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It’s been a minute since we’ve heard from Mr. Trick Daddy Dollars, but as usual, the Mayor of Dade has a lot on his mind. He held nothing back in this interview speaking on his former label and labelmates.
I know you put out a book, Magic City, not too long ago. Aside from that, what other projects have you been working on?
We shot half of the mini-series The Lick. That’s a Miami-based story about the urban side of life here. A lot of people are like, “I just went to Miami, we stayed at the Loews [Hotel].” I’m like, “That ain’t Miami.” So it’s a mini-series based on the real Miami. Miami is a great vacation town nowadays but we still have a history here. A lot of the historical sites and monumental areas have been knocked down and rebuilt.
Are you playing yourself or playing a character?
I’m playing my brother Hollywood. You have to remember, Miami was built on drug money. Miami is Colombians, Haitians, Panamanians, Jamaicans – there’s no other city like this in the world. A lot of citizens of Miami originated from communist and third-world countries. Common sense will tell you that if you grew up in those conditions, you’ll be willing to die for – and kill for – anything you believe in, including survival.
Where is this series going to air?
We’re talking to the [television] networks. Hopefully [it will air] like The Wire. When I was younger, in the late 70s, early 80s, people snorted cocaine. You couldn’t afford it in the hood but working people did it. Then crack came along and once it made it to suburbia, Ronald Reagan made a big thing about it. A lot of the dudes that were sentenced under those rules are just now getting out of prison and they’ve been gone since the mid 80s. They didn’t kill nobody or rape nobody, they just sold drugs to feed their families and spent the rest of their lives in prison. I think that’s very unconstitutional. [The Lick] talks about that, so I don’t want to go straight-to-DVD or go to pay-per-view where it’s only going to be seen in one area.
The world is so one-track minded right now. I was watching the Grammys last night, man, did you see those categories? I believe Jay-Z and Kanye won [the Grammy for Best Rap Performance] and I respect what they did, but I had to think about it. Did they deserve to win? Ask yourself what we’ve heard in the past year on the radio that we’re going to be looking forward to listening to five years from now. Can you name one? Even with R&B music, my favorite R&B artists are people like Anita Baker, Shirley Murdock, Karen White, the late Whitney Houston, Patti Labelle, the real stars, Fantasia. Last year when [Kelly Rowland’s] “Motivation” record came out and Mary J Blige made a big comeback, I loved that because I was tired of hearing all these “independent female” records. That shit sounds so lonely for a pretty woman. I miss that celebration music. [The artists] are making music not for the year or the week but for the hour. All of that is hurting the music game so bad. And if you give out a [free] mixtape every 90 days, no one is going to buy your record. So now you understand why there are very few artists going platinum these days. I think there should be some [educational] requirements to become a rapper. You should at least be able to pass the FCAT. And producers? Producers don’t produce no more, producers just make beats like the ones they’ve heard you on already.
Everybody’s doing music. They read my interview in OZONE or hear my interview on the radio and then they go from being a Trick Daddy fan to thinking they can be better than Trick. Think about someone who has a clean [criminal] record who graduated at the top of their class. They have a clean driving record and always say “yes ma’am” and “yes sir.” If he gets on a record and tells all these lies about robbing and killing and dope dealing and you fall for it, and later you find out [it was a lie], he should be punished for that. I never did music like that; that’s why my music is timeless. People don’t do that anymore in rap music, it’s all LaLaLand, so when the rainbow washes away it ain’t nothing but a sad story. Everybody’s looking crazy and dumb and all the fourteen, fifteen, sixteen year old killers are on First 48. I refuse to be the victim. I refuse to be the one on the other end of the stick and they’re saying, “Yeah, he’s locked up for killing Trick.”
Are you referring to a fellow Miami rapper who’s occupational background may or may not affect the credibility of his music?
