Rapper Trinidad James Dropped by Def Jam

Trinidad James proved to be a polarizing southern rap artist that just recently found popularity. When he first dropped on the scene, many either loved or hated him for “All Gold Everything”. While many praised him for “being different”, plenty of other people thought his “eccentric” style was borderline coonery. Regardless, he eventually signed a deal with Def Jam and was placed on the XXL Freshmen List for 2013. Beyond many people’s wildest imaginations, Trinidad James was hot.


Trinidad James: Gold or Plastic?

As much as Trinidad James had, he was also seeing downward progression. His mixtape 10pc. Mild did very little for a worthwhile buzz outside of Atlanta and the south. After that, there was very little buzz to go along with a lingering Def Jam contract. Furthermore, he made some disparaging comments about NY and their music scene. After a while, it was looking as if Trinidad James was going to actually lose out on establishing his musical legacy.

And then came his ever informative Twitter status that actually explained his present situation.

TrinidadTweetThis predicament actually led to some queries and questions. Many would want to ask what was the issue with his Def Jam deal. Others would want to actually really try to understand why he was “broke” when he had just had a $2 million joint venture deal. And then, there is the ever evolving question: is Trinidad James an actual “one hit wonder” or is he just readjusting his career?

Personally, I hope he was just joking when he said he was “broke”. However, there may be some truth to that (unless he is just trolling).


Five Lessons to Learn from Trinidad James

Still, there are five lessons that can be learned from this record label setback:

1.) Financial security and responsibility: I don’t know what more to say about this. However, I will talk about it anyway: as an artist, you have to make sure you take care of your money. What is there to say when, as an artist with much buzz as Trinidad James, that you claim to be “broke” on Twitter? You are either vying for attention and retweets or you are actually facing some financial issues. I hope Trinidad James serves as a lesson that “all gold everything” isn’t everything without all green everything in your bank account.


2.) Signing to a label is best for artists with a worthwhile track record: I would have rather for Trinidad James to actually get his musical situation to be more productive. Personally, he signed before he established his brand and movement. Bigger tours, merchandising, and some independent sales would have helped his case. Even after any deal would fizzle, he would be actually still able to do business as usual.


3.) Make sure your music up to par: A lot of Trinidad James’ issue is that is music wavers between “good” to “okay”. His first AllGoldEverythingmixtape, re-released as a commercial release, did garner a gold single. However, he didn’t have much going for him outside of “All Gold Everything”. And the only reason that song worked was due to its catchy production and his molly reference. He did say some cool stuff. Still, his music is not compelling enough for many to truly care about his career post Def Jam.


4.) What happened to that $2 million: This makes me wonder what the stipulations of his deal actually were. Was the $2 million a cash advance? Or, was it more or less the amount they planned on spending for his marketing and promotion? Where the money was supposed to be spent would explain a lot about Trinidad James’s financial situation. Also, it would lead to other aspiring artists understanding how major label record deals actually function.


5.) Trinidad James can rebound if he makes the right decisions: Whether this is the end for Trinidad James is up to Trinidad James. Plenty of artists have fell into obscurity from wayward record deals. However, there are those that regrouped and made worthwhile careers for themselves. If Trinidad wants to rebound, then he has to apply what he learned and go from there. Otherwise, he will be another one hit wonder that no one wonders about.