to start toning or do my arms but I am so stuck on cardio and squats and I just don’t have time. I don’t care if you hate to work out, just do some kind of cardio because it helps, it really does.
Pick up Trina’s new album AMAZINin stores/iTunes on May 4.
Go to BADDESTCHICK.COM to order your AMAZIN’ COSMETICS.