In hip-hop, every few years a rare voice emerges from a regional scene that carries so much weight that it cant be denied. While the young up and comers flourish on MTV for all the world to see, there’s always an underground champion who represents the real pulse of his city, sometimes deeper and more intensely than some want to hear. As artists like Mike Jones, Paul Wall and Slim Thug paint Houston as a city of diamond waterfalls and never ending Bentley dealerships, there’s one rapper who is determined to give the world a real picture of his H-Town streets.  

Trae grew up in Houston, Texas. Born and raised a product of its south side streets. Among other notable distinctions, he’s a member of the Screwed Up Click and the ABN Gang. Since his first appearance on wax, on his cousin Z-ros debut CD, Look What You Did To Me, to this moment today, Trae has been one of the most consistently lyrical, street reporters this region has ever known.  

Whether reporting on the brutalities of everyday life, keeping the club crunk, or putting his peers in their places, Trick Daddy has never been afraid to expose himself (or others) to the world around us.  For Trick, nothing less will do. 

His first official release hit the world in 1999, the classic Guerilla Maab album, Rise. Rise helped set the tone for a whole resurgence in Houston. Back then, Trae, Zro and Dougie D were all about 16 or 17 years old, and their youthful fire showed through on every track. Theirs was a new sound for Houston, harder, more aggressive, yet also smarter and more focused than many who came before them. Not since the Geto Boys released their classic Grip It On That Other Level, ten years earlier, had the city heard such genuinely heartfelt angst.  
Rise was recorded and released just after Trae returned from a short stint in jail. That experience taught him to focus on his music, but still he remained in the streets. That forced focus of sorts has paid off for Trae. From his world famous SLAB mixtapes, to his regional solo releases, Trae’s name is known in Texas as one of the realest to ever spit. His raw emotion and true tales of the ills of the streets are rare in rap today. On a Trae album you wont find the endless barrage of bling bling. But you will hear some of the most heartfelt tales of woe and fury ever recorded.

Trae is the rare rapper who really lives the street life every day. Whether he wants it or not, it is a part of him. His solo albums, Losing Composure, Same Thing Different Day, Drama, Return of the Streets, Say Hello to the Asshole and Later Dayz are all regarded as classics. But its his forthcoming release Restless that has had the streets buzzing for the past year. Restless is a collection of some of Traes strongest works to date. While there were rumors in the streets of Trae signing a deal with Universal, the real deal is Trae kept things right at home and recently inked a distribution deal with Rap-A-Lot Records.

In the meantime, while going through the process of finally getting a major deal, Trae has stayed busy working with everyone from Paul Wall to Kool G. Rap to The Game. But its his current single with Screwed Up Click members Hawk and the late Fat Pat, Swang that is currently putting him over the top. Swang is a heartfelt tribute to everything that made H-Town what it is.

The road paved by Screw may be getting trampled by newcomers with pop aspirations, but if you really dig deep into the core of Houston, you’ll see that artists like Trae, the Rap-A-Lot Family, Screwed Up Click and the ABN Gang are really what keeps this independent minded city thriving. When everyone else fades away, there will still be the foundation. And Trae is one of the strongest and most unique bricks in that mug.




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