Mixtape Review-No One Is Safe by Trinidad James
This mixtape is definitely an appetizer sampler of Atlanta hip hop circa 2014-15 but it’s so good it might ruin your meal. Six out of the ten total tracks share time with guest stars and the names are major: Scotty ATL, OG Maco, ILoveMakonnen, PeeWee Longway, Problem, Lil Debbie, and K-Major. Trinidad sounds at home with a guest and as comfortable with them taking the lead as he does on his own. $hroom Party is a construction all his own that is triumphantly turned all the way up (thank you Brandon Thomas for that ill horn based beat). It’s a song that creates a party within the first five seconds. ALLAU$ by comparison is OG Maco’s turn in the spotlight doing his trademark quiet to shouting chorus over a stampede of rippling bass by Marteini, Trinidad has no problem adjusting into a constructed yelling snarl of his own. All creative decisions executed on No One Is Safe are for the sake of the momentum which can’t be jeopardized for anything.
As a project this will not change your opinion of James. If you think he’s entertaining the work will validate you. If you think he’s a clown looking at this Spinal Tap feeling mixtape cover and listening to the shouting nonsense of his spoken word intro on Talk That $hit Trinidad will have you calling him the black Riff Raff. I have to tell you I’ve listened to No One Is Safe a lot and while its not enriching or soul stirring its so good. I even love T Jame$ Expre$$ where he mixes train imagery with sex and within the first minute says “Coulda brought flowers but I brought the DDDIIIICCKKK.” It’s not just silly and fun its catchy with top notch production and real changes in emotional tempo. ALLAU$ is OG Maco style menacing, H.O.M.E. spirals through that dizzying ILoveMakonnen melodic universe, but F*ck That Stre$$ illustrates a really interesting chemistry Trinidad has with Scotty Atl (they did a few songs on the last Scotty project). This Trinidad is concerned with the struggle of people trying to do better and Scotty talks Ramen noodles like he can still remember the taste. The song sounds like a 90’s Roots jam (maybe that’s the neo-soul chorus and hand clapping).
Some people think Trinidad James is stupid, some people think he’s playing a character. I don’t think I care. No One Is Safe proves he knows exactly how to use elite features and beats. Listen to the last track, My Rule$, a totally triumphant faultlessly sung outro where Trinidad uses his voice like the instrument it is. I don’t know how someone so good at understanding the emotional journey of an album could be stupid? Someone this good at track construction?
If I could change one thing I would delete Lil Debbie from Definition of A F*ck Nigga. It’s not really the best work from Trinidad or Problem but she pollutes it with her artificially grown hood voice, forgettable verse and listless background noises. I’ll accept the irritation of Lil Debbie if it earns the utter elbow throwing Atlanta fight song Only N Atlanta. This is a beat that will make people want to fight or dance provocatively or both. Which is exactly how I like my mixtapes. No apologies.
Stream or download No One Is Safe below: