Don Trip has been generating a buzz on the rap scene for quite some time now.
He blew up with the release of his track "Letter To My Son" and he's back today with a new mixtape, Guerrilla. VIBE caught up with the Memphis rapper to discuss his latest release, upcoming debut album and why he prefers to listen to R&B over rap. --Jazmine Gray
VIBE: What can we expect from your new mixtape Guerrilla?
You can expect honest music, well-rounded music, diverse music—I kind of just got that comment today from supporters actually. You can expect all emotions, all human emotions not just the typical “I’m ballin’ out” records rappers tend to do now ad not just the same records that they expect from me. I just want to please the people that have been supporting me from day one, from when I first started and the people that’s supporting me now.
What would you say is your favorite track?
My favorite record would be a record called “Sorry Mama.” It’s a record about my life and my previous lifestyle. It’s a record about how I came up and is pretty much just saying I know mama had different plans for me. She had higher expectations—I’m on that road now but it’s pretty much almost an apology for the path that I took before I took this path and almost an explanation to her at the same time.
Can you tell us anything about your video "Shut Up" that also drops today?
The “Shut Up” video is actually quite narrative. It’s almost word for word what the song is. It’s pretty much a visual of my exact words.
What was it like working with Wale?
Actually the Wale record was one I already had recorded. We just sent it off to Wale—I wanna say he was on the beginning of his tour and I was on the BET Black College tour at the same time so we couldn’t link up and do it in person. But he actually rocked with the record. It wasn’t a record he was doing just to do. Actually, he started supporting the record as well. So, I can’t say what it’s like to work with him but I can say what it’s like vibin’ with him and after doing that record, I went on a tour with him.
When do you hope to release your album?
We’re looking forward to pushing it out this summer. We don’t got a tentative date right now but for the most part, the album is already finished. It’s titled Help Is On The Way and as far as features, I only got Cee-Lo on the album—well as of now anyway. As far as producers, I got Cool & Dre, T-Minus, The Renegades. I got quite a few producers—Justice League as well.
I read somewhere else that you said something along the lines of you didn’t want to put too many features on the album.
As far as verses, I ain’t want no features. Me being a new artist, I need for people to know and understand who I am not as much as how I work with other artists. A lot of people tend to take that route when they put out their first album, they fill it with features. I feel like the only way for you to really understand Don Trip is for Don Trip to give you him and not him featuring everybody.
I know you said before that you don't listen to other rappers to avoid being comparisons, is that still the case? What music do you actually listen to?
To be honest, I listen to more R&B than rap. Early in my career, I didn’t listen to it to keep from being compared to other rappers but now I don’t listen to it because I don’t find inspiration from the music I hear now. A lot of the music that inspired me from day one is older music. I’d rather listen to like Jay-Z and Andre 3000 of course but now all I listen to is—I’m an R&B fan right now—Trey Songz, Rihanna, Chris Brown (I ain’t intentionally put their names back to back), Beyoncé, John Legend. I’m an R&B fan right now. I mean, I feel like as far as urban music, that’s the only music they put actual emotions in. That’s the only place where Beyoncé could do a song called “Bills, Bills, Bills” and a song after it saying “Independent Women.” In rap music, they tend not to venture out. They only talk about one thing—either you’re gonna talk about coke and that’s all we’re gonna talk about or we’re gonna talk about champagne and that’s all we’re gonna talk about. I feel like it’s not being honest. I feel like—I’m sure Oprah don’t wake up every day and say “I got a billion dollars.” I’m sure it’s other things she could talk about other than that and I don’t know no rappers with a billion dollars. If she’s not carefree, ain’t no reason why all our music should be carefree.