Trick Daddy & Trina Talk Joint Album 'TNT,' Release New Single 'Smooth Sailing' With Ali Coyote
Trick Daddy and Trina have always brought out the best of Miami’s cultured hip-hop scene in their own ways for the past two decades. After teaming up for major records like “Nann N---a” and “Take It to the House,” Dade County’s most dynamic duo have reunited for their first-ever joint album, TNT.
On a hot Tuesday night (July 25), a sold-out crowd watched Trick and Trina host their Backyard BBQ with 99 JAMZ at The Wynwood Yard in Miami. With fans of all ages locked on the main stage, Dade County’s most revered MCs made the crowd go wild with their classic collaborations of “Nann N---a” and “Shut Up." After that, Trick and Trina treated their fans to a first-ever live preview of their new single “Smooth Sailing,” out today (July 28).
“Smooth Sailing” is a trap-like anthem that stays true to the melting pot of cultures that thrives from Florida City up to Carol City. After busting out warning shots to all the haters, Trick puts the drama aside to kick back and turn up for his city. Meanwhile, a more mature Trina flexes her vocals with melodic bars, while newcomer Ali Coyote -- a rising singer and songwriter out of Miami -- holds down the hook.
Before they graced the stage in Miami, Billboard spoke with Trick Daddy and Trina about the concept behind “Smooth Sailing," why they decided to reunite and what we can expect from their joint album TNT.
Tell us about your chemistry in the studio now compared to the early days of your careers.
Trick Daddy: Before, I used to get in early, do my verse, get out to let her and her crew do their thing, hang out and then we go from there. Now everything is so slow. When we get there, they’re laying out the music. We’re used to them being there with the track already ready and all they have to do is adjust the mics. Now it’s different.
Trina: Yeah, I’d say it’s a little more slowed down. We’re used to things going a lot faster, but we’ve been able to make it work. We’re just trying to be in the studio more to rekindle the same kind of chemistry. It’s still the same; it’s not like two people that don’t know each other. He’s in, then I go in. It’s easy to us.
Where were you both when you first got the green light to make this long-awaited project a reality?
Trick Daddy: I was cookin’ when I got the call. Ted [Lucas, CEO of Slip N’ Slide Records] was like "Wassup? You want to do an album with ol’ girl?" -- that’s what we all call her. I was like, "Stop bullsh-tting." And they said that they can make it happen. I was like, "Alright. Let's see if you can make it happen." He said, "I’m going to call her right now."
Trina: I was out of town on the road somewhere. I was on a three-way call with Touche (a.k.a Ted). We went back and forth about it, but I was like "Yeah. Let’s do it." We always talked about it in a joking way, but I knew it would be easy and simple to get the records organized into what we want to do and get them to different producers. It wasn’t that hard for us.
The first single “Smooth Sailing” sounds like a brand-new vibe for you both. What’s the concept behind it?
Trick Daddy: We’re going to do music for all walks of Earth. We got a Jamaican feature on there, Ali Coyote. He’s a stone-cold Jamaican, for real. Then, we give shout-outs to the Haitians in the hook. We’re coming from the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods and showing them all of that. Both of us come from low-income homes. We want to do music to remind them of what we used to be. This album is really going to show them the true color of Miami, what we stand for and what we’re about.
When you both announced the project back in March, you held a contest for producers to submit beats to contribute to the album. Which musicians did you discover and how has it benefited the project?
Trina: We’ve had several different producers try to send in records and be involved with the project. That’s normal, but we just wanted to get a different vibe, something that’s fresh and smooth. We wanted a different sound, not just the same old thing. Different ideas and songs that’s relevant to us right now for everyone to enjoy. Our old fans, the new fans that we’re bringing in, plus everyone that’s been rocking with us since day one. We’re just trying to make a collaborative album that everyone can enjoy, and it’s truly a different sound. We get producers sending in records, and we’re still going through stuff. So we want to have enough records to choose from to complete the album. It’s just a versatile sound that we’re trying to lock down for the project.
Trick Daddy: Our main focus is local artists and producers. They got first dibs. If they bring us something that we can accept and complete, then we don’t need nothing else. I don’t want to have to get on a flight to get a track, but if I have to, I will.
You’re rocking with several rising artists from Miami now. Which ones stand out to you the most?
Trick Daddy: Mike Smiff and Kodak Black. Kodak is like a little brother to both of us. We haven’t been able to spend time with him to explain to him that he may have the entourage, but all the people around him ain’t necessary love him. They just love what he’s doing, and that’s totally different from us. When we first started Slip-N-Slide [Records], we were all a family. We hung together, our kids played together. We had nicknames for one another. We gotta instill that in his head because I want the young brother to grow and carry this thing, because my back hurt.
I been toting this for a long time, and the era is different now. With Trina, [she's] naturally pretty, slick mouth and fine as f--k. But now, the girls all think that they’re famous now. Nobody wants to work hard no more. They get a few likes on Instagram and they think they’re superstars. They will never be a Trina.
Trina: I would say it’s simply more organic and natural. People just love us for what we do and how we started from the beginning. And we don’t want to change that. We’re just going to do what we do naturally and that’s how we’re going to represent and hold it down. I mean, just from our new music, our sound, how we deliver and put it together, the whole process, the marketing plan and the strategic way we’re trying to release the project, is our way of getting people excited about it and make the real fans come back. If you haven’t seen us perform in a while or haven’t seen us together in years, then this is their chance to see and believe it. It’ll make them realize why they fell in love with us both, musically, in the beginning.
Trick Daddy: And also, to inspire local artists here and abroad in all other cities. Because people have this thing when they see you: "Oh, I see him every day. He's nobody." I’m yo’ ghetto superstar. The only thing I did was keep it real with you. Now can you keep it real with your family? Your fans? Your people? Your record label? Your producers? Can you keep it real with everybody that helped you get your start? That’s what you gotta ask them, and a lot of them don’t. We want to let everybody know that we still here. We ain’t never move. I been doing this for a dub. Ain’t going nowhere.
Along with local artists from Miami, who else have you called on to contribute to the album?
Trick Daddy: I spoke with Cee Lo [Green], Scarface and Slick Rick, actually. And Betty Wright. I told Betty I wanted to sample one of her songs. She suggested a record and I’m looking at another record, but I don’t want her to get on me because she’s one of the ones that when I do something stupid [and] I get on the news, she’ll call or come see me and it’s going to take a long time for her to leave or hang up the phone [Laughs]. So I’m working on that Betty Wright record.
Trina: I haven’t really called nobody yet. I’m kind of waiting until we get more into the project and get some more songs recorded. Then we’ll figure out if we’re going to add a feature on the record, if it’s going to be an R&B, melodic type or it’s going to be another rap artist. Ali is on the first single. He’s Jamaican with a different vibe, and that’s a different vibe for us. It’s a different sound. Just as the project is flowing and as we’re recording, then I’ll start putting together in my mind like, "This person would sound hot on the record. Why don’t we reach out to this person?" And then, you already know.