Trina had no musical ambition when she was first heard as the assertive and raunchy foil on Trick Daddy’s 1998 Top Five rap single “Nann,” but her whirlwind verse began an enduring and highly influential career. The Miamian proved with the subsequent Da Baddest Bitch (2000), her gold-certified debut, that she could occupy the spotlight. A string of four subsequent Top 20 albums, from Diamond Princess (2002) through Amazin' (2010) — during which she had a number 17 pop hit with “Here We Go” — not only made Trina one of the most commercially successful rappers of the new millennium, but also paved a path for the similarly bold and provocative likes of Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion. Trina has since branched into reality television, starring in Love & Hip Hop: Miami, and has scored a sixth charting album with The One (2019).
Born Katrina Laverne Taylor, Trina was born and raised in Miami, and came up in the Liberty City neighborhood. Her father was originally from the Dominican Republic and her mother was from the Bahamas. Graduating high school in 1992, she continued her studies to pursue a career in real estate. After she accompanied friends to the video shoot for Luke’s “Scarred,” Trick Daddy, the track’s featured guest, asked her to provide a counterpoint on a song he was recording. Trina declined at first but eventually complemented Trick on “Nann.” Released as a single, it reached number three on Billboard’s rap chart and peaked on the Hot 100 at number 62. Trina was similarly hesitant to accept a solo recording contract offered by Slip-N-Slide, but she joined Trick on the label, and quickly followed the success of “Nann” with Da Baddest Bitch. The album, yielding the title track and equally brash Hot 100 entry “Pull Over,” entered the R&B/hip-hop chart at number 11 and attained gold status within eight months of its March 2000 arrival.
Trina next connected with a higher-profile cast of collaborators that included major personal inspiration Missy Elliott, and in 2002 returned with Diamond Princess. It contained another Hot 100 single, “B R Right” — a Kanye West production with a Ludacris guest verse — and started a streak of full-lengths that reached the Top 20 of the Billboard 200. The similarly star-studded and more polished Glamorest Life arrived in 2005 and was led by the Top 20 pop hit “Here We Go,” a ballad featuring Kelly Rowland with additional songwriting input from Teedra Moses.
Following 2008′s less slick Still da Baddest and 2010′s more sophisticated Amazin', Trina left Slip-N-Slide and resumed activity with mixtapes, EPs, occasional singles, and appearances on tracks headlined by Juicy J, K. Michelle, and Run the Jewels. More visibly, she starred with Trick Daddy in Love & Hip Hop: Miami. The reality television series premiered in 2018, and the next year — during its four-season run — Trina offered The One, issued in 2019 through Fast Life Entertainment and her own Rockstarr Music Group. Included on the album was the single “BAPS” with Nicki Minaj. Not long after that, Trina hit the Hot 100 again, this time as a featured guest on the remix of “Bitch from da Souf,” headlined by Latto, yet another rapper she inspired. Additional guest verses, and headlining tracks such as “Receipts” and “Clap,” followed across 2021 and 2022. ~ Andy Kellman