In his own typically plain-spoken style, hip-hop artist Trick Daddy pulls no punches on his fourth album, Thugs Are Us. "I want everybody to understand me," he explains. "I don't want people to get aggravated or disgusted with something that I might say, because that's the way that I was brought up."
Delineating the thug life is Trick's musical mission, taking the template of gangsta rap and kicking it up another notch via graphically realistic tales of street life in his native Miami. Thugs Are Us emerges as an impressively eclectic mix of styles, from the no-holds-barred anthem "I'm a Thug" to the slow-burning "Where U From," with high-energy workout "Take It To Da House" and the straightforward "N Word" helping to complete the picture.
Trick first entered the spotlight as Trick Daddy Dollars, a featured rapper on "Scarred," a 1996 track by Luke Campbell of 2 Live Crew. A year later he delivered his solo debut album, Based On a True Story, recently reissued by Atlantic, in conjunction with the Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic release of Thugs Are Us.
Trick followed that effort with 1998's hard-hitting, gold-certified WWW.THUG.COM, and produced a double whammy in 2000 with the inclusion of that album's track "Shut Up" on the Any Given Sunday soundtrack and with his own Book of Thugs Chapter A.K., Verse 47 album, which also went gold.
The new release features a grab-bag of some of hip-hop's hottest producers - including Righteous Funk Boogie and Roc - as well as such stellar musical talent as Duece Poppi and Tre+6. Throughout, Trick's uncompromising talent shines through.
"Being a thug is being in control," he says, "having your own mind, and doing what you want to do." As Thugs Are Us heads past gold and towards platinum, it seems that Trick Daddy is one thug who's doing just that.