By Maurice Bobb
After crawling through a river of industry excrement, which included being banned on Radio One stations nationwide (plus the legal battles that followed) and dealing with personal loss, Trae Tha Truth has come out clean on the other side like Andy Dufresne, after inking a deal with T.I.’s Grand Hustle imprint and dropping his latest mixtape, Tha Blackprint, to critical acclaim.
The project, heavy with guest features, is hosted by DJ Scream and includes the street tested and approved bangers, “I Do This,” featuring DJ Khaled and the Rubberband Man himself and, “I’m From Texas,” a DJ Screw-esque, “swang and bang” ode with an all-Houston rapper cast: Z-Ro, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Kirko Bangz and Bun B.
“Me and T.I. was coming up with a game plan,” Trae told RapFix. “I had just released the ‘I’m From Texas’ record that’s spinning on MTV real heavy where I brought all the Texas artists together. He was like, I just need to put out a mixtape. And we did it to give it away on original beats that features R. Kelly, Jeezy, Yo Gotti, of course T.I., Rico Love, DJ Khaled, Boosie, Meek Mill, T-Pain, Kendrick Lamar, Tyga, I mean everybody.”
Though he was banned by his own hometown radio station, the rapper born Frazier Thompson stayed relevant by performing on the road with industry heavyweights such as Styles P, J. Cole, Drake, Rick Ross and close friend Lupe Fiasco. Trae has received an outpouring of support from rap colleagues while he was in exile from radio airwaves, which was on full display when he dropped the “I’m On 2.0” record and video earlier this year.
“I deal with so many people,” Trae told RapFix. “Man, I still got songs sittin’ up with people just giving me verses cuz like I got a lot of potnas in the industry.”
Now that he has major push behind him and his name is buzzing in the streets, the Assholes by Nature front man is poised to take full advantage of his return to the spotlight as he readies his yet untitled major label release. “I feel like a representation of Houston to the fullest right now man,” he said. “And any two ways I can get my foot in the door to bring that wave back, I’m bringing all mine with me, you know? So that’s what we doing.”