Trick Trick + Paradime
Deuce Against The World
It’s all smiles and good-natured ribbing as Christian Mathis, aka Detroit rapper Trick Trick, walks into the Hamtramck photography studio that a group has gathered at to shoot the cover of this week’s Real Detroit Weekly. Most of it ... OK, all of it ... is directed at Freddie Beauregard, a fellow Detroit rapper more famously known as Paradime. As long time figureheads of the Detroit hip-hop scene, the two have grown up together, amid the backdrop of local music, and have seen success (Trick’s rapping career and Paradime’s own career, along with his status as Kid Rock’s DJ), as well as hard times (scrapes with the law and the loss of close friends like Proof). Despite it all, the two have become friends and share a musical kinship that runs deeper than most family bonds ... which means they aren’t afraid to make jokes at each other’s expense.
“Bob (Kid Rock) was like I got something for you,” Paradime says as he twists a faux rosary jewelry piece made entirely of silver replica Vicodins and a cross made of Xanax bars. “It came in one of those little pill bottles.” Trick Trick busts out laughing at the idea of the one of a kind piece. “Freddie, you’re going straight to hell,” Trick says in a mocking, yet semi-serious tone. “You wear a rosary made out of Vicodin. I’ll get you to church someday and I’ll be dragging you by that thing.”
Carefully contemplating his next move or joke, Trick is offered a beverage and mulls over the options a minute before saying, “I ain’t ate yet ... so I’ll take a...” but Paradime swiftly cuts in with a resounding, “a beer,” as he takes a pull from his own Pabst Blue Ribbon. “A Pepsi,” snaps back Trick, although he would rather have his favorite drink, Cintron. “I just can’t do that shit on an empty stomach.” Paradime laughs, takes another swig of PBR and affirms, “That’s when I love to drink the most ... it just hits you like whaaa" Within the confines of journalism, the media has dubbed Paradime as a partier and Trick as a street thug. Yet, when seen under the guise of two friends hanging out, cracking jokes and busting their peer's chops, the media labels fall away, leaving Christian and Freddie to be the way they want to be ... just boys being boys.
With Paradime at home before heading out on a Kid Rock tour this summer, both he and Trick have been working long hours and collaborating on new material at Detroit’s famed Studio One. Alongside protégés such as Guilty Simpson, Black Milk, Elhzi and others, the two are both in the process of completing new records. In anticipation of their show at The Crofoot in Pontiac, Real Detroit Weekly sat down at a table and mediated a conversation between Paradime and Trick Trick. Not only did each speak on the topics of Detroit hip-hop and the record industry, but both talked about dealing with reputations, respect in the game and the Machiavellian principle that the “end always justifies the means.”
What’s the state of Detroit hip-hop in your opinion? Where is it at? Will it survive?Trick Trick:
We’ve got some good artists … We’ve got some bangin’ artists, but there still is that support level that sucks shit. Instead of everyone being one unit, everybody wants to be their own separate little shit and do their own things. That’s all good, but if you thump a motherfucker with a finger it’s gonna hurt, but you ball up your whole fist and blow his shit out then it’ll knock him the fuck out. There is power in numbers. That’s simple mathematics. Sometimes these people don’t get that and it’s aggravating, but I represent a large part of Detroit hip-hop so I’m gonna make sure we get it back. The state of it, as of now, is that we are in the last days of hip-hop, the whole period. The only way we can make money off the shit would be endorsements and performances. Now the promoters are web streaming your performance. You can go see Paradime live—online.
It won’t smell the same.
Right … Love me that goddamn smell.
I think another problem is that, in order to be a star, you have to believe you are a star, but I think it’s come to the point now that there are no fans left. Anyone who is a fan now wants to be a rapper. I used to go to a show ... and I still do … I’m always up front with my hand in the air because that’s how I feel about the music still ... but these motherfuckers come up in the club, high post with their sunglasses on and act like they are big shit ... and I don’t know who they are. Show me a little respect. People stopped being fans and became so money hungry wanting to be a star and have an easy life on MTV, that the motherfuckers need to play their part. You are either the shit or you ain’t shit — and you’ll find out pretty quick and know if you are the shit.