I said it before and I’ll say it again. I’ve always been a fan of the man’s talents. I never really had a problem with it. I think what blew [the whole situation] out of proportion was that he had a problem admitting it. I don’t have a problem with him. We never had no beef or nothing like that. I just felt like the people who were around him at that time when [that news] came out could’ve avoided all that. You can’t have too many yes-men and mini-me’s and me-too’s around you. I think if the right people had been around him, [that situation] wouldn’t have went that far.
Producers come to me and say, “I’ve got a perfect Trick Daddy track.” I’ve done eight albums. What is a “Trick Daddy track”? Have you ever really listened to the instrumental for “I’m A Thug” – can you picture somebody else doing that beat? Having heard Trick Daddy on “Na’an Nigga” and “Scarred” and “Take Em To The House,” could you have pictured me on that “I’m A Thug” beat? For me, rapping was never my dream. I wanted to be a robber. I wanted to be a pimp or a drug dealer or a killer. So for the dudes that wanted to be rappers, why don’t they act like it?
So basically, you feel like producers pigeonhole you into making one type of music.
They would if I let them. For instance, “Thug Holiday,” produced by David Banner. David Banner wanted to give me a different track and I was like, “This is the one. I’m telling you.” There is no such thing as a “Trick Daddy track.” I never had to get big features to sell records and I probably sold more records than any other rapper in the state, maybe even the South.
The record labels now understand that these dudes are made up so they give ‘em bullshit deals. It’s all about whoever can come up with the next big record. They’re trying different stuff now. They tried dressing like skateboarders and that didn’t work. They tried dressing old school and bringing back the rope chains and the old glasses and the Mohawks and that didn’t work. Nicki Minaj came out with the pink and purple and orange hair. If she did this ten years ago everybody would’ve said it’s ghetto and tacky, correct? But now it’s the new trend.
Since you’re discouraged by the direction of the music industry, has that turned you off from recording music yourself?
Not necessarily, because I’m not a part of that society. But I’m not biting my tongue, I’m not changing my name, and I’m not wearing women’s pants. These niggas might as well get their eyebrows done. They might as well get lashes and wear lacefronts if they insist on wearing women’s pants. I’ve still been recording though. I’m going to drop this record called “That’s Why We Pray” featuring Kelly Rowland, and I’ve got another song, “Bass.” It’s something Florida got away from. I honestly believe that after I did my verse on “Scarred,” we veered away from bass music. I think we got scared and forgot that we came up off bass music. I think we forgot how much money bass music makes and how necessary it is. I read a book called Third Coast, which talks about where the 808 bass originated.
Are you still under the Slip N Slide/Atlantic umbrella or are you independent right now?
Fuck Ted Lucas, and fuck Slip N Slide Records. I blame Ted for a lot of things. When me and Trina worked together on music, there was never any problems with me and her not getting along. It was never about Trina being scared of me, or we were fuckin’ and we broke up, or all these other rumors. It was never about that. It was about Ted. Ted thinks he’s got to turn people against each other in order to be friends with them. It was always Ted in their ear. He’s the dude that doesn’t have friends. He’s the one that doesn’t come out. He’s the one that goes to church during early morning worship.
I blame Ted for Funk Boogie not making me any more tracks. I blame Ted for not paying the rest of the dudes that helped start Slip N Slide. I blame Ted Lucas for me not having Michael Hopkins as my management; they were having secret meetings promising him certain things. I blame Ted for stealing publishing and forging checks. I blame Ted for Money Mark & C.O. never coming out with a record. I blame Ted for the fact that two of the Lost Tribe are in the Federal penitentiary.
You’ve got to understand: Slip N Slide Records was not built by Trick Daddy. Trick Daddy was the foundation. We had bricklayers, concrete people, masons, landscapers. Somebody watered the grass. We had a chef. In other words, we were a team. We did it all together. Everybody played their role, and he took money from everybody to the point where years later we don’t even speak.
