Def Jam VP of A&R Sha Money XL has stepped up to discuss some of the issues fans have toward latest signee Trinidad James and why people need to focus on the music, not his image.
In Sha Money’s perspective, James’ music clearly outshines his eye-catching physical appearance and fashion statements.
“I think it’s really still about the music. Trinidad [James] created a record that everyone can say they liked,” he said. “No matter how much they make fun of him and mash him up with the jokes, they like the d*mn [‘All Gold Everything’] record. Music is music. The formula, when you talk about mixtapes and how you put content out, you have the seed to plant. You create awareness, and you grow. That’s a formula we all see. But I think the ultimate part of the formula is that the music has gotta be dope.” (HHDX)
Recently, Sha Money’s G-Unit pal 50 Cent gave his take on Trinidad.
“You see the energy that’s on the record,” Fif told DJ Whoo Kid, referring to buzzing tracks like “All Gold Everything.” “That record, the video was more important than the song. Yeah, what’s his name, Trinidad? That was important because it felt like, ‘Nah, this isn’t real.’ It was a risky choice because we don’t know who Trinidad James is. So for the very first time, you come out looking like that, you’re like, ‘Does this n*gga really look like that?’ When you looked at the video closer, you’re like, ‘Hold up. He’s dead serious.’ It was interesting because you’d look like, ‘Maybe there is a guy out there like that,’ because you’re just talking about clothes at that point. Everything he had on was stylish. He had the Armani draws, he had the gold rings, the Versace slippers and you can’t fake his teeth being like that. Them teeth are really f*cked up like that. He’s the real Pimpin’ Curly! [laughs]” (“Whoolywood Shuffle”)
Earlier this month, James stood up and defended his image’s authenticity.
“I might be the most ‘Put everything on the table’ type of guy in the game,” Trinidad told DJ Whoo Kid when asked how authentic his image is. “It’s on the table. At least in the last, since 2000. So you either gonna hate me for what you know or it’s whatever, or you’ll f*ck with me forever. I don’t want you to f*ck with me for some sh*t that I fabricated and then when you find out you hate me more than people who already hated me because n*ggas hate and I lose everybody and I’m over here working at Wal-Mart. Then all the girls I f*cked with, at the age of 37 they’ll be like, ‘All look, there’s the ‘All Gold’ man! … I don’t want to be that guy, man! I don’t want to be that guy. Nobody wants to be that guy who had a song that was popping off his chain and then he just fall off because it was fake, it wasn’t real. I promise you, whether it’s this year or ten years down the line, when people find out you was faking some sh*t, bruh, it’s the worst sh*t ever.” (Shade 45)
The rapper’s manager spoke out and said hip-hop needed to welcome in fresh ideas and versatility, shortly after James signed an alleged $2 million Def Jam deal.
“We sat down with everybody,” Trinidad James’ manager, Fly, told CBS Local. “We went with Def Jam because it’s credible. They breed hip-hop culture. And at the end of the day, the deal terms were right. … The thing about it is, you have to be able to change. If you can’t change, you’re not going to grow. That’s what separates the winners and losers.” (CBS Local)
Check out a recent Trinidad James interview: