The outrage over Trinidad Jame$ popping shit on stage about New York currently being pwned by Atlanta musically is just another storm in a white plastic cup of Henny and Sprite. Since the show where this incident occurred, a number of rappers dudes and NY residents have expressed their disgust with Trinidad’s comments publicly, before Maino appointed himself the new sheriff in town like a young Reggie Hammond and recorded himself voicing his disapproval in no uncertain terms. To wit: “You’re going to respect my city, son. ‘Cos if you don’t, then we’re going to have to dance a different way”. It all went down from there, as Trinidad mentioned he had a video dropping the next day explaining his position, which Maino mistook as a promise for a public apology. Turns out the said clip was four minutes of him explaining why he wasn’t apologising but still copped multiple pleas, including admitting that everyone knows he’s terrible at rapping, shouting out a bunch of brands (and Jay Z, natch) while breaking basically every entry in the Conservative Rap Coalition style guide.
It’s not like this is the first time that New York has ever been shitted on in their own backyard. Have we forgotten about the 1995 Source Awards where Snoop Dogg and Suge Knight both spazzed out on the crowd? And that whole thing with Snoop kicking over the building in the Dogg Pound video for ‘New York, New York’. It’s also worth noting that due to a lack of a modern-day Keith Murray replacement being in attendance at the show in question, nobody hit Trinidad Jame$ with a barstool like they would have in the “good old days”, which is clearly the only way to effectively nip these types of situations in the bud. To Maino’s credit, he actually manned up and spoke to the dude rather than just providing the standard butthurt comments to some crappy TMZ Rap website or throwing Twitter shade, which is CRC-approved behaviour and almost makes up for the fact that he was involved in that last painfully mediocre Rakim album.
In terms of publicity stunts, this whole exercise has clearly been a success in terms of grabbing headlines and getting coverage in the mighty ‘No Country for Old (Rap) Men’ column, which is without a doubt the pinnacle of Trinidad Jame$’s career thus far. As for his actual point that all the rap getting played on radio is either from Atlanta or owes a heavy stylistic debt to The A? Pretty much, thanks to Clear Channel’s Axis Of Evil–style radio survey techniques. But on a deeper level, I find it troubling that New Yitty is so easy to troll these days, as Kendrick ‘Hobbit Hands’ Lamar proved with his ‘Control’ cameo recently. At this point, pretty much any rapper with an album coming out should start talking smack about NY and kick back while they wait for the numerous response records and blog posts to generate more free publicity than getting involved in a shoot-out at Hot 97 could ever generate.
It’s only natural that the rest of the rap world is going to pop shots at the place where it all started as a basic coming-of-age ritual, in much the same way that every son wants to outdo and/or beat his dad in a fist fight at a certain point. You’d like to think that New Yawkers would have thicker skin. Then again, perhaps it’s just that Maino’s two-way isn’t exactly ringing off the hook right now and he thought he’d just Papoose the game. Which reminds me, I eagerly await the inevitable Pap 20-track mixtape response with a Photoshopped cover featuring Trinidad’s head being used to play stickball in a Brooklyn parking lot…