There are a lot of motherfuckers like this out there that believe ain’t nobody fucking with them. There's nothing wrong with being optimistic and having high hopes — you have to. You gotta believe you’re somethin'. A lot of these motherfuckers just think they are the best — and it’s a lot of garbage bullshit music. We’ve got some great artists. Don’t get me wrong, but almost everything is a bunch of bullshit, “We’ve gotta do it for The D.” But, it’s only my soldiers on the frontline. My soldiers are the only one pushin’ the line. Where everybody else at? I look at it like this. I’m here to support me and mine — and everyone else can kiss my motherfucking ass ... and I can be found anywhere.
MTV fucked a lot of things up … Kids think you just come up and freestyle in front of Diddy and you get a fucking deal. Man, hell no!
Fuck Diddy ... and fuck his bands.
There is the classic line from Gangstarr about doing things “just to get a rep.” Both of you have these reputations the media has taken and overblown. What’s it like dealing with these preconceived notions of who you are? How does it feel making the news only for negative things and not the positive things you are doing in the community?TT:
You first cuz [laughs]…
A lot of times that shit is right, but I’m all kinds of Freddies. I’ve partied my ass off for a long time. I’m funny and I’m crazy and I do stupid shit, but at the same time there is a Freddie that sits at home and doesn’t do shit for three days. That’s me. It’s not like there is a media portrayal of me — I did do those things. I’m the one who got drunk and fired my whole band on stage one night. I’m the one who took a shit in Ashley Simpson’s bushes. That’s my image. I am who I am.
This is the man who stayed awake for five days straight in Las Vegas. He didn’t even know he had a hotel room [laughs]. The way they portray me. They talk bad about Jesus, too so they can kiss my motherfucking ass. It becomes annoying when someone I’m supposed to meet up say, “No, I’m scared of that nigga … ” — and I get that a lot and that’s aggravating. I was in the studio with some people and they were bringing in this singer and he didn’t want to come because he just got this idea in his head I was the big wolf or monster ... and that he said he didn’t want to come. When he finally did, I shook his hand and it was sweaty. He was nervous as a motherfucker. It’s annoying because, me personally, I’m a family man. I love spending time with my kids, mom, dad, sisters and brothers. I don’t get off on all that ... and anytime I’ve had to fuck a motherfucker up, trust me, I got the bubbleguts before it happened. I get nervous when I’m about to go to war. I’m human. I’m not this monster, but since I’m a public figure every time I touch a motherfucker it becomes this big thing. It’s the only thing that people want to write about or talk about. It's when Trick fucks someone up. No cares about the good stuff I do. The fact I go to church every Sunday, but if I break this glass table right here, it would be the motherfucking world news.
The media thrives on this shit because that’s what people want to talk about.
I woke up this morning, out of my sleep, and the news was on. I’m laying in bed and I just kept hearing “shot,” “killed” and “murdered” in each story. I looked at the TV and said, “Motherfucker, it’s 9:04 in the morning and all you got to talk about is death.” Damn. Why is the bad shit first and the good shit last?
The good shit they say is after the last commercial. “Trick Trick got the Dub Car Show to bring canned goods ... All right everybody have a good night.” But, if you went into this Dub Car Show and whooped everyone’s ass that would have been breaking news.
It’s like the situation a couple of weeks ago when I’m laying up in bed, watching the news and there is all this shit about “Trick Trick shoots” “gunshots” and “gunfire.” So, fuck the wheelchair basketball game that I coach and win every year. Fuck that, right? They couldn’t catch me fishin’ or doing some calm shit or relaxing in the garage playing with my cars. Fuck it. It’s annoying to me sometimes, but my momma told me one time, “If people ain’t talkin’ about you then you ain’t shit.”
Obviously, there was this whole situation that went down with the Final Four and feeling like people needed Trick’s approval in order to bring national artists into the city. Yet, you’ve both been artists who’ve gone into other cities as well. Talk about the etiquette of the situation and how it feels to be on both sides of that.
