INTERVIEW: The Life Of Trina w/ –

“Here I am thinking to myself “you know, I did you a favor doing the record but now this is going too far, this is about to be on a whole other level.” He went on to tell me that after the video he wanted me to go with him and do the album release party, and I was just like “NO!” Everything just went so above my head I mean, I love hip-hop, I love the music, I am a fan, but I did not want to be a rapper.”

Tell us a little bit about the life of Trina, growing up in Miami and how those experiences led you to be the woman that you are today.

It was kind of normal because I come from a very well-grounded family. My mom has 4 sisters so I was surrounded by women. I feel like I grew up great. My mom, she had a couple of beauty salons so I would always be hanging out at them. I had a lot of friends and I just got to be around a lot of the fun stuff. I think that those things are what has made me be a strong, independent, self-motivated woman who can do whatever she feels like doing. I grew up around that kind of environment, where the women held the home down, with no father around, so that is why I am like I am today. It was amazing for me, I had a pretty great childhood, honestly.

We focus a lot on the aspect of inspiration in our interviews. We feel as though artists today, when given the chance can have an amazing impact on others through the sharing of their story. Who were the people in your life, Trina that played an inspirational role?

I would definitely say my mom, because she is the go to for everything. No matter what it was, whether it was school, whether it was girlfriends, just no matter what it was that I could think of, I felt like she had an answer to it. She was always the voice of reason that would say “that is going to be the biggest mistake of your life,” or “just go for it.” I would watch what my mother did in her life, and it was a huge inspiration for me to want to be like her. I wanted to dress like her, I did steal her clothes… (HA HA) I would see in her how she carried herself and just how she was as a person.

I didn’t get in trouble because my mom, she didn’t play. She would have this one look on her face, and if it looked like you were about to do or say the wrong thing “I’m gonna smack you so hard…!” so I kind of stayed low key and stayed out of trouble. She taught me to be respectful of people, to never look down on those who may be less fortunate in life. I always try to inspire the people around me, my girlfriends and stuff, because that is what I saw her doing when I was growing up. She is just a big inspiration.

Something that I always find to be so captivating about an artist is their first recollection of music and how it changed their lives. In specifically terms of hip-hop for you, what was that first experience like?

Honestly, I think it was (Uncle) Luke because in Miami hip hop wasn’t a big thing, Luke was the thing. It was club music everywhere in Miami. When we were younger we had these teen clubs that we would go to, it was monitored, but it was an escape for us. It was a place for us to escape our parents for a little while and just hang out with your crew and have fun. Luke, for us was the thing. I mean I grew up listening to a lot of dance music and just club stuff and I remember when Luke did his record “It’s Your Birthday,” and this little teen thing that we use to hang out at was Luke’s club and when they did the video for it, they came up to us and told us that they just wanted us to say our name if we would for the video. I remember saying “Trina, it’s your birthday!” (HA HA) When I think about that right now, it’s so funny to me. It is a long way back but it is actually my first engagement when it comes to music.

Those are the types of stories that are rarely ever told, but are at the heart of why we do this. Thank you for sharing that! Trina, I have to ask, was music the first creative outlet that you were drawn too?

No, it wasn’t. I was actually really interested in television. I would most of the time stay in the house and watch TV. I love sitcoms and I love music and I am just a real girly girl. I love beautiful women like Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey and Salt N Peppa, all the way to Queen Latifa. They were the women that I would see on TV and they were so fly and that attitude they had stuck with me. So I think entertainment period was my first creative outlet that I was drawn too. I was more into TV though than I was into music.

So with that being said, why hip-hop?

I think it was just because of how sassy I was and because of the feistiness of the music. When I think of hip-hop I really do see it as a form of expression. When you are out with your people and you hear something you feel as though you can live vicariously through that because you can in some way relate to it. I think for myself, when I was coming up I was around so many different genres of the music and then seeing the experiences they would have whether it be little cat fights with other people or their relationships, I saw so much of it that I felt with the music I could express it. It was a way for me to tell the story and to be able to talk about being in love or being hurt or about dudes who thought they was fly, but really they was wack. No matter what it was, music gave me a way to be able to just call it out.

