The pint-sized Miami rapper Entertainment Weekly called "the new queen of randy hip-hop," is back with a whole new vibe on her sophomore Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic Records release, "DIAMOND PRINCESS." With incredible guests like Tweet, Eve, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot, Jagged Edge, Ludacris, and Fabolous, the bad girl who first turned heads with the raunchy rhymes on 2000's RIAA gold-certified Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic Records debut, "DA BADDEST B****H," is in control and badder than ever. "I'm still the same girl," she says, "just more mature. I got a lot of hot joints talking about you know, the money, the jewelry, the sex... but it's just in a whole other way."
Trina's transformation from "DA BADDEST B****H" to "DIAMOND PRINCESS" has a lot to do with her new-found sense of what it means to be an independent woman in the hip-hop world. For instance, the track "Ladies First (featuring Eve)" is "almost like a Thelma and Louise type thing," she says. "We're two strong women, we're in this business. We're just getting our grind on, and it's all about us."
In addition, the calypso-inspired party song, "Rewind That Back" - with fellow Grrrl Power advocate Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliot - finds the two divas exploring their roles as empowered first ladies of hip-hop with real gusto. "We're two females, making dough and having fun," Trina says. "We're holding it down, and we don't need nobody to hold it down for us."
Having said that, it's not just about the ladies. Some of the finest moments on "DIAMOND PRINCESS" are about the battle of the sexes, and feature some of hip-hop's hottest male stars, including Ludacris, who guest stars on the track "My Body."
"I'm telling men to take care," she says. "Talking about how I'm all this, and if you can't handle this, then you need to back up. I know what it is to need guys. Now I'm all about being able to do it myself."
Yes, Trina has her own money, her own vision, on her own terms. Like her mentor, Trick Daddy - whose platinum certified "THUGS R US" (2001) was highlighted by Trina's lascivious rhymes - the talented young rapper's musical journey is about setting an example as a successful entertainer and as a business person. To those ends she's the entrepreneurial force behind the new Diamond Princess Wear clothing line. If she has her way - which she usually does - the "DIAMOND PRINCESS" may also finally get audiences to see Miami-based hip-hop as more than just "booty music." So, how does Trina feel about those possibilities? Admittedly, a little nervous, but definitely up to the challenge.
"I've stepped up the game," she says, "and I can't let myself down. I'm trying to pave a way for everybody that wants to follow in my footsteps."
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