Upcoming rappers Trips N Slim are working hard, and they really mean absolutely everything they say when they get on the mic and lay down verses that detail their lives, experiences, and dreams of being great.
Anyone willing to sit and pick the brothers’ brains will quickly learn that though they’ve been very well known and admired throughout their lives, they’re a lot humbler than most of the flashy cats we’ve met from uptown. (Just think Diddy, if you need a visual).
Most importantly, they aren’t here for any handouts, regardless of who their father is.
The duo – and sons of hip-hop legend Doug E. Fresh – just released their mixtape The Preface in April to rave reviews, but are already back to work with another project in mind, titled TRSP: The Real Shall Prevail. In our exclusive interview, they talked about everything from the gift and the curse of having a normal childhood but a famous father, to Miley Cyrus twerking, to Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse, the respect they have for Jay Z, and more.
It turned out to be a very candid conversation – complete with honest advice for women who want to date rappers – and we can tell both Trips and Slim are going to go far if they keep it up like this. Get to know the superstars in the making below and be sure to download The Preface by clicking here.
P.S. They might be humble, but don’t slip up too much, because the brothers confess, they have no problem “taking n*ggas’ girls!”
GlobalGrind: You guys are very well-liked in comparison to other “celebrity kids” who rap. What are you doing differently?
Slim: Being authentic. Being ourselves. We mean everything we say – it’s not like we’re faking or frontin’, or like we live so far away from the public. A lot of the celebrity kids that people know, they live in certain places were they’re separated from normal, everyday people. We grew up in Harlem, across the street from the projects. I’m not glorifying that, but that’s were we lived. We live in a brownstone, went to Rice High school, we grew up normal. We had to go through the same problems everybody else went through, the same adversities, the same struggles. So when we speak about it, it’s official, not fake.
Trips: And you know us from hanging out in the projects! (Laughs)
Slim: Yeah, you can tell when somebody’s faking and if that ain’t really them.
So is anything easier because Doug E. Fresh is your pops?
Trips: Sometimes. It’s mainly good for his relationships. There’s a lot of people who got respect for him in the game and sometimes they’ll reach out because they know him. Usually, it’s a gift and a curse. Sometimes it’s good, but for the most part it’s bad because we get underestimated so much, and people feel like we’re not who we say we are because we’re attached to him. They don’t really know what’s going on – we got our own lives, we’re our own people at the end of the day. We built our own everything from the ground up. We don’t depend on him or anybody else.
When you rap, who are you talking to?
Trips: The youth, the people. We got so much different music on our mixtapes. We got songs that older people can relate to – songs our grandmothers dance to. We got songs that our little brothers play all day… It’s music people can vibe out to.
Slim: It’s mostly relatable music – real stories and real scenarios we went through. When you listen to us, we want to make people respect us as rappers and as fly niggas. We want the girls, that’s the type of niggas we are. We gotta make sure our rhymes are strong, our stage presence is strong, and we stay on top of our game, and take niggas’ girls!
Speaking of girls, that show Marrying The Game makes it look like it’s impossible to have a relationship with a rapper. Can you speak on that?
Trips: That shit is hard. I wouldn’t even advise a female to go into that if you ain’t ready. You have to be built mentally…
Trips & Slim: And physically (Laughs) …
Trips: And spiritually, ’cause that shit is tough. You have to deal with not seeing the person for a while, trusting them while they’re gone.
But can you be trusted?
Slim: You can trust me, man.
Trips: We be easy on the road, we don’t really move too reckless.
Did you guys see Miley Cyrus perform at the VMAs?
Trips: She was wildin’.
Yeah, she was doing a lot (laughs).
Slim: That’s like what we was just saying – people doing the music and trying to fit in. She’s trying too hard to be urban and fit in.
A lot of people are telling her what she’s doing works.
Slim: Because she’s not from the community, so they’re accepting it more. It’s Miley Cyrus doing this, so it makes it more acceptable. If she were Black, it wouldn’t be accepted like that. To me that shit looks corny, it looks like you are trying too hard. People change, people mature, shit happens but… Her doing the dance is not the bad part, it’s just how hard she’s going with it. She sees the lane, so she’s trying to run with it.
Did ya have any response to Kendrick Lamar’s verse on “Control?”
Both: Hell no!
Slim: He ain’t say nothing about us!
He said he’s the King of NY.
