Fire Starter: Trouble
For Duct Tape Entertainment’s Trouble, December 17 was both the best and worst day of his life. In 2008, the Atlanta MC was jailed on aggravated assault; two years later, on December 17, he was released. So when it came time to name his debut mixtape, Trouble mixed the good with the bad and dubbed it December 17th.
Before jail, the Zone 6 rep only rapped as a hobby — something he picked up on his block at age 15 — but upon his release, he opted to do things legitimately. By April, he dropped his tape. The slow-rolling “World Goes ‘Round” was a definite standout. On the heartfelt track, Trouble raps about his grandmother, who is confined to a wheelchair. “My grandma bust her ass and she still ain’t got no Medicare/ A car crash, she need money from everywhere/ Just to pay off all these high-ass bills/ I’m tryna put her in a high-ass crib, sittin’ on the hills.”
“I actually wrote ‘World Goes ‘Round’ while I was doin’ my bid, when I sat down,” Trouble told Mixtape Daily. “It’s just everything that I go through, everything that I see, everything that’s in my heart, so that was heartfelt for real.”
In the song’s video the emotive trap rapper visits a cemetery; it was more than just a glorified scene. “When you see me at my cousin’s grave, that’s my real cousin,” he revealed. “That’s everything that’s been going on in my life from the beginning on up to this point. So I’m allowing people to go inside of me and understand where I’m coming from.”
The rest of December 17th ranges from the hard-knocking “Yeen Heard?” to the bouncy “I Don’t Wanna Be Wrong.” On “Geek’ed Outta My Mind,” Trouble links with MTV Jams’ 2011 Fab 5 inductee Future and throws it up for Alley Boy and the rest of his Duct Tape family when he spits, “I’m just a thug who popped out the department of corrections/ A lot of n—as only f— with Duct Tape ’cause they need protection.” But it isn’t just thugging for the sake of thugging; on “Fake Industry,” Trouble goes out of his way to differentiate himself from rappers who haven’t been through the harsh realities he’s endured.
“Everything that you hear from me is a life experience,” he said.
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