To the average Hip-Hop listener, the Detroit scene consists of Eminem and his merry men. But to those who live and breathe the culture, the Motor City roster includes MC’s like Phat Kat, Guilty Simpson, Black Milk, Slum Village, the late J Dilla, Frank n Dank, Royce Da 5’9”, and Trick Trick.
Now the last person named on that list is not to be confused with Miami’s Trick Daddy, because they’re two completely different people.
Having more connections than that sketchy guy you call up for bargains on courtside seats, the man born as Christian Mathis is like the central hub of everything Hip-Hop over in the “The D.”
Despite the fact that he’s only two albums deep, he still managed to make headlines with the beat down that newcomer Yung Berg received at one of his establishments, and most recently, his homophobic comments about him not wanting gays to buy his new record The Villain.
Some might call his actions a publicity stunt in order to bring more attention to his own movement, and others will suggest that he means what he says. But whatever conclusion you draw, chances are he won’t give a damn about what you think regardless.
iHipHop.com: Everybody knows about the situation Yung Berg had at one of your clubs, can you shed a little more light on it?
Trick Trick: It was a f*cked up situation on [his] part, and I don’t give a f*ck because if you bring that negative attention in my direction, cause you’re going to get dealt with.
It can me or somebody else around me, I don’t always have to be there, but in this case thank God I was there because I saved the n*gga’s life. I’ll say that much, you know what I’m saying? He could have been dead, that’s where it was headed, until I ran over there.
I didn’t even know that was the little n*gga on the ground, I just thought it was a normal club fight. Now he’s making more and more bad decisions, and I learned at an early age that hard heads make a soft ass. Right now you got these spoil-ass kids that get handed everything and they don’t know how to earn while being slick at the tongue.
They think they can say whatever they want to, and that’s not the case. Then he walked up to Maino saying, “I heard you were talking reckless about me.” You’re supposed to walk up swinging; you don’t walk up just running your mouth. But there are certain people involved—so I can’t get into it that much because I’m not a name-dropping mothaf*cka.
iHipHop.com: Okay, fair enough… Talk about your album The Villain a little bit. How would you say you’ve grown from The People vs. Trick Trick?
Trick Trick: I’ve grown so much from that album, that album was just me trying to satisfy everybody else with simple production. I only listen to three songs off that album, actually four. But now I can honestly say that I can listen to the whole album, and enjoy the whole joint, because there are so many changes as far as production. My production game done stepped up, plus I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Dre and a lot of other different musicians.
There are just so many things I did this time around that I didn’t have the opportunity to do back then. I have the best people on this album like Eminem, Kid Rock, Proof God rest his soul before he passed away, Lil Jon, Royce Da 5’9”, and Young Buck. I recorded this album comfortably, and I did what I wanted to do this time.
iHipHop.com: So you weren’t happy with The People vs. Trick Trick?
Trick Trick: No I wasn’t… I wasn’t at all… Motown just came in the picture, and we had a single, ‘Welcome To Detroit’ which had gotten leaked, and I didn’t intend for that to be my first single, I wanted it to be second single. But when it leaked, everybody was saying that they didn’t do it, when the stupid-ass major label leaked that sh*t. But it got forced out, and I had to take mixtape sh*t, and make an album out of it. I wasn’t comfortable with it, but I liked some of the stuff I did, but I wasn’t satisfied with it.
iHipHop.com: Have you and Eminem always had a strong relationship?
Trick Trick: Yup, since the beginning… Proof knew Em from school, and I knew Proof since he was younger. I had seen Eminem a couple of times, but I didn’t know he rapped. Then Proof would push him to rap, and when I first heard him, I was like, “Sh*t, that n*gga is cold!” So we were cool since then on some other sh*t, and it just grew.
iHipHop.com: When you were recording all those features you just talked about earlier for The Villain, did thoughts of being overshadowed ever cross your mind?
Trick Trick: No it didn’t, because I put this project together and I felt like a composer more on this album. One of my stronger passions is production, putting sh*t together, and making something bigger. I think of it like this: If I’m going to get help, why not get it from the best?
If I’m going to make something and put somebody on it, I’m going to put some of the baddest mothaf*ckas that did it on there. I don’t worry about them overshadowing me, because I’m going to bring “me.” But having too much of me would have probably have aggravated me, you know what I’m saying?
iHipHop.com: [Laughs] Speaking of your production skills, was that always a hidden talent of yours?
Trick Trick: I was always into producing from day one. It wasn’t until I recorded The People vs. Trick Trick that I started working with other producers. On that album I worked with Eminem, Jazze Pha, and Mr. Porter, and that was the first time I ever performed over somebody else’s tracks. But on this album, I shared it a little bit more.
iHipHop.com: So with Motown dropping the ball with your first project; is that ultimately why you left and got a situation over at KOCH?
Trick Trick: Man, Motown is not a good spot for rap period. They have to prove to me otherwise with another artist because they’re not going to experiment on me anymore. Sylvia Rhone’s old tactics and methods are played out and they don’t work anymore. It’s the same business, but it’s a new game with new people and better ways of marketing and promotion. She doesn’t have what it takes, she’s on some Temptations stuff, and that b*tch doesn’t know anything about Hip-Hop.
So there’s no way in f*ck I would have allowed [them] to put another album out on me. They put my People vs. album out two days after Christmas against Mary J. Blige and Jamie Foxx. No way in the world is a new artist supposed to come out two days after Christmas up against Mary J. Blige and Jamie Foxx with a half-worked single. Who would do something so f*cking stupid? So f*ck that…
iHipHop.com: [Laughs] A lot of people view you as the next big thing to come out of Detroit. How do you view yourself?
Trick Trick: You know what I do? I ride the wave. If I stop and start concentrating on what’s going on, it’s going to take focus off of where I’m going because I have so much further to go. I just keep moving forward, I don’t look at myself…