[Editorial] Don't Shoot The Messenger, Trinidad James Speaks The Truth
"Its like New York's been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the buildings" - Jay-Z
For the better part of my younger life New York rappers dominated Hip Hop. From Wu-Tang, to Nas, Biggie, Jay-Z, and DMX. The 90’s were pure unadulterated New York. Sure the west had the G-Funk era in the early part of the decade, but after the fall of Death Row, that was it. And while Jay Z has remained Brooklyn till he dies, steady getting air play whenever he drops an album. Other artist haven’t been so lucky.
After the 90’s, the face of New York rap transitioned to The Lox, Fabolous, Ja Rule, and 50 Cent/G-Unit, Dipset. These artist in their own right represented New York to the fullest, dropping anthems and radio friendly singles one after another, and then one day it seemingly stopped. The radio, music videos, and the charts were void of New York artists.
Trinidad James, an Atlanta rapper known for his All Gold single, performed at the Converse Rubber Tracks in NYC. During his set, James took a break to rant about the fall of the New York hip hop scene. James vented about how most rapper are bull-shit and mentioned Kendrick Lamar as being one of the best but in the same breath took a shot at Lamar for his now infamously misconstrued line claiming to be “King of New York.” James used this as a jumping point to state how New York rappers have fallen off to the point an “outsider” can claim the whole city. The only bright spot that New York has according to James is Elliot Wilson, notable journalist, who James proclaims is the face of New York hip hop. James even went as far as saying the south runs New York.
Afterwards, James took to twitter to clear up his statements. While not offering an apology or a retraction of any sorts, James instead stood by his comments while mentioning other New York rappers who he respects for keeping it NY.
I didn't disrespect. Bt if you wanna think I did. Do what you feel is best. Either way I lose no sleep for being real. NY doesn't support Ny— Trinidad Jame$ (@TrinidadJamesGG) November 13, 2013
While internet blogs and twitter were quick to jump on James, Maino a New York rapper known for his single "Hi Haters, has demanded an apology as well as threatened James well being.
Harlem native and rapper ASAP Rocky as well as UGK alum Bun B kept it politcal on a recent visit to MTV's RapFix Live, but Los Angeles lyricists Hospin had some harsh words for James. While speaking to XXLmag.com Hospin expressed how horrible of a rapper James is and how he has no credibility. As far as the south runs rap comment Hospin explained that most artists from Atlanta aren't dope, and their beats are the reason they are getting the radio play that most other artists aren't getting. Hospin went on to say that James opinion doesn't matter because he's whack. I think James opinion matters more because he's whack.
Whack rappers are the new black. Trinidad James is no wordsmith, he'll never be on the top of any rap list, but people know his songs, people like his songs and people like him. Yes his beats are hot, and most of the time he just spits one long verse sandwiched in between catchy hooks. But he's figured out something other New York rappers, or rappers period haven't, how to get on and so far stay on the radio.
More so, James speaks his mind, sure he looks like a cartoon character, but he's outspoken and unafraid of the consequences. While most rappers have the personality of a ham sandwich, James is a bonafide club sandwich with a pickle on the side. I wish a more credible rapper would have said what most people in the hip hop community have been thinking, but when given lemons. Instead of criticizing James, we should figure out how to bring balance back to hip hop.