Trinidad James has burst into the hip hop scene with his smash hit “All Gold Everything” and the very interesting viral music video. The track is packaged in his debut mixtape, Don’t Be S.A.F.E, released in mid October. Since then, James has continued to capture headlines after signing to the record label powerhouse, Def Jam Records. Trinidad James’ mantra is to live life care free and to not take things too seriously. This is reinforced by the acronym in the mixtape title, which stands for “Sensitive as Fuck Everyday.” Ironically, listening to the mixtape can have quite the opposite effect on the listener as it is likely to cause stress, anxiety and frustration for hip hop fans.
Trinidad James literally uses the same exact rhyme scheme for close to the entire 10 tracks on his mixtape. This is combined with lyrics that are as about as shallow as a blonde, blue-eyed girl born and raised in Beverly Hills. I understand that you should never listen to Trinidad James for his lyrics, but for the overall “feeling” of his music, however, this is also completely lacking. The production sounds like it was thrown together by one of his boys who just discovered FL Studio a month or two ago. The beats are generally a collection of monotonous drum kit rhythms combined with a cheap, head splitting synth loop. On top of it all, Trinidad James has revealed in an interview on Hot 97 with Peter Rosenburg that he has not even been rapping for over one full year.
If there is anything positive to comment about the project, it would be that Trinidad James is definitely capable of creating a catchy hook like on “Tonk for the Money.” Listeners might also appreciate the tape’s short length as it fails to breach the 30 minute mark. Lastly, James can be credited for his playful references to the gamer culture as he points out the similarity of the instrumental for “All Gold Everything: to the soundtrack of Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64, and naming another track “Madden on GameCube.”
It is a complete travesty that a rapper like Trinidad James can drop a horrendous collection of work on the internet and immediately receive so much attention, while there are artists out there that have dedicated years of their lives to master the craft. He has immediately inked a deal with a major record label in combination with a hefty signing bonus, and this is all because Def Jam knows there is lots of money to be made from Trinidad James. Call me a hater, I could not care less, but all I know is we need to demand more from artists.