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TRINA: The Queen Is Here

When it comes to Hip-Hop Queendom one thing is for sure that there are many Queens who hold down the throne of this major music genre but there is only queen in Miami, and she is the baddest love them all. She came in hot ready to take over and show everyone what that Miami had something to say. With her vibrant sound and no filter flow, Trina made sure that she left her prints on the industry in a major way. With Caribbean roots and a mean swag, the Dade rockstar emerged in the late 90s and has been consistently creating ever since,

“what a lot of people may found really interesting about me is that I was into real estate before I got into the music industry. I was doing my thing as a real estate agent in Miami and one of my really good friends Trick Daddy called me on the phone one day and asked me to come to this studio. he and I grew up in the same neighborhood so everyone knew that he was very serious about his music. For me in the beginning it was fun not something I really took too seriously. For me I was just going to the studio to do something for a friend. Just going to hit the booth and spit my rhymes but there is something dynamic about Trick and I when we get together on a track. When I saw that we had really great chemistry when we got into the studio, something like that I knew that this was something that could turn into something and the rest was history. Me just going to the studio getting in the booth turned into the world being introduced to Trina and us dropping our first hit single; Nann. He encouraged me to be myself and be unapologetic about my style and from then on music became a real rock for me.” 

The self-proclaimed rock star came on the scene with all of the sassiness that you can handle, with her raunchy lyrics on her debut song fans across the world yearned for more of what this Miami queen had to give. In 2021, Trina celebrated 21 years in her hip hop queendom and in true diamond Princess style she took over the South from Atlanta to her hometown, Miami. With 2.5 million records sold, she has been able to handle this male dominated industry with ease. As new female hip hop artists emerge, Trina embraces them as a true queen should,

“seeing the current women in the industry today is a beautiful thing to see. They are unapologetic, they are spicy, they say what they want to say, they dress how they want to dress and they’re coming out into this industry being as authentic as I was when I came out. Women today have a much larger platform then myself and some of my other counterparts did when we entered the scene. So, watching these new artists and even interacting with these new artists has been great. Being sort of you know a mentor to a lot of the new artists is a great feeling. I get the opportunity to hear their sounds, to see their lyrics and get to know them.”

Mentorship is certainly one of the lost arts in the industry. Due to social media, a lot of new artists speak on the lack of guidance they receive from seasoned artists, however, Trina takes a different route and chooses to embrace new talent. How does she feel about being a mentor to the young artists? she says”,

“Some of them look up to me and tell me that they listen to my music and that my music served as an inspiration for them to want to enter into this male dominated industry. So, they get the luxury of engaging with their fans on social media, they get the luxury of dropping their music on social media platforms for everybody to hear at the same time and when I entered the to the industry these platforms didn’t exist. so I encourage them to take advantage of the access that they have now. Having the opportunity to interact with fans and see their reactions and you know have them love on us whether it’s positive or negative is a plus when it comes to the industry. Our fans make this music experience for us.”

As a music artist fashion is one of those things that is a constant. Whether it’s for a red-carpet experience, interview or a stage performance you are expected to look your very best even if it’s at a short moment’s notice. The paparazzi is always on cue to catch each moment in a flash and whether you’re rocking the latest Balenciaga or Fashion Nova, every artist style allows us to see pieces of their personality Out loud. For Trina it’s all about comfort and mood, she says,

“My style and fashion evolve every day. I do what works for me and wear what’s comfortable for me and I can say that I have always been like that. I dress according to how I’m feeling and if I don’t like something I won’t wear it. I enjoy wearing high end fashion and getting dressed to the 9s, but I also can make something that is not end look expensive and that’s one of the joys of being a woman. I’m not super picky and I think that makes you an easy artist to style, because I don’t mind being versatile and trying new things. I don’t care if something is $50 or $5,000, if it looks great and I like it, I’m going to rock it like its $20,000. Fashion is totally all about how you rock it and not about the prices. I don’t mind throwing on some accessories and rocking a good shoe because every woman knows, a shoe will turn any outfit into a masterpiece. Some people get caught up into the price of the item versus how it makes you feel and how it looks when it’s on your body and I would rather spend money on something that makes me feel good and looks good on me verses buying it just because it’s in style. A lot of people expect women in the industry to dress one way, but I literally dress according to how I’m feeling and I’m honestly ok with that. Over the years like any woman, I’ve made some bad choices in fashion, sometimes I can sit and look at a picture from different events and red carpets and be like,

“why in the world did I wear that or why in the world was my makeup like that” but at the time I felt good rocking it and sometimes you just roll with it”

Love and hip-hop Miami was a franchise that gave fans and opportunity to get to know Trina just a little more. Fans got to watch her as she gave a glimpse and to her Caribbean side,

“You know it’s so crazy because for me growing up in Miami, Caribbean culture is big all the way around. Miami has one of the best Caribbean carnivals in the United States because it’s such a melting pot for the Caribbean. We have a lot of Haitians, a lot of Jamaicans, a lot of people from Antigua, a lot of people from the Dominican Republic and of course a lot of people from the Bahamas. So, for me growing up going to the Bahamas from Miami is only a 30-minute flight. it was nothing from me my mom and my sister to hop on the plane and go visit our family. for people to get a glimpse of who I am in that manner was a beautiful thing.”

Growing up in a household that embrace its heritage is something that Trina holds dear to her heart. She says,

‘I absolutely embrace being Caribbean. I love the food, I love going to get fish fry, I love the cultures because it’s all a part of who I am.  A lot of people will go to the islands and experience carnival, they get dressed up they put on the attire, and they dance in the lines in the street, or they’ll take a cruise and go to the islands but if you haven’t been around the people and experienced the food and various different cultures that the islands represent then you truly haven’t been to the islands. My mother made sure that as young as children we embraced our heritage outside of America. The way we ate, the way we speak is all representation of the culture that I grew up around. well yes being Caribbean it’s not just a part of who I am it’s who I am.”

One thing about a Queen is that they will forever go down into history. One thing about Trina is that she will forever go down into history as the Queen of Miami.

Interview: Jazmyne Byrd Creative Direction: Ambika ‘B’ Sanjana

Photography: Stanley Babb  MUA: La’Tara ‘Lala’ Deshazior

Key Hairstylist: Laura Love using Clairol Professional

Hairstylist Asst.: Lillian ‘Lili’ Michel Hairstylist Asst.: Toni Garcia Jackson

Nail Tech: Shanae Davis Wardrobe Stylist: Ambika Sanjana

Wardrobe Stylist Asst.: Brianna Jennings

Project Coordinator: Handz Dirty PR