It was a way for me to just get stuff off my chest. Going to the clubs and seeing people react to the music of the time and seeing how impactful it was on them, I felt like I needed to tell the story of my life, my hood, my experiences, and I guess that is really how it all started.

Take us back to those first rhymes. A time when you are sitting by yourself with a pen, a pad and your thoughts. What did that time mean to you?

It was the weirdest and creepiest yet at the same time most exhilarating feeling. It was almost like, I couldn’t believe that I was doing it. I mean if a random person off the street goes into the studio for the first time it is going to be surreal. For me, it was so freeing, it was almost like writing in a diary, when I started to write my music. I was like writing in a diary, but then saying it out loud.

I would reminisce with my friends about things that happened in our lives, in our past, like sneaking out the window to go to the club then comin home and getting a beating (HA HA) bringing it out like that, made it more of a reality. To me it was such a weird thing but when my friends could relate to it, it made me feel like maybe the world could relate to it. Maybe someone in some other city or state, had a similar story and they could relate. That is really just how it happened for me.

As a young woman who watched Miami evolve from where it was musically to a place today where in many ways it is a tastemaker for the music that moves a culture did you ever find yourself intimidated by how male dominated the industry was and still is today?

I was honestly never intimidated by the males because I think that I am better than most of them. I feel though, that because it is such a male dominated industry and just a male dominated world for that matter but when it came to the music, I came up with the male artists. I came up around Trick Daddy, I came up around Rick Ross. Being around them I was able to think like them, I was able to think well than them. I would just watch them and this was a competition to me, these were the big dogs so I had to stand up to that. You are put in a position where you can’t have fear, fear can’t exist if you want to win, so you just have to go tough against these dudes because they are ready to like, slice your head off (HA HA) so being able to stand toe to toe with them is a pretty great feeling. I think every guy in the industry has connected with my music in some way, whether it be the videos, or the words that I say and so that made me fearless when it came to going up against the guys. I don’t even see it anymore, they are not even on my radar, I could smash most of them but they get more props because they are guys. Some guys in the game don’t even want to see me, for real, for real (HA HA)

Now the story of your first appearance on a record that the world really had a chance to see, has to be incredible. I will go out on a limb and also guess that people probably don’t know a whole lot about how you ended up on Trick Daddy’s album. So if you would, share that story with us and fill us in on how you and Trick linked up and how “Da Baddest,” was born.

I had known Trick for a while, we went to middle school together but I was more of the fly girl with the fly girl clique and Trick was more of the bad boy who hung out with the bad kids so at the time we didn’t really hang out or anything. I mean I would see him, but we wasn’t friends. Over time, we just kind of started to hear about each other because we started to be hanging around with a lot of the same people and I remember that Trick had done the record with Luke, and me and my girls because we knew Trick we just go down and hang out and just kind of support the whole movement. So one day, Trick said to me “hey, I want you to get on a record…” and for those people who don’t know, Trick is a funny dude, so when he said that I didn’t really take him to serious but when he really came back to me about it, he was like “I just want you to go hard, just to talk shit and go in.” he told me that he wanted me to put myself in the shoes of all the girls and to say what it is that I think they would all want to say, he told me that he wanted me to smash him. That is how it all kind of happened.

So he told us that we should come thru to the studio, so I called my brother and told him that I was going to go to Trick Daddy’s session and that I really had no idea what to say or do… so we went and we get to the studio and we are listening to a whole bunch of different records and I was thinking that he wanted me to get on a record that would be boppin in the club and we was gonna be all fly and shit, and then he played the record that he actually wanted me to get on and when I heard it the first time I was like “yo…, my mom is gonna kill me!” So something just went off in my head and it was like, I can’t let these dudes be better than me, it would be like I was deceiving people by not smashin on em in the records, and the fact that I am a girl, I got to stand up to them. It was like I was a one woman army.

