Two full decades since the release of Trina’s sophomore album Diamond Princess, the female emcee’s album of pop rap holds strongly to this very day. Spanning a total of fifteen tracks, Trina seems dedicated to prove all of her abilities on the mic. From tracks that span from down south bangers to pop rap, she’s on full display on this release.
The first half of this album is focused on proving herself amongst the best of rap. On the first track after the intro skit, “Hustling” feels nostalgic to the early roots of rap. Her flow feels straight out of ’88, not too dissimilar to groups like Ultramagnetic MC’s earliest efforts. With this, she solidifies herself as a spitter for anyone that may have doubted.
Featuring an early Rick Ross, “Told Y’all” is a Florida track to its core. The two emcees rap against this bongo driven beat provided by Cool N Dre. Trina’s raps about her own flexes of getting hair & nails done, as well as shouting out the girls that are well off just as her. Early Ross doesn’t have the same heavy husk his later music does, but that always him to pull of some fun & speedy rhymes.
Rick Ross, God damn, I’m the next to blow now
Smoke pounds, bricks broke down, its yo’ town
Spit four rounds, go get yo’ ho now
Trina – Told Ya’ll (ft. Rick Ross)
Reading about the album, you can find Trina speaking on recording on music with Missy Elliot. While Missy’s touches can be felt all over the album, it doesn’t come off any clearer than on “Rewind That Back.” The track has that exact bounce that can be found all over Missy’s music, but features Trina handling the majority of the verses. She hypes the both of themselves up, along with Missy a killer flow at the back end of the track.
The two Kanye beats here are some of the best. “B R Right” feels like something that would’ve gone to Twista with its violin usage, but the killer bass makes its a Southern banger. Rapping alongside Ludacris, its an extremely high energy track that has both of their irresistible charismas. Meanwhile, “Do You Want Me?” which serves as the outro, feels like something that was meant for Jay-Z. With these plucky strings, Trina sets up the luxurious lifestyle need to meet her standards.
Trina – B R Right (ft. Ludacris)
There is a weird lull in the tracklist after “Busted Skit.” Songs like “How We Do?” despite having production from Just Blaze feel like the obligatory NY track. With a boring Fabolous feature, the song doesn’t have the strength usual Just Blaze beats do with the awkward synth work. “Kandi” is cute, featuring a young Lil Brianna at the age of 9, but it doesn’t do any favors for Trina. At best, it proves she can do the occasional pop rap track.
Despite a couple skippable tracks toward the second half, the album holds extremely well. Plenty of hits on here haven’t aged a day, with tracks like “B R Right” easily feeling like they can be thrown on in a modern DJ set. The production’s constant use of bongos bring everything together to give it its own feel unlike any other album. This unique angle makes her in her own lane while still proving she can kill it with everyone else.