I’ll tell [Funk Boogie], “Don’t let Ted stop us from making money. You make the beats and I’ll make sure Atlantic gives you your payment upfront.” Then Ted tells Atlantic, “Don’t talk to Trick. You’re not supposed to be talking to Trick.” If I charge an artist $40,000 to do a feature, then Ted will charge them another $40,000 to clear it. So he had everybody in the rap game looking at me like, “Damn, Trick!” It got so bad to the point where I’d be telling him, “Ted, you can’t do this.” Ted was always telling Atlantic, “Trick don’t wanna work. Trick don’t wanna go out of town.” No, Ted. You don’t tell me I’ve gotta go out of town until the day I’ve gotta go. They say, “Why hasn’t Trick been on any tours?” Because after seven years I realized my management was working for Ted and giving him some of the money.
If a man doesn’t have one friend left from elementary school, middle school, or high school, that’s the sign of a bad person. When we started with Slip N Slide Records, all of us – except Michael Hopkins – were young niggas and young women coming up in the game. We were all between 17 and 21 [years old]. There were over 25 Slip N Slide kids and the sad part is, none of ‘em speak to each other anymore because of all the separation that was caused at the Slip N Slide office.
Wasn’t Ted awarded his own day from the City of Miami for the Ted Lucas Foundation?
Ted don’t give a fuck about the community. Ted doesn’t do anything for the community. Any of the toy drives and all that were expensed back to me and my management. Ted don’t give a fuck about nobody. He goes to church and he plays with God. “Oh, my pastor, my Lord, let’s bow our heads and pray.” Then he fires Debbie [Bennett] because Debbie won’t let him take people’s money. One thing that’s undeniable: everything you do in your life, whether it’s a good deed or a bad deed, it all becomes a part of your history. You can’t deny Trick Daddy, the thug, the legend, the man. I’ma be there forever. And that’s what Ted will grow to realize. It’s sad when you consider yourself the Suge Knight of your city but can’t get in the nightclub.
I know you and Plies had issues at one point. Was that ever squashed?
Plies is a bitch. Me and Plies’ problem started because I walked up on Plies [in Orlando at the Roxy] talking about he didn’t want me at his show, and I was only coming to support. Ever since then he has refused to even get on the phone like a man and talk to me about it. Anytime I walk by accidentally they start running. When I shot the [DJ Khaled] “Out Here Grindin’” video shoot in New York, Plies wouldn’t come because he didn’t know I was on the record.
What would you want to tell Plies?
I just hope he understands he’s still a Trick Daddy fan. That “bruh bruh” shit, that’s some Miami shit. He just took it and ran with it. I know he’s still a Trick Daddy fan. Don’t let the animosity and envy that you have for the man interfere with the legacy.
But why would Plies would have animosity towards you in the first place?
Some niggas just ain’t built for this. I don’t like Kobe Bryant. I love his basketball game, but I don’t like him as a man. I don’t like the shit that happened with him and Shaq and what happened between him and Paul Gasol. I didn’t like [the alleged rape] situation. He went straight from high school to the league with a hundred something million dollar contract. You never see him at parties. You never see Kobe on TMZ. He doesn’t have any friends. He’s not sociable. He’s very arrogant. He thinks he’s better than a bitch.
You could be the greatest player in the world but [that attitude] takes a lot away from you. But I saw him say something last week that made me understand him. They asked [Kobe] on [TV], “How do you compare yourself to Robert Parrish and Michael Jordan and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and all the big-name basketball players?” Kobe said, “I would never put myself above them because I got everything I learned from them.” If Plies would realize that I’m the nigga who made him wanna get in his ugly ass ‘vert and ride to Slip N Slide Records and sign [a record deal], he shouldn’t have no hatred in his heart about me.
I just think Plies should just realize that it’s easier to be amongst us than on top of us. When I listen to [Plies’] music, he tries to be so ghetto and hard. Then I research and find out the nigga graduated at the top of his class. The nigga went to college. I would trade for that. You could be Trick Daddy, shit. If I could go to college and have a clean record and graduate as valedictorian, I’d trade Trick Daddy for that. //