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<> on November 5, 2014 in New York City.

10 Things You May Not Know About Trina

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Katrina Taylor, also known as Trina aka "Da Baddest Bitch," celebrates her 35th birthday today! It's been 16 years since she hit the scene back in 1998 (what grade were you in?) making her debut on Slip-N-Slide artist, Trick Daddy's hit single, "Nann." Since then Trina's maintained her sustainability in this male-dominated industry and has been dubbed one of the most influential women in hip-hop by Billboard—something you may not have known.

In celebration of her birthday, we're giving you 10 things you may not know about Trina. Happy Birthday to Miami's own!

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Trina jumped on Trick Daddy's "Nann" after the rapper wanted her to 'go toe to toe" with him from a girl's perspective.

"Trick knew that I was feisty and could hold my own. He knew if he needed someone to talk trash, without acting or forced, he knew that'd be me," she told Billboard.

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Slip-N-Slide wasn't here for Trina's songs about love for her sophomore album, Diamond Princess, but gave her the green light after seeing her rise to stardom with Da Baddest Bitch.

"The label was always against the love songs or the slow records. They love the pop, raw songs. There was always a fight. But... they let me simmer down and agreed that I could do more of what I wanted to do."

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You'll never catch Trina in any hip-hop beef.

"Beef is a waste of energy and time. Beef doesn't pay the bills. Beef doesn't put food on the table. I have to take care of what I need to do so I'm good for the next 10-years. I don't have time for that type of lifestyle. My girlfriends and I were the types that supported each other. It's not about hip-hop, it's about what's in the inside and that's insecurity."

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Some of Trina's best advice on the industry came from fellow female-rapper, Missy Elliott.

"She'd tell me to stand my ground and stand for what you believe in. No matter if you if you are in a relationship or not, always keep your business your business and do real business the way you want to do it. Nobody can hold you down better than you.'Til this day, no matter what I do – whether I sign a contract or go independent – that advice stands true and I use it. You have to step up to the plate knowing what you want, who you want to work with, and you have to fight. It's something that I take with me."

Songwriters Honored At 2013 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards - Ceremony

In an interview with Vibe, Trina gives solid advice.

"...If you work hard and you believe in your craft and yourself, I don't think nobody can stop you. I know for a fact a lot of new artists and girls I know in the industry they're still trying to get out there, putting out mixtapes and records. You just can't give up. You gotta keep on pushing the envelope and pushing the door until you get to where you're trying to go. You're the person that's gotta make that happen. No matter what team's behind you, if you don't put the effort behind it, it's not gonna work."

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Trina wants to drift away from her earlier sounds and go for something "unpredictable."

Trina says, "I recorded a few records [for her new album out in 2015] that are pop-y, but I didn't want to go out of my element. I didn't want to do crazy different and you just don't understand the record. As soon as you hear it you're like, this is not a Trina record. I want it to still be me, but you can still tell she's trying different sounds, she's changing up the sound and she's doing something."

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You may follow her, but Trina isn't the biggest fan of social media.

"I really don't like social media, honestly. But I do understand the platform of it. I understand that it's a platform for artists to make sure that your fans understand what's going on...but there's a downside to it. It can be annoying and it's distracting and instead of promoting a record, people are promoting your personal life, your family, your kids. It starts getting all over the place. It's a gift and a curse to me."


You'll never place Trina in the baby mama category.

"I don't want to be sitting around being somebody's baby mama, with the baby mama drama, with no family. I have too many friends that have it like that. That's not my lifestyle. There needs to be a husband, a family and forever after, or it will not be no baby, none of that. I'm just not into that, I'm not the girl for that. I would've have several babies if that was the case."


Trina has her own mobile app.

"It's the Trina app. It lets the fans know what are you doing. You have concerts, you have clothing lines, whatever. A TV show. A song is out. An album is out. A video is out. It's like a day in the life of you for mobile. You download it on your phone, it's on iTunes right now, and they can always click on it to see what's going on with you. That's different. Even though we have Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and websites, sometimes we don't sit and go on them. On your phone, you're right there. Everybody in this world is constantly on their phone 24 hours a day. You're stuck in this phone, so I think with this, it gives the fans a chance to feel like they're involved and connected and see you all the time."

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Catch Trina on a TV near you.

"That's a big one. We're in talks with a TV show. I love television. I'm not exactly sure what the show is gonna be. It's based around me. It's my life. My life is one that's not so publicized with the exception of music or videos or interviews. The personal side of it, you don't really see. I'm really private when it comes to that. But with music and transitioning from being under a label for so long and branching out with my own label Rock Starr Music Group and being the CEO of that and bringing in artists, it made me become the extraordinaire of what I'm doing. To show the different aspects, to show the downside, the one you don't get to see if you came to the concert or if you listen to a record. It's the domestic, submissive side. The side that's at home and cooking and having girl talk. Because outside of music and when I'm performing and doing interviews and all this stuff, I do regular stuff. Go shopping, go to the spa, have fun with my friends, drink champagne, wine and have girl talk, laugh, cry, argue, take trips. Relaxing stuff, party, have fun, see my nieces and nephews and do the regular life."

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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