Well when I go to certain cities, and I always mention Vegas because everyone goes there and everyone performs in Vegas. Vegas is vacation town, but me being the type of person I am and being the respectful person I am when I go to Vegas I reach out to the people I’m supposed to reach out too. I reach out to the Booyah Tribe and another guy, Vinnie. I call, and these are the people I call, because they are the ones doing shit and got shit on lock in Vegas. When I go to Atlanta I reach out to the right people. I don’t leave Atlanta without stopping at T.I.’s studio or hollering at Jeezy or one of his cousins or Dex or DJ Drama. I wouldn’t dare touch Houston without talking to J Prince, Mr. Scarface or Tony Draper. I do it, so I think they should do it here too. They require it in their cities. They’ve been doing it for years, but it got broadcasted when I did it because I said, “Look motherfuckers. Stop sucking all this money out and make motherfuckers pay attention to what’s going on in Detroit.” Detroit, for years, has been this big, pretty, beautiful bitch that everyone come and fuck and don’t pay. Ain’t no one paying attention to the talented people in Detroit when they come here. They come to suck the money out of this bitch and then leave. Well, now you’ll leave some money behind or we'll get something accomplished between us for the future or right now ... or you cannot come back again. It’s not like I’m trying to muscle or bully someone ... I’m trying to build respect and relationships.
What about the record industry? It’s obviously dying and something needs to be fixed. What are the problems and how would you solve them?P:
Labels are crumbling because studios are crumbling and now anyone can do shit in their basement — put it straight to the internet, but that waters down the entire system. The fact you can bypass labels and do what you want is taking away the great shit ... because everyone is doing it. It’s taking away from the people who do great shit, i.e. us, who spend time and make albums.
Watch what the people in this city do. They rush out and put out garbage anytime they make it — and then they’ll stream it on Myspace ... put a new song up and then put out a mix tape and another mix tape. While motherfuckers like us are in the studio creating albums that you can put on in eight years and say, "it’s the shit" ... just like you could right now. These motherfuckers are doing it quick, quick, quick and that’s why the labels have fallen, the internet has taken over and it’s at the point where everyone tries to be a next day star.
There's so much fake shit going on ... and they just throw the shit out there. Ain’t nothing wrong with something being easy to do, but it’s more appreciated when you know that was hard to make. I got a record on my album called “Follow Me” and everybody that hear it — their jaw just hit the floor — and some people know they could never do that. It’s more appreciated by the fans and by other artists, which was my point of making the record so that people would say, “I can’t do that. How the fuck did you think to do that?” If you listen to the radio, and I don’t, it’s the same nine records over and over again. I think there needs to be something done about that. I’m sick and tired of it — and you're projecting that shit to my neighbors? And you are telling them that this is the only music out there? Bullshit! I’m in the studio working Monday through Saturday ... and sometimes from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Fuck T-Pain. I like his music, but that’s enough of it. Beyonce’s a beautiful bitch, but relax on this shit, it’s a hit but the little homie down the street who’s been working hard on his shit has got a better record than that!
It’s the quick money. Labels don’t want albums anymore. I sat in a meeting with an undisclosed big label motherfucker with one of the greatest albums I had done ... and this was in ’04 … the shit was perfect and he was on my dick about it. He was like, “This is phenomenal, but I need that first single.” That’s business and I want to give someone that ... but Nas' Illmatic will be one of my favorite records for all of time eventhough there wasn’t a smash single on it. There is an audience that wants to hear good music without a good single. I still want to make smash singles, but right now these motherfuckers don’t want to take a phenomenal album and put it out. That shit don’t happen no more.
What has happened is they have taken this thing of ours, hip-hop, that we made in the streets. My people like Grandmaster Flash and Run-DMC and Sugarhill Gang ... they made it in South Bronx and spread it across the universe. It started in the streets, it stayed in the streets and when it got into the labels' hands they gave it to the internet. They thought the internet was the way to promote and market records ... and it was not a bad tool to assist working in the streets. By promoting on the internet, you can project your product to white kids, which is what every hip-hop artist dreams ... to sell to white kids. If they love it, then goddamit, you’re somebody. So they keep giving it to the internet and the white kids for free, but they forget about the streets. The problem with this business is no one is working records in the streets no more. They don’t have no more street teams and that is the stupidest, most idiotic thing I’ve ever seen — to take it away from where it started at. It’s like Berry Gordy taking Motown to California. You fucking idiot. I would tell him in his old ass face … Anyway, they take the shit from the streets and give it to the damn computer where, if you learn of something or somebody on the internet, then nine times out of ten, ... well let’s say nine point nine, nine, nine times out of ten ... you can find a way to get it on the internet. So, who destroyed it? They did.
