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Trina: Tiny Desk Concert

"I wanna introduce you guys to the baddest bitch," Trina told the audience of her Tiny Desk. "The original baddest bitch." It's a title no one but the hip-hop icon herself could been able to claim at the Tiny Desk — and for good reason.

As a rapper, Trina has been pushing P since before her successors were even sitting up in Pampers. Her wild ride of a Tiny Desk concert, 25 years after making her rap debut, only further proves why she is the blueprint.

Decked out in leather, diamonds and a wavy jet-black bussdown, the vet got comfortable behind the Desk quickly, ready to give fans the best of her sprawling discography. Trina temporarily fought back tears as she recited "Mama," a dedication to her late mother who died of cancer in 2019. The crew made the breakup anthem "Here We Go" feel even more aching.

The energy in the space made a seismic shift when the band took on the bass-bumpin' classic "Da Baddest Bitch," infusing the live arrangement with nimble guitar, charismatic drums and background vocalists so entertaining, their delivery felt like epic narration from the chorus of an ancient Greek play or, just as epically, a group homegirls hyping up their friend at the function. In the middle of it all was the 305 Queen herself, killing her verses with breath control, authority and bougie hair flips.

"I believe in who I am. The game didn't make me; I made the game. I made it," the Diamond Princess declared in her Louder Than A Riot interview before recording this Tiny Desk concert. "I already came in with a motive and an initiative to know who I am from. That's why I breed a whole universe of bad bitches."

To hear Trina's full interview, subscribe to NPR Music's Louder Than A Riot podcast.

SET LIST

  1. "Mama"
  2. "Da Baddest Bitch"
  3. "Single Again"
  4. "Here We Go" 
  5. "Nann N****"

MUSICIANS

  • Trina: vocals
  • Bigg D: guitar
  • Alton Coley: bass
  • Jon Anderson: drums
  • Cory Irvin: keys
  • Asher Makeba Williams: vocals
  • Nia McClain: vocals
  • Shannon McClain: vocals
  • Corey "C.O." Evans: vocals

TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producers: Sidney Madden, Bobby Carter
  • Director: Maia Stern
  • Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin 
  • Editor: Joshua Bryant
  • Creative Director: Bob Boilen 
  • Videographers: Maia Stern, Joshua Bryant, Kara Frame, Sofia Seidel
  • Audio Assistant: Neil Tevault 
  • Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Alanté Serene
  • Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Maia Stern, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galván
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.