Trae Tha Truth made the trek from his hometown of Houston to Austin on Wednesday night, as the rap star headlined the VIBE NEXT SXSW showcase, tearing down the house with a performance that included his biggest hits and fan favorites. The show was jam-packed with native Texans and visitors alike whose energy Trae fed off during his set, which he spoke about backstage following the performance.
“Definitely amazing, man,” Trae tells VIBE of his experience hitting the NEXT stage. “You know, this something that we’ve been missing. It’s been a couple years since we did South By [Southwest], so just to be back in the vibe and atmosphere, it’s just live, man. Shoutout [VIBE Editor In Chief] Datwon and the whole staff.”
Taking the stage around 10 p.m., Trae That Truth wasted no time getting into his groove. In addition to pleasing the pro-Texan crowd with deep cuts in his catalog, Trae eventually brought attendees to an uproar by bringing out surprise special guest T-Pain. The Florida rep serenaded fans with classics from his own catalog along with new material.
Joined onstage by close friends and fellow activists Tamika Mallory and rapper Mysonne, as well as his daughter and other core members of his team, Trae’s performance at VIBE NEXT was the latest in a continued streak of wins for the rapper. He recently received a Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award for his humanitarian efforts, an honor he voices his gratitude for, but says is just a byproduct of his true intent, which is to give back to his and other marginalized communities.
“It definitely is amazing,” Trae says of the prestigious recognition. “The Billboard Change Maker Award is, too, but believe it or not, man, it’s just being able to do things for the people and be out here for everybody. That means more [than] any award I may get, man.”
Speaking of wins, Trae looks to score another one with his forthcoming album, which is due to drop this weekend and is dedicated to his late brother. “My new album come out Sunday,” he reveals, before further expounding on the inspiration behind the project. “You know, I was going through a lot of things, fighting for my daughter. I actually got her down here right now. We’re celebrating my brother who passed away. His birthday is Sunday, we’re gonna drop an album on Sunday.”
In addition to Trae Tha Truth, the VIBE NEXT SXSW showcase included performances by DJ Chose, Deante Hitchcock, Mike Dimes, Sparoh, Doeman, Price, and Nook Turner. Read our recap of the event here.