I came out the booth and the owner of the label came to me and said “we can take him off the record and make this your song if you want…” I was just looking at him like “Huh?” I just couldn’t believe that he was saying that stuff to me. Then when other people started hearing the record and started saying the same stuff it was very surreal. Then one day I get a call from the label and they asked me if I wanted to sign a deal with them and become a rapper… my first response was “get the **** outta here, of course not.” I was absolutely against that. No way, it wasn’t for me, that’s not who I am, all those things came out during that conversation, and I just did not want to do it. They were beggin me, and they just kept callin and trying to get me to do it, and I was just “no, no, no!”

So the record with Trick comes out and they start playing it on the underground stations then it ends up going to radio and of course it is leaked because it is a completely dirty and raunchy and provocative record. So it blows up and the Trick calls me and tells me that they are going to shoot a video and that he wants me to be in it. Here I am thinking to myself “you know, I did you a favor doing the record but now this is going too far, this is about to be on a whole other level.” He went on to tell me that after the video he wanted me to go with him and do the album release party, and I was just like “NO!” Everything just went so above my head I mean, I love hip-hop, I love the music, I am a fan, but I did not want to be a rapper.

I ended up going to the album release party and we were just hanging out, and Trick Daddy tricked me into getting onto stage and to perform. He started performing the record and when it got to my verse, he stopped the music and asked all the women in the crowd to help him get me up on stage to perform… I would not come out… I hid in the back… I was not going to come out there for nothing… I couldn’t believe him, I hated him for that (HA HA)… I remember that they kept pushing me, and I finally came out and I performed the verse with my eyes closed… I was so scared the whole time, I could have fell off the stage I was shakin so bad, but every girl in there, every girl in the club was saying the verse, and it freaked me out. It completely freaked me out. From that moment on, something went off in my head and it was on. I mean I was already confident as a woman, but the confidence as a performer that I got that night that was a whole other type of experience.

After that night I ended up going with Trick to do his first big concert and I went out there and performed with him and it was over. Right after that I was in the studio recording my album, I went on tour with Trick for half of the year and I would spend my time in my hotel rooms writing and nothing else, I would listen to beats and it’s funny because I don’t think that I would even write to the beats I was just writing to be writing. Everything that I ever wanted to say came out of me, and it was overwhelming.

A couple of months later I signed a deal with Slip N Slide Records. From there we came out with “Da Baddest,” in 2000 and it was on from there.
I don’t think that I have ever been entertained so much by a single answer. So we get to a point now in your life where you have signed the deal, and let’s not get it twisted there are not many female artists on the scene at the time that are having such a huge impact as you go on to have. After taking in that last answer and knowing how being a rapper was not something that you ever wanted to do, so what was it like for you to now have a record deal and to actually be seen as a rapper?

I was saying to myself “what are you doing?” This isn’t just going to be me doing a record with Trick Daddy, this is me being put into the same environment as the Missy Elliot’s and the Salt N Peppa’s of the industry. It became real to me. It became real that the whole vision that I had of being an entertainer and being on TV was not going to be the career that I chose at the time, music came before that. Music was forced, it was shoved in my face and there was no… I don’t even think that Trick was going to let me out, I am sure that he would have locked me up in the studio until I did my verse. There was no such thing as “we are letting you go.” “You are going to do it!” I just felt like it fell into my lap and it was there for me to take. I just went with it and did what I felt I could do. I didn’t really think too much about it, I didn’t really sweat blood and tears over it, I just kind of did it.
When the deal came I felt like… it almost made me feel like I had graduated from high school, I mean, this was it. It is what you make it and now when you put your feet on the ground and you feel concrete there, then you run as fast and as hard as you can and you just go for it. All of the artists that were before me I was able to start working with, the people that I watched on TV and loved, now all of this was real. When I came into the game I was welcomed with arms open and people instantly just loved me.

