Da Baddest and The Best


What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.

Zig Ziglar

In several previously published posts I used a quote from author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. He was one of my personal favorites when I started in the newspaper and publishing business. One of my clients encouraged me to read one of his books, and I never looked back. For a certainty we all want to do our best at our jobs. It would be wonderful if we are considered the best in our field. Our featured artist this week has worked to become one of the best female rappers of our time. Katrina Laverne Taylor, known as Trina, has also received the nickname, “Da Baddest B**ch” ; telling everyone throughout the hip hop community that she has reached the pinnacle of Southern rap music. The nickname is more than just the title of her first studio album, it also lets all know that she is the best at what she does. Trina is one of the best in hip hop music.

Trina was born December 3, 1978, and calls Miami, Florida home. The city of Miami has long been a fertile base for giving birth to many very good hip hop artists in the southern US. Trina’s natural talent would not go unnoticed in such a hotbed for rappers. In her spare time, Trina wrote rap rhymes, which caught the attention of Miami rapper Trick Daddy whom then approached her in 1998 to be featured on his song “Nann Nigga”. The song was later released as the lead single from his second studio album, www.thug.com, which was released in September 1998. The single later became a hit as it reached number sixty-two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number three on the Rap Songs chart. Thanks to the success of the single, Trina gained popularity and signed a record deal with Slip-n-Slide Records with distribution from Atlantic Records. Trina then began work on her début album.

On March 21, 2000, Trina’s début album Da Baddest B**ch was released. The album debuted at number 33 on the US Billboard 200 and number 11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Da Baddest B**ch was certified Gold in November 2000 by the RIAA. It stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for thirty-nine weeks and on the Hip-Hop/R&B album chart for forty-nine consecutive weeks. Like many artists before her, and some today, Trina worked with input from various writers and musicians on her first offering. In an interview for Crusade magazine online, Trina commented that on this album, much of the work was done for her; she did not have creative control, but simply delivered lyrics. “Everybody was like we got this beat, we got this, we got that, we want you to get in there and write to this track, write to this song, write to this topic.” She would certainly gain control of her albums in the future.

After promotion for her debut album ended in mid-2000, Trina began recording music with Missy Elliott to create her second studio album. Recording sessions lasted from 2000 to 2002. Trina was able to choose her own production, name of the songs, and write whatever she wanted to write. She told TheCrusade.net, “It’s more what Trina’s about, how Trina looks, how Trina feels, the things that Trina consists of.” Whenever I speak with female hip hop artists, I am always reminded by them about the “male dominated” genre. For that reason I feel it was important that Trina work with Missy Elliott on this project. Elliott would understand the need for Trina to create with her own voice. She would then be comfortable with music overall.

Another change came in the featured artists on her albums. Of course there would be familiar Miami rappers like Trick Daddy, Rick Ross and Lil’ Brianna. However, she also began to work with artists like Ludacris and Lil’ Wayne. The second and final single from Trina’s third studio album Glamorest Life, “Here We Go”, featuring Kelly Rowland, was released in September 2005. The single reached seventeen on the Hot 100, number eight on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number three on the Hot Rap Songs chart. The single also reached the Top 20 in most countries worldwide, becoming Trina’s first majorly successful single. The single was certified Gold in the US in June 2006.

Trina’s fourth studio album reminded her fans and others that she remains at the top of her field. Still da Baddest was released on April 1, 2008. The album reached number six on the Billboard 200, number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number one on the Top Rap Albums chart, becoming Trina’s first album to top charts. First week sales were 47,000. The album gave us a glimpse into what Trina was going through in her personal life. On October 5, 2005, during an interview with Wendy Williams, Trina confirmed that she and Wayne were happy and engaged to be married. Trina later became pregnant by Wayne, but suffered a miscarriage and eventually the two broke up. Still da Baddest was the first album since the breakup with Lil’ Wayne. In an interview with Billboard, Slip-N-Slide Records President Ted Lucas stated, “The songs selected for the album were tracks ladies needed to hear-about maturing and keeping focus […] Her fans know she’s rough and they like that. So she’s back with a little of that, but she’s matured as well. That’s why she’s still the baddest.”

Here we are sixteen years since her first studio album, and Trina has experienced a lot of life in between. The music is still coming as she has released several singles, and is planning her sixth studio album release soon. At thirty-seven years old Trina is now a seasoned veteran in an industry full of very young artists. She is still da baddest, and the best.

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