News: Move Over Kanye West & 2 Chainz, Trinidad James Signs Def Jam Deal

Thursday, Dec 13, 2012 8:30PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

After building a steady buzz down South off his "All Gold Everything" anthem, Atlanta rapper Trinidad James has inked a deal with mega music label Def Jam.

Both James and Def Jam Recordings President Joie Manda confirmed the unexpected power move Thursday (December 13).

"Def Jam, thank you for believing," says Trinidad James. The signing also includes a joint venture with the rapper's Gold Gang Records. Trinidad is now on the same imprint as Kanye West, 2 Chainz and more. "We're excited to welcome a young talent like Trinidad James to the Def Jam family," Joie Manda says. "Def Jam prides itself as both a cornerstone of hip-hop's rich tradition, and as a vital, forward-thinking label dedicated to breaking and nurturing emerging artists. Trinidad James represents the cutting-edge of what's happening in the culture today. We are thrilled to have him at the label, and look forward to growing his already massive buzz." (Billboard)

Buzz over an alleged $2 million Def Jam deal bubbled online yesterday (December 12).

During Trinidad James' sold-out show at Santos Party House, label executives from both Def Jam and Atlantic Records were in attendance. "Joie [Manda], Pecas, Chris Atlas, Barry Weiss on The Def Jam side & [Mike] Keyser on the Atlantic side at Trinidad James show," tweeted XXL's executive editor Jayson Rodriguez. Now, rumored reports say that the rapper has settled a deal with Def Jam for $2 million. (XXL Mag)

The rap newcomer rose from working at a clothing store to turning into hip-hop's most-talked about rapper right now.

Like everything about James' sudden rise from Atlanta scenester (he was working at Ginza clothing boutique in downtown Atlanta when he decided to become a rapper) to hip-hop star, the oversold show sparked cynicism. But Trinidad's unlikely-yet-forseeable rise marks an important moment for Atlanta, an attempt to reassert its dominance in an era where regional styles, broadcast cheaply and easily on the Internet, have the potential to upset the city's long-running centrality to hip-hop. One man's "gimmick" is another's style. If rappers were forced to abandon "gimmicks," the genre would suffer. Many times, those "gimmicks" are shorthand for charisma and personality. Like any Internet-driven phenomenon, James has attracted his share of detractors. Many of their concerns are unfair; a hit song is a hit song, and "All Gold Everything" qualifies, at least by the modest measure of YouTube success. (Atlanta Black Star)

Check out the rapper's "All Gold Everything" music video:

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