Seventeen years ago, Trina unleashed her debut album, Da Baddest Bitch, which launched her career and cemented her as one of the most influential female MCs in hip-hop.
The album’s famed cover features the Miami rapstress dressed as a paramedic, straddling an injured man, with defibrillators on his chest. It was as shocking as the title track, which has gone on to define her career for nearly two decades.
“Wow. This was 17 years ago,” Trina told Rap-Up, reflecting on the time that’s passed. “That’s so amazing. I think about it sometimes, like, ‘Jeez! That’s 17 years ago.’ I try to go back to the time of that, when it was starting. I was really nervous. I was scared, but I was excited at the same time.”
Prior to dropping the album, Trina was introduced to the world as Trick Daddy’s protégée on “Nann Ni**a” off 1998’s www.thug.com. The following year, she prepped for her debut.
“I spent 1999 on the road with Trick,” she said. “In between that time, I had all this time to gather my thoughts. I was in and out the studio, waiting for the time for it to come….I was really nervous and really like, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m going to do this whole show. It’s not just gonna be Trick and it’s not just gonna be ‘Nann.’ It’s gonna be a full complete album on the stage, performing by myself.’ I had a year to think about. When I think about it, it’s amazing.”
It’s also amazing to see how long the Baddest Bitch title has remained at the forefront of popular culture, even if Trina still has to help define it for those who may misinterpret.
“Now, everybody calls themselves the baddest bitch,” she says. “I started this whole brand of the baddest bitch, but realistically, for some women to understand, it means to be strong and independent, very focused, and taking care of yourself…That’s what it means, for you to be an independent, fearless woman.”
This year, Da Baddest Bitch will reunite with Trick Daddy for Trick & Trina, a joint album from the longtime Slip-N-Slide duo. She’s also working on her first solo album since 2010’s Amazin’, which is set to feature collaborations with 2 Chainz, Boosie Badazz, Plies, Kelly Price, and her ex Lil Wayne.