Although I wasn’t really allowed to listen to music like Trina’s (since I was only 14), I remember ‘dubbing’ their single off of someone’s tape and reciting it in the mirror as I got ready for school. I remember vividly imitating her style by wearing black spandex, cute summer tops, and rocking the small twist with the weave ponytail to school. Obviously, I wasn’t as fabulous as she was but I began to learn the meaning of what a ‘Bad b***h’ was. Everywhere I went that summer, all I heard was Trina’s verse being blasted throughout Belle Isle (in Detroit). It was like women had been liberated. It was like a rite of passage to be yelling Trina’s verse to the top of their lungs, no matter how disturbing her verse seemed to be to parents alike. With that one verse alone, Trina landed a record deal with Slip-N-Slide Records. This would completely change the life of a woman who danced to pay tuition. Two years later, she was educating the world by demanding that we all acknowledged her as being the ‘Baddest b***h’ with her debut album. Since then, men and women alike have been completely mesmerized by the southern beauty. For ten years straight, she’s been every guy’s fantasy and personal pin up girl. Whereas women felt like she’s been a spokesperson representing it for all the women who’s been in love, been hurt, been alone, felt sexy, felt horny, and most of all disappointed with the qualities of a man in the most inappropriate times. In spite of what people’s perceptions of her is as they reflect upon her music, Trina is very much so the average, well rounded, woman. She’s has a college degree and a real estate license. She enjoys cooking. She has fragrance entitled “Diamond Princess”. She also has a foundation geared towards young women called the Diamond Doll Foundation. Like most women, she’s had her share of ups and downs when it comes to love; the only difference is Trina’s has been in the public eye. She’s even had her share of cat fights with other females in the music business. However, what Trina has realized is that all of that (the good and the bad) is all a part of being a successful, black woman in a male dominated business. Recently, Trina and I had the opportunity to sit down to discuss what all of her success has meant to her, from the rich and the famous lifestyle to her highly publicized relationship with rapper Lil’ Wayne. Here’s what the ‘Baddest b***h’ in the game had to say.
Lexilex: What was it like to work with Keyshia Cole on your single, ‘I Got a Thing for You’?
Trina: It was a great experience. I know her. I’ve known her for a while. It was just like hanging out and having one of my girls around. She’s very professional. We joked, had a great time, and laughed. We talked. It was a real girly type of environment. She’s a beautiful person. It was definitely an honor to get her on this album. We’ve been talking about it for a while but to make it actually come true was a great thing.
Lexilex: Of course, I have to ask you about Wayne. Are the rumors about the tattoo true?
Trina: (laughs as if she’s blushing) I mean, I don’t know what the rumors are and all that… (laughs again) that’s crazy. I don’t know. You know what; you’ll just have to look at the picture. I didn’t hear any rumors or hear anything new so I don’t know. (more laughter as she slightly elevates her voice to making a point) I totally just went all around that question! I just have to laugh (more laughs).
Lexilex: You know what, I totally respect your decision to not talk about it. It’s cool. It’s interesting though because I read a lot of celebrity gossip, and there is always somebody out here talking about your relationships. How does it make you feel when women like Karrine Steffans (and others) comment on your relationship with Wayne?
Trina: I really don’t – I don’t really entertain that. It’s not a major issue or factor to me. It’s irrelevant to the fact that the only person that can speak about my relationship is both I and that person. For someone else to do that, how can you talk about someone else’s relationship and it had no involvement with you. It makes no sense not whatsoever. It doesn’t really bother me.
Lexilex: I saw the video on YouTube when you were performing and the Single Again remix was playing like ‘whatever’ (in a girly way) during his verse. When you first heard the verse Wayne recorded for the Single Again remix, how did it make you feel? Is it reflective of your relationship or was it just you two being creative?
Trina: Actually, that’s just a part of my show. It’s really not ‘yeah whatever’. It’s mostly like, ‘yeah I hear you talking.’ I’m smiling, I’m laughing, and it’s not even a reflective conversation about both of our verses. It’s just a part of us working together – you know, he’s a great artist and I was really honored to have him apart of that. In the part of the show, it’s real spontaneous because a lot of people didn’t even know he was on the remix. When that part comes out, it’s like “Wow”. It’s like all a part of being an artist. We’re working together. It’s a part of what we do. It’s just how it is.
Lexilex: What’s going on with the Diamond Doll Foundation? Are you still working on that?
Trina: Yes, I actually am. I’m doing the second annual event this year. I’m really excited about that. I’m excited to see all of the new activities that we’re planning out and all of the new girls. It’s a fun day; nothing too serious. It’s just a lot of open conversation about life as young girls growing, education and career wise, teen pregnancy, and abuse. There are so many topics of things that girls have to face growing up. I’m just excited this time around to see what’s new and to see what everyone has going on in their lives. I want to see how many people have excelled. I’m interested in hearing their stories, you know, just being able to have a good time with some girls and being able to open up and have fun.
Lexilex: I respect you for doing that as well. At the same time…One can easily say ‘Trina has a potty mouth’ due to some of the topics discussed in your music from s*x, relationships, to everyday living. Do you feel like your music justifies your personality or is it just creative writing for you?
Trina: I think music is just a definition of being creative. The things that I talk about in music are a reflection of everyday life. Everything that I’ve talked about has been in someone’s life and their entertaining that. Rather they like to admit it or not, to each its own. It’s just about being real. I’m a realist. I don’t live in a fake world; I live in a real world. I deal with real life issues like any other woman. I don’t feel any different. I don’t speak for anybody else. Through experience, life, and every day obstacles and what comes my way, that’s what I address myself when I’m in the studio making music. If I want to have fun, being sexy, being raw, grimy, romantic, loved, partying – whatever I am in the mood for, that’s what I bring out in the studio. It’s just music. It changes every day. As a person, you change every day. With me traveling, performing, and meeting people all over the world, being in this industry, I’ve been in a lot of situations where I’ve lost a lot of people on the way. There are so many different things that happen in your life, so to me, those are the things that I speak about. I don’t, I’m not a person, who shoots guns or promotes violence. That’s not my M.O. I don’t talk about those things. I talk about the things that is relative to me and that is relative to a lot of things that I see going on around me. It’s a lot of things that I see from being in and out of town, on the road, the things that I see in different arenas, clubs, whatever. Whatever the case may be its reality.
Lexilex: While getting back to the music and being a female in a male dominated industry, how does it make you feel when other chicks try to step to another chick and tare her down?
Trina: I think, to me, its wack. That’s my personal opinion of it. I just feel like we as women, we gotta be strong. Regardless to if you’re in the industry or a regular person with a 9 to 5 job. It comes with egos. It comes with jealousy. It comes with envy. It comes with somebody having something to say. You hear more chicks knocking down another chick then you would hear another dude knocking down another dude. It’s just the way it is. That’s the way society makes it. I just feel like you know, do you and handle your business. Take control of whatever it is that you’re doing and pave the way for yourself; make a name for yourself. Spend that energy elsewhere instead of trying to talk down about somebody else because you’re so busy trying to do what you’re trying to do.