Trick or Trina?

With her new CD Glamorest Life, Miami rapper Trina continues to evolve

The collaboration was a success — garnering Trick his biggest single to date and jettisoning Trina into the national hip-hop spotlight. Her 2000 debut album, Da Baddest Bitch, was a continuation of the aggressive, powerful, and highly sexualized female archetype. The album featured a couple of Trick Daddy collaborations as well as songs such as "The Big Lick," "Off Glass," and "69 Ways."

Trina would follow up that album with 2002's Diamond Princess. Though comfortable in her hard-core persona — her X-rated cover of N.W.A.'s "No More Questions" entitled "Hustling" proves as much — Trina had begun to branch out. The album featured guest spots by Missy Elliott, Tweet, Eve, and Fabolous and blended her Miami street sound with a more accessible, national flavor.

In many ways, Glamorest Life is a continuation of the maturation that began on Diamond Princess. For this album, she enlisted the help of Destiny's Child's Kelly Rowland on the lead single "Here We Go" and Cash Money producer Mannie Fresh on two of the album's standout tracks, "Da Club" and the street hit "Don't Trip."

Careful: Trina might blind you with that bling
Jonathan Postal
Careful: Trina might blind you with that bling

"['Here We Go'] is the sort of record that was never given to me in the past," Trina says. "And I've never done a record like 'Da Club' with Mannie Fresh either. I wasn't exposed to those type of producers. You can't just do the Miami sound. It's not international. You have to do different stuff."

But by broadening her horizons, she has run the risk of losing her base. And while the pop nation has accepted Trina with open arms, not all are so happy about her success.

"I like the Trina that fucked five or six best friends," Trick comments wistfully. "She need to go get her original clique.... She needs some more T-Double-D in her life. She needs to start associating herself with my type of niggas."

When told of Trick's comments, Trina replies, "I don't know if Trick knows what it means to evolve or not, but I do. He's street and that's all he's going to ever be. I came out being street, I came out being sexy, and now I've moved on to still being street but also being more mature and more classy. You have to grow. You see how Jay-Z has evolved from Reasonable Doubt to now being Shawn Carter. You have to grow to be a superstar and not just a rap artist. Jay-Z is a superstar, Trick is a rap artist. Trina went from a rap artist and is on the verge of being a superstar."

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