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Greatest Southern Artists of all Time


Words & Photo Julia Beverly



Trick Daddy f/ Trina “Nann Nigga” 1998 Trick and Trina compete to show who’s nastier on their first hit single. Trick Daddy “I’m a Thug” Thugs Are Us 2001 The timeless classic combines Trick’s vocals with a kids’ singalong chorus: “I don’t know what this world’s gonna bring, but I know one thing: this is the life for me.” Trick Daddy f/ Latocha Scott “Thug Holiday” Thug Holiday 2002 One of Trick’s biggest hits to date, this introspective track showed he had more on his mind than just fuckin’ and thuggin’. Latocha Scott’s hook was perfect, too. Trick Daddy f/ Cee-Lo & Big Boi “Dro in Da Wind” Thug Holiday 2002 With the combination of Trick, Cee-Lo, Big Boi, and an incredible track, how could you lose? This song produced the unforgettable phrase “Trick loves the kids!” Trick Daddy f/ Khia & Tampa Tony “J.O.D.D.” Thug Matrimony 2004 Trick Daddy went back to his bass roots with this Florida banger, joined by the strong vocals of the thug missus herself Khia and the foul mouth of Tampa Tony.


erriam-Webster’s dictionary defines a “thug” as “a brutal ruffian or assassin,” synonymous with a “gangster” or “killer.” Although Trick Daddy has been known to brag, “Where I’m from, we tote big guns,” throughout his career he’s also attempted to redefine the common perception of a “thug.” Born into poverty, he ran the streets in Miami’s rough Liberty City and spent several teenage years in prison, so he speaks from experience. Although he proudly represents the “thugs,” there’s often a deeper message in his lyrics.

when he came back with the song ‘Nann Nigga,’ because everybody knew who he was already from his first album.”

In addition to being one of the few artists to emerge from the Miami bass scene and achieve national recognition, Trick Daddy also holds the record for most consistent album titles. After scanning his catalog of six albums - Based on a True Story,, Book of Thugs: Chapter AK Verse 47, Thugs Are Us, Thug Holiday, and Thug Matrimony - there should be no doubt in your mind which segment of the population he represents. One of the few “thugs” who has been embraced by the mainstream, Trick Daddy is known for entertaining crowds all the way from grimy hood clubs to Howard Stern’s TV show.

With the success of Trick’s debut, Slip-N-Slide’s roster continued to grow. They’d already signed C.O. and Money Mark (Treplus) who later appeared on Trick’s smash single “Take It To The House.” Slip-N-Slide recruited Trina, the former girlfriend of Trick’s deceased brother Hollywood, to appear alongside him on “Nann Nigga.” In 1998 the song appeared on Trick Daddy’s second album, (yes, that really is his website). Sex always sells, so Trick and Trina’s explicit sparring (Trick’s “Eat the pussy with your legs up, then blow it all in your butt,” vs. Trina’s “Quick to deep-throat the dick and let another bitch straight lick the clit”) brought them both widespread recognition.

“Thug Holiday,” produced by a then-unknown producer named David Banner, showed a different side of Trick. Dedicated to his deceased brother and “everybody in the county jail, state pen,” he spoke for those who had no voice. Trick Daddy knows how get the club jumpin’, but he also knows how to make you think. On this title track, he pleaded for a “thug holiday” and asked thought-provoking questions (“In all my history books, only ones who died was the Americans / But who’s responsible for Vietnam? / And hold on, there’s more, we had two World Wars / How come the judges make more than the teachers is making / When they the ones raising all the taxes and got us fighting for education? / Life is crazy, ain’t it?”).

“Nann Nigga” was an enormous hit, reaching far beyond Miami into the rest of the Southeastern region and even the Midwest. The success they’d achieved independently caught the attention of several major labels, and Slip-N-Slide ultimately signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Trick Daddy’s first major label release, Book of Thugs: Chapter AK Verse 47, dropped in 2000. Propelled by the club hit “Shut Up,” the album did moderately well and lived up to their expectations.

Two years later, a more mature, married Trick Daddy returned with his sixth full-length album, Thug Matrimony: Married to the Streets. This time, Trick Daddy appears wearing a white suit, beard trimmed neatly. His kindler, gentler image is reflected in the music, with songs like “4 Eva” and “Children’s Song.” Still, when it comes to rockin’ the clubs and representin’ the thugs, he hasn’t lost his touch. The crunk “Let’s Go,” booty-shakin’ “J.O.D.D.,” and radio-friendly “Sugar” all received heavy airplay.

But it was Trick’s next back-to-back releases, Thugs Are Us and Thug Holiday, that firmly established him nationwide. Thugs Are Us contained the massive hit “I’m A Thug,” which became an anthem for thugs everywhere and anyone secure with their position in life. At a time when Southern music was just starting to break into the hip-hop scene heavily, Trick proudly proclaimed, “Can’t Fuck With the South.”

Trick Daddy has consistently churned out hits to make you dance and think. Most black men in America are treated like “thugs” even if they don’t act like one, and the rest of the country has always been secretly fascinated with the “thug” lifestyle. The fact that Trick Daddy has embraced the word so consistently throughout his career explains how he’s been able to reach such a wide audience.

Maurice “Trick Daddy Dollars” Young first broke onto the Miami bass scene as one of the artists featured on “Scarred,” the hit single from 2 Live Crew frontman Uncle Luke’s solo debut. Soon after, Miami entrepreneur Ted “Touche” Lucas signed him to Slip-N-Slide Records. At the time Florida was known for bass music, with a history of successful booty-shaking artists like JT Money & the Poison Clan. Capitalizing off the buzz “Scarred” had created, Slip-N-Slide released Trick Daddy’s Based on a True Story in 1997. The album, the cover of which featured a shirtless Trick Daddy standing in front of a gigantic food stamp, gained a cult following in Miami’s underground pirate radio scene. “Nobody really picked up on Based on a True Story, but pirate radio killed it,” remembers Miami DJ Teddy T. “We used to play his entire CD [on pirate radio]. That’s what brought him to the forefront

Although Based on A True Story didn’t reach beyond Miami, it established Trick’s potential and laid the foundation for what was about to come. It also showed that he was versatile, not just limited to booty music. “Trick Daddy is one of those few artists who can flip it,” says Uncle Luke. “He’s showed that he can be successful with both bass music and gangsta music.”

While the world was becoming familiar with his name through music, the cover of Thug Holiday defined Trick visually. The unforgettable image showed Trick’s ever-present scowl and blinging row of gold teeth up close and personal. The album was full of big-name features, as Trick proved his lyrical abilities alongside great artists like Scarface and Big Boi. Thug Holiday contained massive hits like the title track and “Dro in Da Wind” as well as underground favorites like “Gangsta” and “Ain’t No Santa.”



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