The turn up was evident. It was the LEVEL of turn up I was interested in. Trinidad’s show at Santos didn’t really grab my attention until my man Meka from 2DopeBoyz that we was spinning for opening act, Nahkim from Harlem. Of course I always make sure I support Meka whenever he has gigs because he hates being around people, especially people he’s not familiar with. So, I tagged along. Sound check was at 6 for Meka, but I got there about 30 mins prior so I wondered around SoHo lookin for a cheap bar to grab a beer. To no avail, however. By that time, Meka had arrived so we slid into Santos.
There were folks scattered all about when we walked in. Some I knew, some I didn’t. Meka hit the stage for sound check, which was a quick 10 minute breeze through of Nahkim’s set. I decided to charge my phone while I waited because I like to drunk text and it was looking like one of those nights was upon us. After plugging my phone, I looked up and the man of the hour walked in sticking out like a pig in mud at a Sean Combs All-White Labor Day affair in The Hamptons. It’s exactly what you expect: Nappy fro, LOUD ASS coat, gold rangs and thangs (mouth and chain) and a fresh pair of OG Jordans. I never met Mr. James so I wasn’t aware of his persona off wax, so I just watched as he floated through an empty Santos venue greeting and talking to folks.
Lola, who was part responsible for bringing him out to NYC, was showing him around the venue explaining to him what section his folks would be in and how he could maneuver during his performance; typical pre-rap show shit. Meka and I decided to stay for a quick second to get a glimpse of this guy in a natural setting so we could draw some of our own conclusions of Mr. All Gold Everything. He moved throughout the venue as if it was Christmas morning in his household: antsy and excited. Your first NYC show at ANY venue, specifically Santos or SOBs, is a big deal. But to him, it seemed like another day in the office.
Without inquiring about whether he was excited or not, the ATL native wore it on his snap back, BRIGHT ASS overcoat, and forehead. Trinidad is a tall fella. I wasn’t expecting that at all. As he came closer, he sounds congested but I think that’s how he talks because in an interview a couple weeks ago he sounded the same exact way. His positive and upbeat attitude was still shining bright as he begun his shortened version of sound check. A camera was following him during his sound check and at one point he jokingly but confidently quipped, “Is Trinidad James bout to fuck up NYC?” It was at that moment I realized this kid has NYC by the NUTSACK tonight. And there wasn’t a thing we could do about it.
Meka and I left to go get some Chinese food which turned into relationship talk. SMH. I digress lol. When we left the venue, there was one person in line. Actually it was the same person who was there when EYE went in for sound check at 6. Talk about dedication. We returned to folks being turned away because tickets were sold out. The line hit the tip end of the block, which to me looked kind of light. But you know how NYC crowds are: fashionably late to EVERYTHING. That would soon change. For the first 2 hours, we saw Nahkim do his thing in which he brought out Smoke DZA and Chase N Cashe for a bit of performance fun and Key of Two-9. Both sets were well-received by the crowd, to me at least.
I somehow ended up onstage hosting the latter half of the event. Not that I minded at all, because at that point I was already 5 cups of Henny in so I was ready to do just about anything at that point lol. That 20 minute stint trying to keep those NYC folks entertain was interesting to say the least lol. You could tell those folks were ready to turn up….NOW! I gave them a little Jay-Z birthday banter and explained how PISSED I was he swiped the NETS from NJ. I joked with this white boy who had a Gold bottom in his mouth was ready to turn up with the best of them. I pointed out a couple fine females but also noted my Henny was wearing off and some of them didn’t look like how I thought they looked 60 minutes prior. I hassled the NY Knicks fans (highlight of my night lol). And THEN I sort of broke up a fight? I don’t know if you even want to call it that, but homey was making it hot for himself and security was ALREADY aggravated with the amount of niggas onstage. I did what I could lol.
Then, the moment came. Trinidad was ready. There was a lot of money in the building too so this was the time to show out or shut up. Kevin Liles was in the building. Def Jam (Shawn Pecas, Joey IE) was in the building. Trey Songz was in the building. Johnny Nunez was in the building. HOT 97 was in the building. Busta Rhymes was in the building. Yeah, niggas wanted to see what the hype was about.
He trotted onstage like he knew what it was. His grin said “Yeah, ya’ll niggas came to see a country boy turn the fuck up. And that’s what’s going to happen.” And LORD did it. I won’t lie, I wasn’t familiar with a majority of the stuff I heard Trinidad perform, but a GREAT handful of that NYC audience was. Ratchet tunes to the 100th degree. I didn’t have a problem bouncing to any of them though. During his set, I spotted one of the ASAP Mob members making his way to the front of the stage. At THAT point? All HELL breaking loose was about 60 seconds away. The DJ put on ASAP Ferg’s “Work?” And that was it. Allll downhill from there. Slowly but surely, Rocky emerged from the sea of randomness and found himself in the crowd as if he isn’t worth a couple M’s lol. It was a short ASAP set and there was nothing you could do about it. Until Mr. James got back on his bullshit.
That opening synth on “All Gold Everything” randomly dropped and the crowd…..went…..STUPID. OfficiallyIce and I were behind the DJ booth so we REALLY couldn’t get a CLEAN glimpse of the reaction. But from the view WE had it looked like a stampeded of ratchetness. But good ratchetness because everyone was enjoying themselves. I really don’t think my words DETAIL how STUPID those 6 minutes and 14 seconds (he performed the song twice. And the second time he ended up on the bar, a move he was plotting at sound check) just were so just watch the clip above and TRY to envision yourself apart of the show.
HUGE HUGE shouts to Shabazz, Electric Circus Fadia and Lola. Good work, folks!