Trae Tha Truth is BACK….on Houston airwaves, moving forward and making plans for the future. His signature raspy voice has been missing on Houston radio for about five years, but now that has all changed. Houston’s all new hip-hop radio station 93.7 The Beat debuted Trae’s hit single, “Hold Up”, featuring Diddy, Young Jeezy and hustle gang member T.I., off one of his most anticipated mixtapes I Am King. “That’s a blessing man, it’s been a long time coming. A lot of people who find themselves going through a situation I was going through would tend to give up or accept the fact that they would probably never have the chance again. God showed me that if I keep the faith, everything is possible. Not only did I stay standing and stay relevant, I became hotter than I was and I’m finally back on Houston airwaves,” tells Trae.
In 2009, Trae’s annual community event “Trae Day,” declared to him by then Houston mayor, Bill White, held on the campus of Texas Southern University, disrupted in gunfire. This ignited a very live radio dispute with one of the KBXX 97.9 the Box’s on-air personalities, when Trae called in to talk about what transpired. The incident, would ultimately, leave the rapper banned from 97.9 and all other Radio One stations for good. “It was like a gift and a curse. The situation wasn’t right, but I moved past it, that’s part of me being grown. I don’t want everybody to think it was just about radio play; it was much bigger. My vision and what I try to do for this city is more than just the music. They don’t call me the Hometown Hero for nothing.”
A hometown hero indeed and with a formable radio backing, Trae is now able to utilize these opportunities to help his city more, giving everyone the chance to be a part of the bigger picture. “Just think about Trae Day. I have anywhere from 5000-7000 people out there easy, just off my Twitter and Instagram. Now imagine all the people who need help that didn’t even have an outlet to know what was going on and missed out on that opportunity. Now you have 93.7 that can actually let people know. If I decide to get up one day and do something for the community, I have the platform where I can reach out to 93.7 and they can let the people know. Not too long ago we had an event were a 100 kids got to go ice skating for free; people didn’t even know. The only way they knew, were from the lucky people who got it from following me on Twitter and Instagram. Yes, a lot of people showed up, but imagine how many more people would have had the opportunity.”
Trae credits social media as one of the ways he’s been able to stay relevant despite the ban and it being how he found out that his music had finally made it back on Houston airwaves. “I had just made it to Atlanta to start back recording and it hit my timeline on Twitter, Instagram and my text messages started blowing up.” It may have not been a complete surprise to Trae that his single would be played on 93.7 the beat, as he hints he kind of knew that he might surface the rotation soon enough, but his fans all over Houston, were anything less than exalted by the return to his beloved H-Town radio waves. “I didn’t know the impact would be as big as it became. I guess as time goes by and you go through what you go through and sometimes people tend to forget or move on, but actually when they played my song, people instantly started tripping. It was like whoa. Everything is continuously going right. I was already yelling 2014 was the year of Tha Truth and the radio station was already going to be backing me in the city. I pray midnight prayers every night and they always tend to be answered,” says Trae.
The past certainly never left Trae crippled in any way, shape or form. He kept pressing on, making music and doing shows. He relied on the support of the streets and the community and continued to give his fans the music they wanted.
Now the world is seeing what I have going on and seeing how much I put on for the city of Houston and Texas. Everyone is going to get to see it as a whole because I had to travel everywhere else to make sure I stayed relevant. Now, even when I do have to travel, I have the support of not only the streets, but now 93.7 The Beat standing behind me. Imagine when more of my records hit Houston airwaves. At one point and time, even when I was on the radio before I was banned, I was one of the only people that was on the radio consistently to where it was understood. It was powerful back then, but imagine how it will be now. I wasn’t as big as I am now.
Trae Tha Truth aligned himself with the King of the South, T.I.’s, Grand Hustle back in 2012 on a joint venture deal between Grand Hustle and Trae’s ABN Label. “In this industry, I’m probably one of the most respected hands down. I’m the one who deals with everybody and does music with everybody. Everyone has genuine love for me, so it was only one thing missing in my situation because the music is there, the talent is there, the hustle is there. They knew the one thing I was missing was someone to actually get behind me, knowing how much I was being blocked at all angles and I think this was the last piece of the puzzle.”