Machiavelli said “the end justifies the means.” I think people often consider some of the things you guys have done as bad, but really, you do them for a reason whether it’s in the name of promoting yourself or helping the city. What is the end you are searching for that'll make the means that you have gone through in your life acceptable?P:
I think we want the same thing. At the end of the day, no matter what shit has been talked about me, no matter what people think of me or no matter what I’ve done … at the end of the day, I want people to say that motherfucker is that motherfucker. What I mean is that I act the way I act and I’m giving it up for my city by being myself.
One of a kind, this guy …
In all honesty, I’m Freddie … and I joke with my friends that I’m Paradime, but they always say, “That’s Freddie shit.” If I did something stupid or I do something wrong, I was being me at some point and at the end of the day I just want to be respected and I want my city to be on its feet. Not just with music, but in all realms of life. I want Detroit to stand up.
I want them to remember Trick Trick as the man that made Detroit get off their ass and stand up for themselves or stand up for something. I want them to say, “Trick Trick was the one that gave us courage to be about it and go that extra motherfucking mile and take it back to the street, or "Trick Trick was the one that helped us build this motherfucker up.” Eventually, and this will fuck your head up, I would like to see about helping the people in my church every day. You see ... I got another job to do when it’s time.
You’re gonna kill everybody in church? (laughs)
No, I’m going to have to preach. I know and I’ve been sat down and told this. After all this Trick Trick shit is done and over, Christian Mathis is going to have to preach. Preach in church. I ain’t mad about it and I’m getting ready — and whenever he ready for it, I’ll be ready.
You know you’ll drag me by the ear … or by this chain [pulls on Vicodin chain]
I’d make you take that off. I couldn’t get them to pay attention right now. If I switched formats right now they would say, “He’s done gone crazy.” But if I do all these things that grab their attention now, and then I grab them later, and they believe what I’m saying ... than so be it ... It’s part of God’s plan. | RDW
Trick Trick and Paradime • 4/24 • The Crofoot
Trick Trick Interviews Paradime
What the fuck wrong with you? Where you from? Are you from the US [laughs]?
Here’s the deal … I often think and know I’m a very different individua. I go to a shrink, right. Being the person I am … My highs are high and my lows are low. I will go away for weeks at a time, but I’m just weird. The key is taking advantage of my highs and still taking advantage of the low lows. Everything in between is just Freddie and I don’t know how to explain it. I know there is no explanation for the half the shit I do, but I’m just looking at it like this rollercoaster life is crazy ... and I’m doing it with my hands up the entire time.
Do you ever think you will change? Will that ever happen?
Put it this way … In the last year alone or in the last couple years, especially, I’ve grown a lot. The Freddie you see is still the Paradime Freddie more than anything. I’m not going out as much and shit ... and my job is to be out in the spotlight, out on the stage and to be Kid Rock’s man, and Paradime on the off days. I have my wicked streaks and sick sense of humor all the time … When I leave this motherfucker though, I’m probably going to put some Fleetwood Mac on in the car, roll the windows down and be quiet. I’m growing up day to day.
Paradime Interviews Trick Trick
If you are stuck on a desert island and you can only take one CD, and it can’t be your own, what would it be?
If I could take one album with me it would be … I believe it would probably be a gospel album because that would give you hope. There are some old gospel records I listen to like Edwin Hawkins and Walter Hawkins. I would listen to that … I still listen to that in my iPod.
You are a strong man, physically, mentally and spiritually, but if you had to air a weakness of yours, what would be a weakness of Trick Trick?
My weakness is … Umm … [Laughs] … Probably my only …
I’ll hug you after if you want [Laughs]. This is sweet, I’m drunk.
My biggest weakness is probably these motherfuckers [holds up a pack of cigarettes]. Cause I quit before and I had to fight a murder charge, and that changed my life, and these goddamned punk-ass cigarettes have been the hardest fucking thing to break. I got medication and inhalers and all kind of shit and I’ll be like, “Fuck that … I want a cigarette.” I hate these motherfuckers. I hate the way they smell. I hate the way they make my mouth taste. I don’t like that smell in my car. I don’t even use my ashtray in my car. That’s my fucking weakness … Cigarettes. | RDW
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