The “All Gold Everything” rapper has faded to bronze

Don’t you miss when Trinidad James had donkey teeth, when he had an earth-sized afro, or above all when he just didn’t give a f*@k?

In many ways, James’ appearance matches his sound. When he busted onto the scene in 2012 with his outrageous outfits and unruly music, people were instantly attracted to his creative persona. Since then however, the Atlanta-based rapper has grown increasingly less fun to listen to; it’s depressing. Not too long ago James had everybody on YouTube searching for  “All Gold Everything”; however, recently he’s done little to keep his fans attentive. Many of those who deemed James as a one-hit-wonder, are now saying “I told you so”. It’s not the lack of hit records that has stalled James from progressing, but rather the lack of foolishness in his more recent work which has been the niche that has made him a superstar in the first place.

Rewind to the summer of 2013, when James released his sophomore mixtape “10 Pc. Mild”, which was packed with energy and ignorance. The release seemed yet another step in the right direction for the Def Jam hopeful. He was steadily carving his own lane in a city overpopulated by trap clones. James was on top of his game, and his swag was unfuckwittable; then came the drought.

During the fall of 2013, Trinidad James was noticeably nowhere to be found. Big league rappers such as 2 Chainz, Drake, and Pusha T released albums to critical acclaim- casting a shadow over the All Gold rapper. Then, in mid-November, James dropped “L.I.A.A.R.S (Lames Is Always Acting Real Sure)”, a diss-track aimed at those who doubted him; such as Power 105.1’s radio personality Charlamagne Tha God. This track, along with his harsh comments regarding New York’s Hip Hop scene, sparked much debate amongst the Hip Hop community. Unfortunately, the rapper failed to fully take advantage of the buzz, and soon fell into irrelevancy once again.

In the early months of 2014, James tried formulating a comeback. He released an onslaught of tracks, most notably “Def Jam”, an ode to the record label who gave him a chance.

They say he go crazy, they say he too real/ But being a real nigga got me a deal.”

Ironically, James was dropped by Def Jam a few months later. Why? Simply put, his music was no longer thrilling. After James got dropped, it was clear he didn’t know where to head next. “Lord, please forgive me cause I don’t know where I’m goin’ now/ Lord, please forgive me cause I don’t know which road to go down,” he rapped on “Doin’ Me”, his first release as a newly independent artist. Musically, James was no longer his old self. Visually, his original image began to untwine as well. His hair was braided, his teeth were fixed. This was, by all means, a coordinated Trinidad James.

As time went on, James’ verses turned more and more political. The class clown he once was transformed into a thought-provoking rapper, dishing both wisdom and emotion on songs like “This America” and “Blackman Pt. 1” featuring Big K.R.I.T. While these songs were certainly nice gestures from James, they don’t quite fit his style. In his natural habitat, James belongs somewhere crowd surfing to “Females Welcomed”, and acting ignorant as the crowd chants his lyrics. With each new release, it seems he is drifting further and further away from the greatness that defined him. It’s sad, but true: Trinidad James’ golden spirit has faded to bronze, and with no conceivable answer in sight, his career might be officially over.

Matt wishes James the best in his future endeavors. Follow him on Twitter @RRprez