Credit to: Roger Erickson

Since my middle school days back in the late 90’s I have been a huge Trina fan.  In a time where hip hop was thriving at such a lightning speed, Trina really grew with it and had a firm understanding of not only the culture but herself as an artist as well.  First appearing with Trick Daddy on the hits song “Nann” which then catapulted her into her own solo career with monster hits like “Here We Go” featuring Kelly Rowland, “B R Right” featuring Ludacris and “No Panties” featuring Tweet.

To have longevity in this industry is not the easiest thing to do with its chew em up and spit em out mentality, however Trina seems to have stuck by it with ease.  Over fifteen years into her career, she is still more popular then ever with selling out concerts, appearing on major television shows and just releasing a brand new hit single called “Real One” featuring Rico Love.  With all that is going around “The Diamond Princess”, Trina was nice enough to sit down with me at Manhattan Digest to talk about it all.  From beginnings to now, women in the industry and everything in between, Trina let us have it.  Take a look.

You recently performed at Mid-Center America in Iowa.  What can your fans expect when they see a Trina concert?

I try to ensure that my fans are enjoying the show and I make it a point to attempt to interact with my fans as much as possible. We as entertainers always should show appreciation for their continuous support, and I have remained vibrant in Hip Hop for so long due to such support so I ensure that at all of my shows my fans are engaged and enjoying the performance.

You recently released a song called “Real One”.  It is great!  Does this mean we have another album coming from you?

Thank you so much, I am glad that you like the track featuring Rico Love and produced by him. Yes, I am in a happy place within my career whereas I have full control and my sixth studio album will be released under my own imprint entitled Rockstarr Music Group. I am transforming currently in life, and it feels absolutely amazing as a woman in Music and to have fans supporting my movement worldwide!

I want to talk about the history that is Trina.  Did you expect 15 years into this that you would still be in the game, making music and being relevant?

Honestly, I never expected any of this as a career, especially when it comes to making music. As I look back when I started, at times, I am still wowed by how my career has evolved and to remain as the most consistent female emcee to date thus far, that is just a feeling that I can describe in words. I just want to be remembered and recognized for paving the way for future female emcees who want to remain consistent in all of their endeavors including musically and beyond. It takes making mistakes, learning the business behind the industry and making yourself become more aware and involved in your business, and having a team who sees your vision beyond what you may see.

For any aspiring rapper or singer, what advice would you give them in order to go the distance in this industry?

Learn the business behind the music, become involved in knowing your business and where you are within it especially financially. Become a boss by being knowledgeable of your business and where you want it to go.

What is your take on women in the industry?  It seems that in recent years it has shifted again to become very male dominant.  Why is that?

Women in the industry: this topic is so intense and truly has been an issue for some time now. I definitely feel as though we as women need to set aside our emotions aside and just do business, make money and great movements together as the male counterparts are able to do. Just think of how many other women in Hip Hop can become known as consistent if this is done! On the other hand, women in the business aspect and behind the scenes are becoming more vibrant and relevant and running the business sector better and even at a stronger pace than the males. It has always been a make dominant industry, just more visible now!

What about the industry overall, do you think its thriving?

The industry is evolving digitally because our world is becoming more digital and aligned more with the wave and expansion of communication via technology. There are always ups and downs when any type of industry is advancing in ways versus declining in others. Consumers matter, and their input and opinions more so now in the industry via social media, and that alone matters more because of the digital uprising in the music industry.

Are there any current artists you would like to work with and why?

I would love to collab with Rihanna, Beyoncé and possibly a few pop artists. I have done so many records with so many amazing talents nationally, but if I had to select off the top of my head, it would definitely be these two beautiful and talented ladies.

Looking back on your illustrious career, was there one specific moment that you are most proud of?

I am proud of it all, from the mistakes to the accomplishments. I am most proud of starting my transition to date with my own record label imprint and grooming talent within such. My first artist under my label is Brittney Taylor who is from NYC, she is amazing and talented and we just released her debut mixtape project titled “Jack Rabbit” which can be streamed and downloaded via Datpiff online.

What was your experience like when you did Drag Race last year?  For most people that was their favorite episode that season.

RuPaul and the entire staff was absolutely AMAZING in all aspects, and I had so much fun working the entire cast and including Eve as she too was a special guest on that episode.

What’s in store for the future of Trina?

More music, building of my brand beyond music and just enjoying life daily!

Thanks for sitting down with me Trina!

Thank you Ryan for the interview as always, xoxo @TRINARockstarr