Meet hip-hop guru Trinidad James, MTV’s latest Artist To Watch.
These days you make anything extra fabulous by topping it off with a lil’ gold (#KingMidasSyndrome), and that’s all thanks to up-and-coming hip-hop superstar Trinidad James, who made it clear on his hit single “All Gold Everything” that rings, chains, watches — hell, even teeth — look better when a little gold is involved.
Read more about Trinidad James after the jump.
Though James is a native of Trinidad, he grew up in Atlanta, listening to artists like Jay Z and Cam’ron, but the influence from Southern rappers like T.I. and Young Jeezy is abundantly clear in his music. Just take James’ debut mixtape, Don’t Be SA.F.E. (Sensitive As F*** Everyday): Originally released last July, the success of the tape’s smash hit “All Gold Everything” was enough to prompt a re-release that fall along with the song’s video.
The viral hit finds James rolling around town — in the company of an adorable puppy — rocking his staple fro, gold teeth, and plenty of other all-gold accessories. In fact, the single became such a staple that it spawned an official remix video featuring ATL legends Young Jeezy, 2 Chainz, and T.I., and mostly importantly, it landed the new rapper a $2 million joint venture deal with Def Jam Records and his own label, Gold Gang Records, in December.
But don’t be fooled: Even with his passion for gold on errythang, James is a pretty sensible guy, telling MTV News that he wouldn’t spend the entire check from his “historic” deal on shiny new accessories. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy, but I’m just not the type of guy to be like, ‘Oh, ahh, let’s go buy a Maserati,'” he said. Not even if that Maserati was plated in gold!
And when T.I.’s on your side, you know things are going pretty well. (Like, gold might turn PLATINUM.) While filming the video for “All Gold Everything (remix),” T.I. explained exactly why James is here to stay. “Trinidad is an example of that new generation of what’s next to come, because there’s still a lot of talent out here,” said Tip. “He’s gonna be one of the ones spearheading the charge to the future.”
Nowadays, the MTV Artist To Watch is currently working on his solo debut album for Def Jam Records, and we’re anticipating even more hits that will resonate everywhere from Atlanta to New York City and beyond. And if you need more gold? (Because who doesn’t?) Just watch his live performances below, and catch James on tour through August.
+ Download Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything.”
+ Watch an “Artist To Watch” interview with Trinidad James.
Photo credit: Gavin Guidry