With a lot of conversation taking place in the culture at the moment about "indie vs major," one hit wonders, and "industry plants," James is perfectly suited to provide an insider-outsider perspective about the record label system.
DJ Smallz spoke with the "All Gold Everything" rhymer about his turn toward the independent route.
"Three different times I've always given people wins," said James, referring to his time with T.I.G., Def Jam, and a third company. "But I always felt like, 'Man, am I really winning? Am I really doing what I'm supposed to be doing? Am I really carrying out the plan that I planned out before I linked up with any labels?'"
The Atlanta-based entertainer called it a "blessing" to release The Wake Up 2 project with his Gold Gang imprint listed at the bottom. He also covered the lack of public attention for his most recent effort.
"Is there a bunch of hype there? No, it's not, and that's totally fine. Because I'm a grown up and I'm a true artist and it's totally cool," James stated. "Everything ain't about hype. It's definitely not."
He added, "As a man and as an independent business owner, and any independent business owner out there in the world, whether it's music or whatever you do for a living, you understand what it is when you're taking those steps toward your path of success and not what someone else wants you to do."
The Wake Up 2 by Trinidad James on Apple Music
Listen to songs from the album The Wake Up 2, including "Taylor Swift (feat. Ilovemakonnen & Peewee Longway)", "Conceited (feat. Skooly)", "Meek N Nicki (feat. Scotty ATL & Bankroll Fresh)", and many more. Buy the album for $7.99. Songs start at $1.29. Free with Apple Music subscription.