Uh-Huh, Okay: Trick Daddy’s Hater Anthem Still Rings Loud & Clear (Video)
In 2000, Trick Daddy released Book of Thugs: Chapter AK Verse 47, the third in an eight-LP discography that culminates with 2009’s Finally Famous: Born a Thug, Still a Thug. The Miami, Florida rapper has continued to make music into the 2010s, but his most celebrated works run roughly from 1998-2005, during which time he released seven singles that cracked the Top 20 on U.S. Rap charts. But for every “Nann Nigga” (1998) there are deeper album cuts not often considered when reminiscing on the MC who put on for his city like few others. Songs like 1997’s “They Don’t Live Long” captured a man lamenting the pain of the struggle while upholding the kind of street justice that so often feeds into a harmful cycle, in itself a characteristic of the brash, unfettered choice of lyrical content blended with the easygoing mentality found throughout his career. Even his biggest single to date, “I’m a Thug” (2001), grappled with issues of racism in a way that allowed people to have fun. With the word “thug” having been, in the minds of many, co-opted by the media as a replacement for the N word in recent years, Trick Daddy took on the “thug life” mentality and brought it into the faces of mainstream America and he did it unapologetically.
And, while not often mentioned in the same breath as contemporaries making music for the everyday people in times of hardship, Trick Daddy embraced in-your-face ostentation while simultaneously aiming to enlighten and uplift. While some may argue that he didn’t fully arrive until his 2001 platinum-selling album Thugs Are Us, Book of Thugs even more so embodies the dichotomy of street life and holiness. Chapter AK Verse 47 boldly married the imagery of an assault rifle with the Bible, with poignant songs like “America” – a mournful ode whose second verse isn’t unlike Mos Def’s “Mr. Nigga” – packed into close proximity with songs like “Walkin’ Like a Hoe.” But there is perhaps no other song that so perfectly exemplifies the concurrent yet divergent narratives as “Shut Up,” whose title is fitting because, despite what critics may say, Trick Daddy really has been saying something all along.
Rambunctious, volatile, and a guaranteed hype inducer, “Shut Up” featured Trina, Co, and Duece Poppito (f/k/a Duece Poppington) and was as message driven as it was flashy. With references to the designer fashion he’s able to afford, Trick Daddy also touches on the hard fight he had to wage to be in such an affluent position and he actually argues for the simpler life. But that’s not to say that this isn’t a party record. From the full-blown horn section and the undeniably catchy hook, this track is likely to stir up memories of rowdy fun, and remains a favorite selection for all the naysayers out there.
Trick Daddy continues to perform today, and is helping to raise awareness about National H.I.V. Testing Day by taking to the stage in Broward County, Florida, later this month. Trick Daddy has also confirmed his appearance in the forthcoming season of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Miami.”