When I finally had a chance to start working with the people I looked up to… when I met Missy, it was instant love, when I met Eve it was instant love, and it was overwhelming. From then on it became serious, it wasn’t just about me going in and giving Trick a sixteen, now it was about getting in there and putting an album together. I was thinking about everything that I could that would make women be able to relate to me, and a lot of what I talk about is dirty and raunchy, but there is a lot of dirty and raunchy things that happen in every hood and every borough and every town. I was now able to say the things that I saw and experienced. It was all about now, focusing on what I needed to do to turn my craft into an artistry. We never made music like it was work, we made it real. It was always real. You hang out with the realest chicks, you go to the realest places, you wear the flyest clothes, you talk crazy, this is life. Now it was time to put it into music. I think that is what really helped mold me into what it is that I was, and still am.

“Da Baddest Bitch” was an album that you have said in the past was very much a label directed project. Being a strong willed, independent woman, who is now making music, what was it like to be told that you needed to make certain songs, certain ways?

During the first album it was like they were protecting me. It was like the kid that everyone around wants to watch out for. Everyone was in the studio, Trick, Ross, they were all there making sure that everything was right. I really didn’t have a say so. They would take where Trick came from, and they would try to get me to make music like that, they would get me to make the music they wanted. They told me how to talk, how to walk and all that. There was no say so, you just get in there and you make music. They wanted me to do what the guys were doing, because they were big stars.

I just went in there like a student. I just did everything that they wanted me to do because I felt like they knew what was best. It was like that for the first and second records, I never really asked too many questions, and I just wanted to make great records. Even if I didn’t like the record, even if I didn’t like the topic of the record that I was creating, I followed the path that was given to me because I felt like it was the thing to do. It took me years to develop my own face. It took me years to say to Trick that I didn’t want to do this or I didn’t want to do that. Now I was no longer the kid that ya’ll molded, now I am wanting to talk shit and make music that women who have been heartbroken can be able to relate to and to feel. I want to talk about the things that I am experiencing.

I think that is the reason that people respect me so much. I am not just a student, I am the person that I am. I have my own vision, and I know what I want to talk about. I live it, it’s me. Coming into it I didn’t know anything, I came in and I watched them and studied the blueprint and from that I was molded and I grew into being able to have my own vision, and my own identity and mind frame. It was not time for me to do what I wanted to do. They trusted me to know that I would do the right thing and it has been a great journey. I have a greater respect for them too, because without them I wouldn’t have the vision or the growth that I do. I have the tenacity that they do, you can’t just run something past me, I have the knowledge to be ten steps ahead of you already. That comes from me being able to watch the guys do it. There are a lot of people in this industry that I know that don’t have that vision.
To be a female artist you have to have confidence and self-esteem because without it you are going to get chewed up and spit out. You won’t be able to last without your own vision and confidence in your craft.

We see over the subsequent years of your career that you go on to release material that solidifies your place as one of the most influential southern females the game has ever seen. We have had the chance to see your story come to life right before our eyes. From the outside looking in, many would say that your career has been a fairytale but I don’t believe for a moment that it was handed to you on a silver platter. What has the journey been like through the course of your own artistic evolution and what are some of the issues that you have struggled with along the way trying to maintain your legacy?

You are certainly right when you say that it wasn’t easy. It was definitely not as easy as they make it look on TV. It took a lot of self-inhibition and a lot of self-confidence to get here, it took a long time and a lot of work to figure out my lane and to be able to clearly define what it is that I wanted to talk about and what I wanted my music to focus on.

There were a lot of ups and downs over the years, I mean I came up on a label that was all male artists, no other female artists we on the label. I would come in and some days they would want me to be sexier, and maybe that day I didn’t want to be sexy, because maybe I was PMS’ing. Being around these guys toughened me, but at the same time I was being babied, I was like a spoiled child, when I wanted to do something my way, I would whine and be abrasive and I would get my way. So through the good times and the bad, all of those experiences molded me into being the person that I am.
When I released “Glamorest Life,” a lot of things had changed for me, I had grown a lot. I had gone out on the road and done my own tour and at those shows I met a lot of women, I met a lot of different guys, I was in a relationship that didn’t work out and I had my heart broken, I had lost a few friends, and I would see some of my other friends getting married and having babies.

