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Don't Be S.A.F.E.

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Album Review

Official above-ground releases of mixtapes don't come much more pure than Don't Be S.A.F.E.'s appearance on Def Jam, seeing as how Atlanta party rapper Trinidad James dropped it to the underground only four months previously. Def Jam's retail edition is faithful to the original with some very minor differences — tracks with long fades are tightened by mere seconds, and there's a superstar-filled remix tacked to the end — but, the meteoric viral rise of single "All Gold Everything" — three million plus "views" in just months — fast-tracked this EP-length effort, and for the better. No ridiculous features or radio-friendly dreck was injected into the main effort, but even on this street-born debut, rookie James — who had only been rapping for a year as the release dropped — comes off as a crafty and creative executive producer. Off-world interludes ("Gold on My MacBook" floats over the cloudiest of productions as James delivers something between a fever dream and a pre-club pep talk) and casually tossed-off sequels ("One More Molly" takes the popular "Popped a molly, I'm sweating" line out of "All Gold Everything" and trunk rumbles its way through a drug trip) surround the hits, making the rapper's limited, hoarse, loose, Future-meets-Waka-meets-Wiz-meets-2 Chainz style less of an EP-length issue. Still, the hedonistic party numbers are undoubtedly the thing. Get past the reckless drug use and disrespect for all humanistic everything and "All Gold Everything" is the winning combination of Ke$ha-dumb with Three 6 Mafia style, rattled off in one verse with plenty of return visits for the hook. "Females Welcomed" turns a mush-mouthed, junkyard valentine of a lyric ("Now my side bitch is my main bitch 'cuz my main ho ain't feelin' me no mo, no mo") into an irresistible earworm before traveling into hipster territory with an indie electronica break down, while "Madden on Gamecube" is the stoned-dude excellence its title implies, all drenched in chillwave production. Quirky and quick, this irresponsible joker hangs out just long enough, exiting on a hard "you ain't nuthin' but a buster" cut called "Southside" before returning the listener to the much less flossy and fun real world.

Customer Reviews

Is this even music?

I don't want to live on this planet anymore!

Worst Album Ever

Whats going on with rap music?? This is horrible. Very rushed terrible production.

crap album

what the hell is this guy talking about


Born: September 24, 1987 in Trinidad & Tobago

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '10s

Coming up somewhere between Wiz Khalifa's loose flow and hedonistic lyrics and Lil B's free spirit and love of alternative-flavored beats, Atlanta's Trinidad James went from viral to Def Jam signee, and all in his rookie season. Born Nicholas Williams in Trinidad & Tobago but raised in Atlanta, he was a 24-year-old manager of a downtown streetwear boutique when he decided to try his hand at rapping and become Trinidad James. That was late 2011, and in October of 2012, Trinidad dropped his debut mixtape,...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Trinidad James

Don't Be S.A.F.E., Trinidad James
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