When videos of Atlanta-based rapper Trinidad Jame$ surfaced on social media sites, Trinis were intrigued. Who was this rapper named after our country and why was he repping the red, white and black in his video?
A simple, direct question from a fan on Tumblr confirmed what some were suspecting. Trinidad Jame$ is, in fact, a Trinidadian, born and bred in Mt Hope.
Born Nicholas Williams, Trinidad Jame$ is blowing up the hip hop landscape with his first mixtape entitled Don’t be SAFE and his video for All Gold Everything is forcing the industry to sit up and
pay attention. Every major hip hop site and blog has featured his video and at time of writing, his YouTube views had reached more than two million.
One blog said they “expect this rapper to be bigger than 80 per cent of Atlanta Hip Hop artistes that we’ve seen in the last few years.” The remarkable thing is that Jame$ stirred up all this interest without a major label in his corner. He eventually signed with Def Jam Records, the same label that boasts stars like Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Kanye West.
“I came home last year for the first time since I left and I’m happy to have people supporting me from Trini and all over the planet everywhere. I’m getting some play on the radio out here and that’s just love cause I ain’t no major artiste on no big label, ya feel me?”
It is clear that Jame$ has not forgotten his roots. In his video, he sports a pair of red capris with black and gold Versace slippers; a Trinidad and Tobago bandanna is tied around his uncombed hair, along with a gold grill in his mouth and a leopard-print shirt that remains unbuttoned to reveal several gold chains and pendants. A gold-painted bicycle and shopping cart appear in between
shots as Jame$ sticks a Trinidad flag or bandanna in almost every scene.
Jame$ grew up in Mt Hope but left when he was nine years old and since lived in New York, Florida and South Carolina. “My friends call me Nick James cause they say I got that Rick James crazy funny style, but I decided to rep Trini and called myself Trinidad Jame$ cause its unique,” he said.
Jame$ started rapping a year ago and released his mixtape a month ago. “Since then the response has been crazy insane—I done met Diddy and he’s a fan, I worked with one of the hottest producers out now, Mike Will, I just came back from LA where I met Will.I.Am and Tyler The Creator man. It’s a lot going on with me right now, but the plan is to work on a solid project—a real album and see the response from there.”