Thug Passion

Local thug expert Trick Daddy sounds off

Miami rapper Trick Daddy Dollars knows a thing or two about being a thug. His web domain is www.thug.com, he's released five albums with the word thug in the title, and he holds fast to the belief that thugs need love too. But when he's not advocating for all things thug-related, Trick has a soft side that's somewhat surprising. Before his upcoming gig with fellow Miami rap king Ricky Ross, Trick checks in with New Times to let us know what's good and what's hood.

Outtakes: Tell us what's new with you musically?

Trick Daddy:Man, I'm just doing my thug thizzle. Trying to get released off Slip-N-Slide Records and trying to be independent. I'm getting old, and I want to take care of my family. I don't know what's going on with Slip-N-Slide, but it looks bad when you lose on your home field. You can take a loss on the road, but home field advantage is supposed to be yours.

Have you been taking a loss locally?

Well, I take a loss betting on them damned Dolphins every week. You have to lose to appreciate your wins. That's a part of life. I represent the bassheads, the bums, I'm from the struggle, and I'm a part of all that. I'm about Miami. I love the 305; anything else is uncivilized.

Lately, you've been rapping a lot about kids in your songs. How many children do you have?

I got two kids of my own, but shit, really I got seven kids. I've got three of my wife's nieces and my li'l niece and nephew that I take care of too.

Did you adopt your nieces and nephews?

Hell naw. I've already been to court enough. Them my chirrin. I don't care nothing about the legal paperwork. Of the 11 kids that my mama had, not one of us graduated from high school. But if I die tomorrow, I can die knowing my niece is gon' be the first person in our immediate family to graduate. That's a good feeling.

Do you honestly think there's no competition between you and Rick Ross for the King of Miami title when it comes to hip-hop?

No, there ain't no competition. Miami ain't got no kings. We got mayors. But look, money breeds hatred. I'm better than that. If I was competing with Rick Ross, that would make all my music fake. Or everything I stand for phony. There's room for all of us to be on top. That's real. Jonathan Cunningham

Trick Daddy and Rick Ross perform Saturday, February 24, at Club Cinema, 3251 N. Federal Hwy., Pompano Beach. Tickets cost $25, and doors open at 8 p.m. Call 954-785-5224, or visit www.clubcinemaflorida.com.From Boy Band to Real Man

Young men fumbling to grasp the power of their hormones usually look to the brawny lead singers of hard-rock bands to learn machismo and sexual confidence. Unfortunately, these same impressionable teens simultaneously lap up the music's misogyny and develop into self-pitying sexist pigs.

But if you're a 15-year-old boy clueless in the art of love, there's hope for you: Justin Timberlake. Don't roll your eyes — sure, he dances in his videos and hits high notes. But as a male role model, he's cooler than Brandon Flowers and less of a drama queen than Gerard Way. So many pop commodities today are either aggressively masculine or harmlessly neutered — Timberlake stands out by being suave, bitter, sensitive, sly, and playful.

The first hints of the JT persona peeked through on Justified, his 2002 solo debut. It's easy to forget now, but Timberlake's post-'NSync stardom was far from assured back then. (Boy bands were done, and he and his girl, the mega-popular Britney Spears, had recently split up.) But helped by some of the best beats the Neptunes ever devised, Timberlake negotiated one of the freshest breakup records in recent pop history. Justified bounced with a swagger, but the album's center was the despondent "Cry Me a River," the sort of tart kiss-off that you know belies the singer's underlying sadness. Michael Jackson's showmanship was an obvious inspiration for Timberlake's craft, but Prince's fascination with women in their many forms — not just as lovers but also as mothers, friends, and soulmates — seemed to have rubbed off on him too.

Although the key word in the title to his follow-up, the Timbaland-produced FutureSex/LoveSounds, is undoubtedly sex, Timberlake's attitude toward carnality remains more nuanced than that of his contemporaries. "SexyBack" inspired a lot of snarky comments about his boast to bring sexy back, but in a year when other popular white artists complained about their feelings or tried to channel Springsteen, Timberlake came across as debonair, like the one guy at the junior-high dance comfortable enough to talk to the girls.

Charming but rugged, dashing but horny. You don't need to have his moves or his voice (or even his producers) to appreciate how he makes most other men in the pop firmament look like boys. Tim Grierson

Justin Timberlake performs with Pink on Sunday, February 25, at the BankAtlantic Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise. Show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $56. Call 954-523-3309, or visit www.ticketmaster.com.Stars of David

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