Trina :: Diamond Princess :: Slip-N-Slide Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Trina's got a reputation. It's not the one you think though, because she's not easy. She will however do a cover of Eazy-E, as her remake of "No More Questions" entitled "Hustling" proves. Her steelo and her rep is that of "Da Baddest Bitch," a female MC who is sexually liberated and hard as FUCK at the same time. She's the Dirty South's own answer to Lil' Kim, just as good looking and just as likely to smack a dude in the face and then make him eat the cat afterwards.

Originally, Trina was brought into the game by her labelmate Trick Daddy with a cameo appearance on his song "Nann Nigga." After her solo album came out in 2000 though, it was readily apparent that she didn't need any man to put her on in the rap game. Her follow-up album "Diamond Princess" builds on the success of that release and steps it up to the next level. Bringing in cameos from artists outside the Slip-N-Slide camp is an indication of her newfound status, as Missy Elliott, Ludacris, Tweet, Eve and Fabolous all make cameos just to prove she's the baddest.

As if that wasn't enough, Trina has brought in a new set of producers to supplement the big ballin' beats of her last effort. Kayne West serves up the ridiculous hot "B R Right" featuring Ludacris as well as the Jay-Z style "Do You Want Me?" with Bathgate. "U & Me" is one of many tight joints by Cool and Dre, this one with a sample of the O'Jays that will put you in a mellow groove deluxe. Missy doesn't just rap on "Rewind That," she also works behind the boards on the lead single "No Panties." Even Just Blaze turns up in the mix on "How We Do?" with Fabolous, a stripped down track of beats that only gets melodic in the chorus. It's catchy in the same undeniable way that "Grindin'" was for Clipse.

In fact, the interesting thing about Trina's "Diamond Princess" is that it doesn't sound like a traditional Slip-N-Slide album at all. Other than one appearance by Rick Ross and another by Deuce Poppi, you'd hardly know she was in the S-N-S roster at all. While on the one hand it's good to see her label giving her room to breathe and create what she wants, there are times you may miss the Southern bounce and thugged out swang that she came into the game with. As long as the lyrics are still in effect though, Trina will hold it down for bad girls who make good rap songs. Or as she says on "Hustling":

"Sexy, specialize in fellatio
All about my queso, never was a fake ho
Sharp sure, throw the cock like a flamethrower
in the mouth of a cock blower
Broke-ass niggaz gettin on my nerves
Get sliced, diced, chopped and served
Ask am I off the chain? I won't lie
But I don't want your man boo, fuck that guy!"

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: September 3, 2002