Just because a rapper isn’t conscious or progressive in his rhymes, that does not make him any less fun or stop fans from downloading and enjoying the music. Trinidad James, a Trinidad-born, Atlanta-raised rapper who signed a $2 million deal with Def Jam Recordings in 2012 after releasing just one mixtape, Don’t Be S.A.F.E (Sensitive As F**k Everyday), knows this extremely well.
It didn’t hurt that the tape included the buzzing single “All Gold Everything.” In a matter of months, its popularity helped spread James’ likeness, fashion and “don’t believe me, just watch” catchphrase across clubs and radio across the country. Cars and homes followed as rap purists immediately turned their noses up at Def Jam’s newest signee, crowning him as the next great ignorant Southern rapper. Others, meanwhile, viewed him as a one-hit wonder.
Seemingly oblivious to the critics, James made the 2013 XXL Magazine Freshmen cover and found himself in demand as a performer, from SXSW to Paid Dues Festival to the upcoming Rock the Bells. Despite lackluster reception of the “Females Welcomed” single and no debut album in sight, James didn’t want to have fans wait too long for new music, and this week released a fast food-themed mixtape, 10 Pc Mild.
As far as that age-old saying that there’s no such thing as free lunch, James may just be proving there are exceptions. Named after a combo from his favorite Atlanta fried chicken joint, 10 Pc Mild is not exactly healthy, but it is delectable – if trap music isn’t your equivalent of escargot. Truth of the matter is, James is at the very minimum the prince of trap music. As for the king himself … Gucci Mane? Well, he is on 10 Pc Mild posse cut “Ea$tside” alongside James, Young Scooter, Alley Boy and none other than Childish Gambino (actor Donald Glover).
Booming trap production is the main sonic ingredient of the 10-track, 39-minute mixtape. Only the ethereal “Hip$ter $trip Club” deviates from the norm with its tempo and Drake-style subdued vocals. Elsewhere, James delves into his favorite subjects on “Material Thing$ Hard to Deal With” as G.O.O.D. Music’s CyHi The Prince contributes a technically precise verse to complement James, who laments about “hoes, clothes and that money” lifestyle while admitting to having a “hoe addiction” and exposing “her addiction is coke sniffin, pills sweatin.” This is as autobiographical as 10 Pc Mild gets, yet strangely enough, it still comes across as genuine – because it’s probably indicative of the women in James’ surroundings.
Although Trinidad James doesn’t break any new artistic ground or provide additional substance on this recording, 10 Pc Mild offers a satisfying taste of an artist who plays to his strengths, doesn’t take himself too seriously and has obviously has tons of fun. Detractors are going to continue to moan and groan about how James isn’t real hip-hop, but chances are these are the same people who constantly cheat on their diets. 10 Pc Mild tastes darn good and, as a free download, offers unbeatable value.