That same year Trae would face another obstacle when he was shot outside of a Houston nightclub. That’s when rapper J Cole stepped in to place some perspective on Trae’s career and life, in turn helping Trae to understand the validity he serves as an artist. “He was like I want to get you away. I want to try to give you a new start, so you can get out here and see things that we are not able to see and take from what you get to see and use it as motivation to create your next moves. I went out there and it was crazy. A lot of people knew who I was and I would have never thought people in Scotland and London would know who a Trae Tha Truth was. He showed me that its so much more to life; you just have to focus on it. We all have our own stories, but its what we make out of it. With my story I had a black cloud over me for the last four years and I finally took that turn and now its moving in a different direction.”
Trae’s direction may have shifted gears, but his demeanor and composition of music will never waver, even if people thought it would when he signed to Grand Hustle and his mixtape, I Am King, proves Trae is the same, but with a greater confidence in his craft now. “My first album came out in 1999, its 2014. If I haven’t changed by now, I’m not gonna change. The thing that was good with I Am King, is it was a surprise. It wasn’t that people doubted me, they just didn’t know which way I was going to go or how it would sound. A lot of people were curious to see if I’d switch my style up now that I was with Grand Hustle and wondering if I would be doing pop records or whatever. My whole thought process was if I shock them with this mixtape and they embrace me with this tape, nobody is going to be able to tell me nothing anymore and they did exactly what I thought they were going to do. That’s what I mean when I say consistent. If you go back and do the history on every one of my songs, you will never find anything recycled or half ass. That’s just showing how long its been and how consistent I’ve been. I really feel like I haven’t even hit my prime yet. I’m comfortable now and that’s just off I Am King, so imagine how much longer I have to go because when artists feel comfortable that’s when they do the craziest music because they just feel like they ain’t to be f—-d with.
Not even letting the dust settle from I Am King, Trae has already deemed that his upcoming album with slay anything he ever did, including this mixtape. “My album is going to murder this mixtape. I have a lot of music that has the capabilities of winning Grammys on this new album. I’ve raised a certain bar. I use to be super humble about it, but now I’ve realized I have this talent for a reason, so now I have to let it be known. With I Am King, I started letting it be known and when I did that, I made people into a believer.” But Trae reveals that he’s going to sit on the album for a bit to build up even more anticipation. “I still have a long life to live with I Am King before I go that route. I’m going to let all forms of energy exhaust out of I am King. The element of surprise is perfect too because you never know. I’m not even going to keep feeding them, Ima just sit back. Some people feel like its just luck, like when someone hits a game winning shot and people say “Oh” they just got lucky. I want them to feel like that with me and then when they see me come down half court backwards this time and shoot that same shot and hit it again, I want to see their reaction and I hate to sound like that because I’m not cocky or arrogant.”
The truth is an underlining component to what makes a person genuine and to have the support from his fans, who stood beside him and the ability to do for others in his own community, has kept Trae determined to darken the traces of his legacy. One thing is for certain and what will always hold true to form, is that no matter what, you can’t ban the TRUTH.
A lot of people who know me, know I always embrace people the same, humbly, everywhere I go. Its automatically a family atmosphere. People don’t understand that I help so many people in the community. I do that as being a big homie or big brother. That’s what gives me my drive. People wonder how I keep the strength to do this knowing I’ve been through so much. The best feeling on earth for me, is when I can actually lightens somebody else’s face up. I see it and I’m happy that I see it because I know. Everybody has that one person in their city or state that makes them proud. I guarantee you when it comes to this city, I made them proud in the streets and I made them proud just being the big homie through the community, but now its time for me to kick in and I’m about to make them proud of this music. Everybody has their opportunity, I sat back and waited on mine, now I’m about to make my statement.
Coming off a high from his mixtape and the extreme amount of recent support from Houston radio, the ABN rapper, known for spending around 16 to 17 hours at a time in the studio, is keeping pretty busy these days. “Of course I got the new deal with What The Funny. The cartoon is executively produced by Marlon Wayans and Omar Epps and I’m getting my I AM TRAE app ready to launch again on ITunes and Android.” He also has a “Banned” radio show with Skee 24/7, working on the Hustle Gang group album, helping release prison art inspired by the incarceration of his brother and working with his nonprofit Angel by Nature, while preparing to go on tour. “Life comes with the good and bad and I’ve experienced both, more bad than good, but this is my time to reverse it. I had that black cloud over me. I had a lot of f—–d up s—t happen back to back. It was like getting the wind knocked out of me and when I could half way think to catch my breath, a whole other set of wind was getting taken from me. Any average person would have said f—k it, let me stop breathing. I don’t know how I did it other than God and not only did I get my breath back, I got my strength back and I came back to get on that ass! I don’t have any regrets; at the end of the day the city is me and I am them. I’m going to make the people that rock with me proud.”