Slim: This is what I want to tell niggas: Ain’t nobody the King of NY but B.I.G. B.I.G took that crown to the grave with him. Hov runs NY on some rap shit, he’s that guy, but as far as the King, BIG is Frank White – that’s the king of NY. So Kendrick saying he’s the king of NY, I don’t agree with that, but to each his own. If you want to be great and you want to be looked at as great, you have to feel like you’re great and you have to speak it. So I ain’t mad at him for saying that, but personally I feel like B.I.G. is the king of NY and that’s that. He (Kendrick) is not the competition to me. Jay Z and Nas are the competition.
What’s your craziest story from being on the road?
Trips: We ain’t never do no crazy shit on the road.
Slim: We were in Japan, and these guys were rapping the lyrics to this song we got. That shit was crazy because they didn’t even know English. I had to stop and ask like, “You know this shit?!”
Trips: Recently we did a show in SOB’s. I think it was for Hot 97. Some dude came to the show and he knew every single song. He took a picture with us at the end and he said he’s been a fan since like 2008. It’s crazy he was listening since then and he still stuck with us until now. I appreciate every fan but the dudes that been with us since then and they’re still riding… they watched the growth, that’s a good look.
Do people ever run up to you in Harlem?
Trips: I can’t really walk around Harlem like that no more. We be moving around regular when we’re here, but people run up on us all the time! It feels good. When that type of shit happens, it really motivates me.
What really made you two start rapping in the first place?
Slim: This is all we know how to do. This is what we love. It’s not contrived, we really love this shit and we’ve been around it since we were kids. This is all I’ve been around my whole life.
When kids were idolizing Elmo, we were looking at rappers – Onyx, Kris Kross, MC Hammer – and we were hype to see them when kids were hype to do kid stuff. We were hype to be them and act like them. It’s been embedded in our blood. I was listening to The Great Adventures of Slick Rick the other day and I was thinking “Yo this shit is crazy, we come from this lineage of dons.” Rick, my pops, and these niggas, they set the bar high for this rap shit. This was inevitable, it’s meant to be. I’m business savvy, I’m smart, I want to do things on the business side too, but this is what I love. We knew since we were kids.
Trips: Word, that’s real talk. Some of our family members pursued the same career and they’re looking at us like, “Damn y’all doing your thing.” They’re respecting us, they probably didn’t think we were going to take it as serious as we did.
If you had to choose, which would it be: Magna Carta Holy Grail, Yeezus, or Born Sinner?
Trips: Magna Carta.
Slim: Magna Carta.
Trips: To me, that’s the best album that came out in the past two years. That album is crazy; Jay did his thing on that album, and it reflects where he’s at right now. He explained it in the best way he could. That shit is crazy to me.
Slim: I fuck with it too, ’cause he had to stay on a fine line. He couldn’t really go too far back to the streets, and he couldn’t really cross over too crazy and lose the streets. He had to stay on a fine line and I think he did that right. I respect it. He’s way older doing that – he’s on those beats sounding comfortable!
Trips: That’s the perfect example. You can tell he’s just been in the studio just rapping and rapping. You can’t ever let up. That nigga don’t stop.
For new listeners, how can fans differentiate between Trips and Slim?
Trips: You’ll know, just off of delivery. We always come with the best lyrical content we can. Slim makes me raise the bar on my shit. Niggas can’t fuck with us lyrically at all - we definitely keep our lyrical content sharp, but you might hear me come through with different harmonies and hooks. I like doing that. Our voices are different, our tones are different, but it gels.
You do gel. That doesn’t usually happen easily just because you’re brothers.
Trips: We’ve been doing music together for so long it’s like, how could we not gel? We’re the best duo to ever do this shit because we’re coming through with so much different shit – nobody is doing what we’re doing as far as being this nice and coming with music that you can play everyday, vibe to, and play on the radio, or in your crib if you want. We’re going to be a household name. Anybody will tell you we’re real hip-hop. No disrespect to none of the duos before us – we learned from a lot of them – but I feel like our shit is the best.
So what are you working on next?
Slim: We’re about to do mad shit. We’re doing Rock The Bells October 3rd and 4th. We got a couple of shows overseas. But we’re trying to cut down on the shows for a while so we can get back in the studio and start working on this new project TRSP, which stands for The Real Shall Prevail. It’s not just a mixtape, it’s a movement. The plan is to get a lot of other artists, who feel how we feel, down with the movement…
The Real Shall Prevail means that no matter what circumstances occur, no matter what happens, you’re going to prevail, you’ll overpower anything, you don’t need radio, you don’t need the things you think you need. You don’t need the people you think you need, the power you put into these people’s positions when they don’t mean really as much as you think they do. It’s going to be a revolution.
Trips: This project is to let niggas know we really mean it! This music, every word we say, everything is real. We really mean it. And The Real Shall Prevail. Look out for us.