Back in November of 2013, Trinidad James did something incomprehensibly stupid. In the middle of a show in Brooklyn, James told the crowd straight up that, “…we (Atlanta rappers) run y’all musically.” For someone who was already being accused of being a one-hit wonder, this decision was one that many simply couldn’t understand. It ultimately led to James being blacklisted from NY radio stations, such as Hot 97 and Power 105, in the midst of promoting his (at the time) new mixtape 10pc. Mild. Trinidad James could have been dropping the musical equivalent of the Mona Lisa with this mixtape, but it wouldn’t have gone anywhere thanks to his fiasco in New York.
Fast forward nine months and Trinidad James’ career has come crashing down. With no notable releases since 10pc. Mild, no singles of note (thanks to his blacklisting) and no big time features, James has faded into nothing more than a novelty. Despite all of this, he was at least still sitting on a two million dollar Def Jam contract, and his name still carried some decent hit-worthy weight. As per his twitter, this is no longer the case. In the wake of his minimal success of late, James says that he has been dropped from Def Jam, and that he has no money.
While this news is not exactly surprising, it is telling of the power that radio still plays today. James, who had no play in New York by both radio stations and clubs, was never able to catch traction off of his hit “All Gold Everything” from his successful debut Don’t Be S.A.F.E. This single had exploded thanks to the Internet, which many today claim to be the end-all and be-all of an artist’s success. Yet, for all the notoriety he had gained through the Internet, he lost it all thanks to the tried and true- New York radio. People still listen to Power 105 and Hot 97 to find new music everyday. No matter how much play someone can get online, they are still put to the test on the radio. James didn’t just fail the test- he crumpled the test into a ball and threw it at the teacher. If you want a passing grade, that certainly isn’t the way to do it.