That was when the music kind of changed, because I didn’t want to just talk about having a fly car or spending money or something else like that, it wasn’t about seeing how proactive I could be, there was so much more emotion involved. It was my everyday life, this was now. Every day it was my life, it was my story and I made that come out in my music. I wanted people to understand that when the lights go out and the cameras are turned off, I am just a regular person sitting up in my house with no makeup on, and not wearing any heels. That is what I wanted to them to see.
I remember a lot of times hearing from the label that some of my songs were to soft and that if I didn’t keep up the old style I would lose my status and “Da Baddest,” but the fact is I am human, I am strong and nothing can break that, but I do cry and I do get sad, I do get emotional… I get extremely emotional, I get mad, I get bitchy, I get sensitive, I get vulnerable… I want people to see that because that is what makes them understand that I am just like them. I just happen to have a different job. I have the same emotions that anyone else in the world has.

When I do shows and I get that amazing response from the fans, and I have girls coming up to me crying telling me that they love me and that my music makes them happy and my music helps them get through certain situations in their lives, I step back and think to myself afterwards… I am just one little person in this world and seeing people respond to what I do like that has touched me in a lot of ways. It helped me to realize that the stuff I talk about and the stuff that I have been through in my own life, there are people all over the world that can relate. That has always been more motivational to me, than just sitting in a studio listening to a beat “trying” to create a record. I got the motivation from those tears people cried, from the love that they showed me, I wanted to get into the studio and keep creating that.

One of my biggest records to date “Here We Go,” it was a story about what women face in relationships when their men are cheating, when they are not loyal, when they are not there to hold you up when you fall, it was all from my own experience, and I poured my heart into sharing that part of my life, and then I came out with “Single Again,” and it was my closing that door on a part of my life that I had to move on from. I was happy, I spoke about regaining my strength in my independence, it was time for me to get back to being that groundbreaking, do your own thing kind of woman. All of those things are just me, they are just who I am. This is all real life to me. These are the things that you wake up every day and you see it all around you and you hear it wherever you go, it’s the good side and the bad side of life.

So I think that is how over the years, over the course of 5 albums from “Da Baddest,” to “Amazin,” I have gotten the music out that I wanted to because at the time for each project that is how I felt about my life and where I was. Whatever I am feeling emotionally that is what I am going to give you. That is just how it is to me, as an artist that is important because it separates you from certain people. It lets people see who you really are.

Thank you, for such an incredibly vivid look into your creative nature. I am awestruck by your candidness and your openness to these questions. Trina, something that I personally really find to be a sad aspect of your life, is the fact that your romantic relationships are always brought to the forefront by the media and scrutinized by any outlet that thinks they can sell a story. How do you deal with the fact that you are a face in the industry and your life has sadly become public knowledge? How does, Trina find love?

It’s a cold world out here, you really gotta bundle up. I think because of the way that the music in the industry has changed, where it is no longer about the art, or the craft, of the artistry that can be created, it has become more about what kind of car you drive and who you are sleeping with. It’s about who you slept with last week, who you were at the club with and who you take a picture with. That is what the media cares about, and what they spin.
I think the focus should be on the fact that I have a great album coming out, I think it should be focused on who I am working with. I think that is one thing about this music industry that I hate. I am a more reserved person, not because… no it is because, I don’t want you in my business, not you particularly, but just people overall. I don’t feel like it is anyone’s business who I am laying in the bed next to, it is not your business unless I decide to tell you about it.

To me personally I don’t think it is important for me to walk around telling people that I am dating such and such a person. If I am dating someone and I am happy then you are going to be able to see it because you will see me around and see me happy. It’s like every interview I do, someone has to ask me if I am single or who I am dating. I don’t want to talk to people about that stuff, I want to talk about my new music, and my new features and who is featuring on my album, those are the things that I want people to know.

I think that we have gotten to a place where we have forgotten as an industry what it is that is important about an artist. I live off of just my own beliefs and I do what I want to do, if I am in a relationship I don’t have to tell you that. If you see it then you see it, what I want to tell you comes out in my music because that is what I am doing it for. I am not here selling my relationships, I am not here selling my everyday life story, this is not a reality show. What you buy is my life, what you hear in my music is my life.

