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Trinidad James

Trinidad Jame$

“I wrote poetry, so rapping wasn’t that difficult,†Atlanta’s CyHi the Prynce bragged earlier this year on his single “The Open Letter.†Difficult or not, CyHi’s skills on the mic are, at best, unproven. Too often hampered by an over-reliance on second-hand punchlines and glossy, anthemic hooks, the bulk of his material tends toward the conservative. The quality of his poetry is anyone’s guess.

Of course, being a handshake away from Kanye West still means something in this country, and CyHi has infiltrated the Throne’s inner circle, earning a spot on Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music roster and securing two guest verses on the crew’s Cruel Summer LP released this September. On Friday, he will headline the 40 Watt’s “Twerksgiving” showcase, supported by a bevy of other rappers, including newcomer Trinidad Jame$.

Jame$, who works as a shoe salesman in Underground Atlanta and is rarely photographed not wearing gold and leopard print, emerged earlier this fall with his debut release, Don’t Be S.A.F.E. His is a sensibility that values outsized personality and vibe over the actual rapping itself, which is deliberately pretty careless, a succession of trap rap clichés reiterated in a tone pitched somewhere between bored and mischievous.

He prides himself on surface-level strangeness; his latest video, for “All Gold Everything,†depicts him being chauffeured around Clayton County in a panda mask, propped up in the back of an Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme like a Cuban dictator.

Wherever you stand on these guys, the pairing is just odd enough to succeed; Jame$’ gaudy indifference is the perfect foil to CyHi’s over-eager chest-pounding. If CyHi panders to the camera, Trinidad winks at it. Maybe the tension will be productive—or maybe it will just be tense. Either way, it’s intriguing, and isn’t that what Twerksgiving is all about?


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