“A lot of these artists that came out as drug dealer rappers on their first and second albums…They do MTV Cribs and their pictures is leaning against the walls because that’s not their house.”- Trick Daddy
No slight to Plies but, Trick Daddy is the real definition of real. His candor is unapologetic just like his trademark grill that he flashes every time he grimaces. That hasn’t kept the mainstream from making the rapper born Maurice Young Florida’s most prolific rap star since Luke and making the Sunshine State the current hip-hop hotbed that it has become.
But since boldly announcing that he had Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that famously took the life of beloved Detroit producer J-Dilla, the Miami rap icon has kept a low profile except for a cameo in DJ Khalid’s 2007 “We So Hood” video. Today Trick Daddy is no longer affiliated with Slip ‘n Slide Records, an imprint he started with and helped become successful, or on major label Atlantic Records. Fed up with the industry politics Trick is fully independent now and is laying ground work for his entrepreneurial pursuits. The rapper partnered up Po’ Boy Records founder E-Class to launch his own imprint Dunk Ryders Records.
With a new book and CD on the way The Urban Daily caught up with Trick Daddy where he talks about living with Lupus, Rick Ross controversy and the state of Miami hip-hop.
TUD: What’s the difference between independent Trick Daddy and Trick Daddy who was signed to major like Atlantic?
Trick Daddy: The difference is that I do all of the paying because I’m the boss. If I got the money to pay then that means that I can also get paid. And I ain’t gotta play these games with Atlantic or any other major. They want you to do trade offs for features on singles and videos. That’s hurting hip-hop so much. It’s a shame because the fans want to hear me with a Lil Wayne or a feature with Lil Boosie or Gucci Mane. Even if we did the record and handled it on our end for them to put the record out, to put the song on the record to be sold, it’s all these strings attached. It’s a lot of things that the fans or the media don’t understand but I represent the truth.
Let’s talk about the truth. Have you seen a lot of fakery in hip-hop where artists with fronting like they have a lot of money when they really don’t have it like that?
That’s the number one problem with break-ups between a clique, a group, a crew, a label, or an indy label. There’s this one n-gga that wants to be this millionaire. He wants to have all of these fake jewels, all of these leased cars, all of these bottles. They go get $3000 worth of dollar bills and make it rain in the clubs. And it be all good until these n-ggas that work for him, his ho, his mama or his homeboy be like, “That boy drop you off every night n-gga! [Laughs]. He around here trickin’ off with money and you can’t even pay your own bills.” And it’s really not like what it seems. And I’ve seen it. A lot of these artists that came out as drug dealer rappers on their first and second albums and come out with platinum chains on their first single. They do MTV Cribs and their pictures is leaning against the walls because that’s not their house. And the cars in the drive way ain’t their cars. And the life they’re livin’ ain’t their life- but they lie so much that they start believing it! Now the people that know them have a problem with it. Everybody wanna be chiefs but nobody wanna be Indians.
You got a book coming out that talks about Miami street life over the last couple of decades. We just talked about rappers perpetrating a certain type of lifestyle and…what’s the truth about Rick Ross?
Let me say this first, I am a fan of the rapper Rick Ross. If you do you homework Rick Ross was featured on four songs with me, which many times I had to bend over backwards because, like I said, the labels play games. As far as the other stuff like me putting the pictures of him being a correctional officer out, I’m a real n-gga and I will still say NO. The n-ggas in Miami already knew that! That’s not me! Anybody that’s a Trick Daddy fan knows that that’s not my work. The difference between me and other n-ggas is that I was born and raised in Miami, Dade County. Not that I’m proud of it but, I have more convictions on my record than a lot of n-ggas have traffic tickets. I have a birth certificate, a social security number, an address, arrest forms, arrest records, all of this sh-t to prove it. I have of a drawer full of obituaries and [Department of Correction] numbers of the n-ggas that are dead and gone and my homies that I send money to in prison. That’s real n-gga sh-t. I ain’t gotta make up stories and drive Phantoms or Maybachs. I’m a real n-gga for the rest of my life. I’m riding around Miami right now by my self. I don’t have any security and I wish I can have a gun license but I’m a convicted felon. I just know how to keep it real. I don’t know how to do nothing else. I ain’t gotta get caught up in no lies or get questioned. When I tell you that I did not put out a picture on Rick Ross that’s what it is.
But you know his history.
The only history I know of Rick Ross is that he was trying to to get on the rap scene for a long time. I ain’t know he was trying to be this kind of rapper. He worked hard for the rap scene, as far as all of that other sh-t, I’m not aware of it.
So what is the underlying issue for your conflict with Ross and why are you no longer on Slip n’ Slide Records?
Why I’m no longer on Slip n’ Slide Records is because I gave them eight records, if you count the compilation, and when you signed to a major/ independent there’s not a lot of money to be made within the artist. You have a lot of misconceptions. For example, the MTVs and the BETS come to Miami because we have the music spotlight on us right now and they interview all of these dudes talking about Miami music but if these dudes get their birth certificates maybe only three dudes is actually from Miami. And those three n-ggas that mean something is me, Luke and Pitbull. But when you get dudes that live in Miami you can’t ask them about the Miami scene. A lot of these guys holla that they got a label and entertainment companies but then they don’t even got a f-ckin address. So I’m more offended about the miseducation of Miami than the n-ggas because there are f-ck n-ggas all over the world.
You made an announcement that you had Lupus a while back. How are you holding up with that?
Man this Lupus, for me, ain’t nowhere near dealing with ten brothers and sisters growing up with no father figure in the home. What makes me feel better about living with it is that people can call me and I can be a spokesperson. Ten years ago when I found out that I had it I was like, “Oh God why am I being punished? Why me?” I used to think like that. I’ve read my Bible and understand it clearly. I believe in God and so, I can’t be blaming nothing on God.
You’re partnering with the Lupus Foundation. What are you doing with them?
We have just hooked up with them. We working on a whole bunch of stuff. My main important thing is awareness. When I grew up in the hood, in the projects of Liberty City, we never had awareness. Back in the day, you used to go to the center and get a summer job and eat your free lunch. They don’t have that sh-t no more. We have to bring that back because the kids are not aware. Awareness went out the window with text messages and them being bold enough to pass little elementary and teenage kids condoms. That’s not awareness. If anything you’re promoting them to have sex by giving my son or daughter a condom at 11 or 12 years old. I would prefer to tell them why not. Hopefully, it’ll get better in the next ten years. All of the kids that are giving problems- the drug dealers, the shooters, gang bangers that’s between 16 and 25 are the kids of my ex-classmates and next door neighbors. The same dudes that I grew up with fighting in the middle of the street in the projects…our generation has taken a humongous hit, man. We are so far behind that it don’t make no sense.
You talk about street sh-t in your records like many rappers. Do you think that the negativity in hip-hop has a negative effect on the kids?
To some extent, but it’s also how you were raised. It’s all about how you raise your kids because no matter what I say or do it’s what you believe. It’s how you raise your kids. If that’s the case what are you gonna blame next? TV? When was the last time a good damn cartoon came on or a good sitcom. They raising they kids off of reality shows, American Idol and College Hill. They wanna portray that this is what college is all about. 18, 19 having sex and drinking. That’s not what college is about. They ain’t showing the struggle!?! Between reality TV and regular TV I don’t think that rap can ever be responsible for no more than life itself. We live in a cold world these days.
Check out these classic Trick Daddy videos.
Trick Daddy “Shut Up”