I agree with you, I do feel like it is a downfall because people are so often focusing on that aspect… I can spend an hour doing an interview, and we aren’t even talking most of the time about the project because they want to ask me about who I am dating… why is that important? If you are on the radio, what does it matter to you what I am doing in my personal life. Let’s talk about what I am here to talk about, not who I am sleeping with.
So it is definitely annoying and frustrating but I think it just comes with the territory. You are a brand, you are a company, so people want to see you. People watch everything you do, they watch everything you wear, they watch out for what car you drive, and it is exciting to them. For me though, I could care less about any of that. I am just living my life, you just get to see it played out on television or on some blog. At the end of the day I don’t care too much about anything except staying focused on my craft which is my music, making money and living my life.

I feel like I am blessed, I live a great life and I am happy for that. So I don’t really dwell too much on anything else on the outside because then you get caught up in that world and you start to live your life the way that everyone else thinks that you should. I don’t care what you think, because you can’t tell me how to live my life. I just do me.

I really respect that answer because when it all boils down that is the reason I founded this company years ago. I got tired of reading about the cars and the clothes and the cliché aspects of the industry that are only relatable to a handful of people outside of the machine. Let’s face it, if you have 10,000,000 dollars in the bank, how does hearing about that make my life better? So I really respect your point of view and I commend you for it.
Trina, young women today do not have the sort of traditional role models that we once saw. Today celebrities are more interested in selling themselves than they are trying to use their platform to empower women. You find yourself as an OG when it comes to this music industry. What do you think about the current crop of artists in the game compared to what you witnessed when you were coming up? Are you ok with the direction the music is heading?

We have definitely lost so much, I think that it is definitely not the same as when I first started. We had unity, we had motivating, I mean I would go into a studio with someone like Missy Elliot, who is a superior woman, who is a musical genius and I find myself sitting there like a fan at a show because I am just so inspired by her creativity. I am so inspired by the knowledge that she shared with me and the things that she helped me to discover about myself. She had such a struggle in her journey to gain acceptance, and she worked so hard to get to where she is, and for me, I just fell into it because I had a big mouth, a feisty attitude and I do and say what I want. If it wasn’t for people like Missy, I would not be here today at all. Those days kept me humble.
Women are catty. Let’s face it. I came up though at a time when it was more about inspiring each other and motivating each other and offering your support to each other. I have never let go of that, I founded a foundation that is there to help empower young girls in their life. That is what the “Diamond Doll,” foundation is all about. I also want to get this out there, I am not a role model. I am far from perfect and I don’t claim to be perfect because I am just a human being and nothing more. I look at these girls that look up to me and I relay to them the struggle and the work that it took for me to get to where I am today, and I tell them that I made it because I had people around me, strong women in my life that were motivating to me.

I am happy to see the next sister doing her thing. I am happy to see the next sister fulfill her dream. Seeing other people make it out of tough situations and see their dreams come true, that motivates me ever more. That is what I want to see more of all around.

Today I don’t feel like there is as much unity especially amongst women at this point. I feel like new artists looking to me for guidance, or seeing the way they react when I tell them that I would be happy to work with them when they reach out, or even just seeing their expression when they stand on the side of the stage and watch me perform and they are inspired, that keeps me grounded.

I am very confident, don’t get me wrong my head is extremely big, but I am very humble because I earned everything that I have gotten, no one gave this to me. I have worked extremely hard for it no matter what. I feel like I was always the underdog, and when you are the underdog you keep a lighter to yo ass because it will make you work harder than everybody else. That is the one thing that I always keep in my mind all the time. That is just what keeps me going. I live my life. I am happy. I keep people who I feel are genuine and who have good hearts around me to keep me motivated.

