Trinidad James is starting the year off right. After struggling through much of 2014 with label woes, the Atlanta-based rapper recently released The Wake Up, a new five-track EP, and announced a forthcoming album.
Featuring collaborations with Friend, Problem, 31, Trinidadians Neval and Denice Millien, The Wake Up can be streamed via SoundCloud. It strays considerably from the "All Gold Everything" sound that made James famous.
The new sound may have led to his schism with Def Jam. Last year he told MTV News, "I feel like we just had a difference of creative ideas. And for me personally, I know that I am somewhat of a person that's just gonna do it their own way."
His new free album, No One is Safe, will arrive Jan. 20. A follow-up to 2012's Don't Be S.A.F.E., it will feature collaborations with iLoveMakonnen, OG Maco, Offset, Peewee Longway, Scotty ATL, Big KRIT, Problem, Migos' Offset and Lil Debby. It'll also feature the Diplo-produced single "BlackMan Pt. 2."
"I'm a huge fan of Diplo's production and spirit as an artist. I heard the beat on SoundCloud and it inspired me to get focused on what type of message I really wanted to relay this year with my music and as an artist—and also as a man in this world, which is the most important part of being in this game," James told The Fader.
"Don't compromise your manhood for a check," he added. "Keep it real and deal with the cards that you're dealt."
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