Those of us who are familiar with Trina are very familiar with her alluring beauty, raunchy lyrics (“Da Baddest Bitch” and “No Panties”) and dangerous curves, which have landed her on the covers of men’s magazines and in the minds of high school boys around the nation. In embracing career enhancement and evolution, she has continued to make music, but in different ways. Recently, the Diamond Princess celebrated ten years in the hip hop industry with the release of her fifth studio album Amazin’. She has been making her rounds promoting her brand; she is a proud entrepreneur, a fashionista and a musician…and let’s not forget, a Million Dollar Girl.
URB: You’ve been the Diamond Princess for several years now. How was the transition from the Baddest Bitch to a Millionaire Girl for you?
TRINA: It’s just a part of growing. I think of myself as a woman that continues to grow, change up. As things get different, you’re not a wild young girl, you grow. It’s a different element. Every day I’m learning something new. I’m learning different things. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago. I’m going through different phases in my life. I’ve been through different changes, and it’s beautiful.
You’ve traveled around the world. How has it been running into other Million Dollar Girls?
[Laughs] I think it’s a beautiful thing when positive, influential women are building a career, whether it’s in television, music, makeup or hair. As long as you’re putting forth that effort to be independent and driven, it’s really important. It’s no longer the age of “I’m waiting for somebody to do something for me.” I’m out here doing it on my own. I’m making something happen for me. I’m trying to get to a certain success level. That’s a great thing for women, to be independent and not have to depend on nobody to do things we need done for ourselves.
Do you feel there’s a lot of competition to stay on top as a female hip hop artist?
There’s competition with everything you do. Whether you’re a model, artist, actress or whatever. With the music industry being so male-dominated, as a woman, you have to constantly fight to open up doors, and tear down barricades. You have to gain respect. You’re working constantly for guys. I think that’s the unbalanced part of the game. You have to take the bad with the good. Keep working and be consistent, to stay afloat. It’s not easy to make it 10 years in the game and to a fifth album. Many people can’t say [they’ve done] that. I think that’s one of the great accomplishments I have: the persistence to be so focused. I’m never at an “I have enough” point. I’m constantly saying, “I gotta do better, I can get to the next level.” I went to the UK and now I want to get to this level. It’s constantly a growing phase.
Tell us about your new group, Pretty Money.
They’re a diverse mix of R&B and hip hop artists. Pretty Money is a bunch of young, fresh girls who were energetic and hungry. They have beautiful voices and work hard. I go in the studio and see them produce and it takes me back to when I first started. It’s nice being on the opposite side, as opposed to being the artist. I can tell them “these are the do’s and don’ts, these are the things you’ll have to go through, it’s not easy, and I can’t promise you 10 years in the game like I have. I have to be the person to make that dream come true. It’s a beautiful thing to collaborate with girls. I notice that I came up when it was all guys. I was the one getting babied and catered to, and now I’m turning it over to do the same thing with them. I constantly tell them to stay focused and driven, and work hard, because it’s a hard business; and to be a woman, you have to be a strong woman to conquer everything you’re trying to accomplish.
Strong words! What else do you have in the works?
I have a cosmetic line of lip glosses and eyelashes, a bunch of girlie stuff that’s coming out next month. I’m so excited about it! I love girlie and glamoury stuff. I’m also revamping my perfume line. In the fall I’ll have a new fragrance out, and a whole new décor about it. I’m doing a TV show that I’m shooting now, set to come out in the fall as well. TV has a whole different vibe than music. Its fun, it’s all about growing, and going to the next phase. You can see that hard work really pays off. It’s all about building empires. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m happy to be in the situation I’m in now.