I am not a hypester, I am a person who lives off reality. I never get caught up in any kind of hype. If something happens right in front of my face then I believe it, I don’t live on what if’s., I live on what is. I think that is the thing that has kept me to be the person that I am. I have the best of all worlds, but I still always remember that it came from one record, and I feel like to be in this position and to have this longevity, it all came from a lot of listening, and being humble. That is how I survive.

In 2011, in a move that came as a surprise to a lot of people, you walked away from your label home of more than a decade, Slip N Slide. Why after so many years, and unbelievable amounts of success, was that the right time to take control of your own career?

Hmm… you know what, honestly when I decided to walk away from… well let’s not say walk away from. As a family, we just started to see different visions. They are my family, they made me, they molded me from a kid to a woman, and I learned so much. As family I feel like we got to a point where we had grown up and I was at a point in my career where I felt that we had done everything that we could do. I mean we did 5 albums together. There is only one other female artist in the entire industry that has done 5 albums and that is. Missy Elliot and she has done six. I am still trying my best to catch up to her. I tell her that all the time (HA HA) I use her success and her longevity as another form of motivation to me because she is so great and she is so talented. She has always been above me and I have always respected her and looked up to her. So just like Missy, I want to go till I can’t go no more.
Departing from Slip N Slide, it just felt like moving away from home. Like leaving home, away from my mom for the first time. I remember my mom asking me when I was leaving if I was sure that I was ready to go out there, and I told her that I had never be more ready in my life. At the time I had a job at an insurance firm, I was also working for AT&T which is the worst job in the nation! But I knew that it was time, I was gonna go out and get me my own little apartment and I remember her telling me that it was not going to be as easy as I thought it would be. So I went out there, and I did it and you know what happened? It didn’t work. It made me realize just how right she was. It was way harder than I thought it was going to be and it was way harder than just living at home with your mom, not having any bills, running in and out of the house whenever you want. Runnin up the light bill, and runnin up the cable bill, runnin up the water bill because you wash your clothes 3 or 4 times a week. I finally got it.

That same experience was in my mind when I left from Slip N Slide and I was out here on my own. The difference was this time, I felt like there was no going back. The only way that I had to go was forward, because there was no going back for me. I had to take the chance, I am grown now and these guys have been my family and they have carried me this far but it was time for me to stand on my own feet and take that first step and follow your dream. Go out and pursue the music, go out and pursue the television if that is what you want, do whatever you want to do because you are smart enough and you are molded enough to stand on your own two feet and make it.

When I got out here away from my family it was scary. You have to now do everything for yourself. I never had to do anything before on my own because the label did everything but when you are the owner and you have to call the shots, when you are the boss you have to manage everything. You have to decide what you like and what you don’t. Everything is now on you because you are the boss, so you have to find out why the records aren’t getting played and fix it, you have to find out what it is about your team that isn’t working and fix it, you have to be the boss.

It is a challenging experience out here for myself. It is beyond what I thought it would be and it is something that I look at every day. I have made a ton of mistake sine I departed from the label, but I have also made a ton of great decisions and I have accomplished so many new things and I am totally proud of myself. There is only one way to go from that, forward.

Do you think as an artist that you have been able to in your career so far make one record that embodies who you are as a person? That embodies the message and the personification of the woman that you want to the world to know?

I have done so many records over the years, but I really think that this record that I am working on right now is the definition of who I have grown to be. Who I have grown to be as an artist, as a woman as a human being. I have done a lot of different types of records. I have made so many records in the character of Trina, today the only thing that comes out is not what I think people want to hear, I already know what they want to hear. The only thing that I have to come out of me today from my soul is pure honesty. What comes out is the spirit of what I feel and where I am in my life. There are emotions that I have never let out, because I have never made the music for me, I have always made it for my fans and so I hold back because I don’t want to become too vulnerable. Now though, I am at a place now where when people hear this new project they may be shocked at where I can go emotionally with my music.

So to answer your question directly I think my new record is the one that I have been waiting my whole career to deliver. It took this long for me to get to this moment in my life where it all feels right.

What does the future hold for, Trina both musically and in life? Is motherhood something that has come to the forefront of your consciousness, especially now looking back on how much you learned from your mom and the lessons and wisdom that you have gained over the years that you could share with your own child?

