"Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2010" Candidate: Trae Tha Truth
[artist id="2778900"]Trae Tha Truth[/artist] is one of the biggest names in Houston. Fans love [article id="1636054"]his mixtapes and independent albums[/article]. And he's earned the large numbers in his core audience through the streets, gaining credibility in all of the 'hoods. Despite the love, of all the candidates, Trae is going to have the toughest time breaking through this year.
Apart from music videos, the streets may be Tha Truth's only outlet for getting heard. The only hip-hop station in his hometown, KBXX 97.9, has decided to not play his music on-air. Truth (born Frazier Thompson) is currently suing the station's parent company, Radio One, in an attempt to get the now-infamous "ban" lifted. His music hasn't been played in about a year. It may have been taking a toll on the Texas MC: Trae didn't have on his trademark shades or all of that jewelry when MTV News met up with him just before the Fourth of July weekend at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Houston.
"Mr. Thompson's lawsuit seeks to require Radio One to play his songs on their radio station and to let advertisements [air] that either pertain to him [or] help him with his agreements with promoters," Radio One lawyer Victor Vital, told MTV News via phone on Thursday (July 15). "Radio One's position in the case, just like I would imagine any broadcaster's position to be, is that it has the right to decide what its programming would be. Radio One has decided that his music won't be played and advertisement that concerns him won't be aired."
While Trae has been occupied mostly with his legal battle, he's still working on a new album titled Tha Truth, set to feature Rick Ross, Lil' Wayne, Bun B and others. He also shouted out all of the fans who've supported him for Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010.
"I am Houston," Trae told us. "I doubt if there's somebody that can dispute that. What y'all did to me with the MTV Jams' Jam of the Week and Sucker Free meant more to me than anything [and] to the streets of Houston. They were like, 'They are actually giving us, one of the underdogs, a shot.' With that said, I'm determined."
After violence erupted at his Trae Day festival last year, Trae took exception to what he felt were disparaging remarks made by one of the Box's radio personalities. In response, Trae called her "fat" in one of his raps. From there, everything went downhill.
Regardless of what happens when Trae and lawyers for Radio One head back to court on August 16, Trae wants to keep giving back to those who've supported him. He's forging on with Trae Day, an outreach fest targeted at the Houston community, but he admitted the annual event is being met with some resistance. As he sat down with MTV News, the original venue he was planning to use backed out.
"They can't ban Tha Truth," Trae said, his words measured, his demeanor calm. "Tha Truth is coming. A lot of these kids can't afford shoes, can't afford pencils, paper, a backpack, really can't afford a dollar to go get lunch. You feel right taking this away from them? The event ain't got nothing to do with me. This is strictly for the less fortunate. Everybody needs help at one point in there life. If you would take that help away from them, I lose all respect.Move me out the equation: you would take away from those in need?"
At press time, Trae Day was still going on as planned, scheduled for July 22 at Houston's Northwest Mall. (The rapper will have a ferris wheel and super-slides for the kids, among other attractions.)
"Somehow, some way,even if I gotta line up on a corner with boxes and sacks for these kids, we gonna find a way to make it work," Trae said."We gonna find a way to get it to them."
Trae and 19 other up-and-coming MCs are in the running to become MTV News' [article id="1642015"]"Hottest Breakthrough MCs of 2010"[/article] — and the winner will be decided by you!
Cast your vote for the "Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2010" right here. The top five will be revealed beginning on July 19, and the winner will be announced on the "Sucker Free Summit" July 25.