For me, I wake up every day and I live in the moment. I live for the moment. Nothing is promised for tomorrow so every day I hit the concrete running. For what I hope for the future is just the ability for me to continue to work hard at whatever I am doing.

Motherhood is definitely something that I think about happening someday. I think about being married someday. I think of having a family and looking 0back on everything that I have done and being extremely proud of what I have accomplished. I work hard every day striving for that moment in my life when that becomes a reality. I know that in order to get married and to have a baby that you need a man and that is something else that I have to look towards in my future. I think that I will be an amazing mom, so you know, we will see what happens, but I am definitely looking forward to it.

All of us here at wish you the best of luck for the years to come. What do you want to say to the people who have supported, Trina, and helped you to achieve a dream, a life, a legacy as “Da Baddest?”

I just want to say thank you. I am so humbled and I am so happy. I am happier now than I think that I have ever been in my whole career. I am at a great place in my life, I am very honored and I am very happy. I am very driven to continue to give you all the best of me. Stopping is not something that I think about. It is not something that I can do. There is nothing out there that I want to tackle that I can’t see myself being able to. I don’t have this big black book of plans. I just wake up and I go for it every day. I am blessed to be able to do that. Everyone who has been there with me since day one, whether it is my family, Trick, Ross, the label, everybody has been so important because they have helped me to get to where I am and to be the person that I am. It don’t get no better than that.

I remember the early days, I remember being on tour and I remember the struggles. I look at everything from then to now and it is amazing, and I would not change one thing that I have gone through for anything in the world. I would not even trade in the ugly, and believe me there have been some extreme times of ugliness on this journey but I wouldn’t change any of it because  it has made me the beast that I am.

Over the years you have faced down your own adversities and you have looked to those around you to help inspire and create a drive within yourself that today you see no end to. This release for me marks 100 interviews in my career. Yet, the words that I heard here today, much like with every interview I am blessed to be a part of, has struck a chord of inspiration for me. Trina, as it has become a well sought out tradition for us here at I want to ask you, to leave us with some words of wisdom from your own trials and successes in life, that you feel have the power to help create that relentless drive you have in someone else.

Everything that glitters is not gold. When you look at the TV and you see this artist and they are dressed up a d you see the expensive clothes and the glamor and the glitz or you go to a show and you start crying and you are in love because you are inspired by what you see, at the end of the day I am just a regular person and I just feel like for myself, I don’t want to be any different than anyone else. I could be in front of thousands of people and I could perform my heart out for one hour on stage but before I hit that stage I could have just had the worst phone call in the world but when I step on that stage I have to cover it up, and I have to smile because so many people are depending on me to come bring that flavor and that sass and that motivation to their lives for that short time. You don’t know what I might be going through but as a human, as an artist, and as a real person I just have a drive that is insane.

I have been through things that people can’t even imagine, but I put a brave face on and I fight through it like a lion. So to me, when you aren’t willing to fight through the struggles and give the world what you have to offer… when you don’t believe in yourself to keep fighting, I think that is when you lose. Winning is when you just don’t give up. When people tell you that you can’t, that is when you prove them wrong. When a door slams in your face and locks in front of you, you grab a hair pin, you pick that lock and you go through it. Every day is real life, and you have to be able to figure out the things that can be improved in your life and fight to see it happen. I face adversity like a champ. I see it coming and I take it head on. I put my wings on and I just go flying through it. You could catch me and try and break my wings to hold me down, but I am gonna still fly away with half a wing. You can’t stop me.

Everybody has to face life. Everyone has good days and bad, everyone has struggles and successes but ultimately you just have to figure out what it is that works for you and I know for me, that being humble, having good people around like my mom, who is the most person who keeps me sane in this whole music industry, in this whole life that I live. I have come to know one thing in life more than anything else. When you are down on the ground and you are on your knees the only thing to do is pray, there is nowhere to go from the ground but up. You can’t be on someone else’s level in life, you have to have your own height to life.