Ink Tone Swep Images Sebastien Goneze Creative Director Yezenia “Yang” Roldan Creative Dir Asst Jermaine “ALZ 369” Reyes Looks Lassalle Looks Asst Star Campbell Lines Ambreen Khwaja Location Complete Music Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Houston’s hometown hero Trill Sammy may in time become hip-hop’s first trillionaire. Not only from slangin’ hit singles and selling out shows, but also from his Trill OG cannabis enterprise and new eComm store, Sammy’s Closet. Rap’s resident party starter, now 21, talks rappin’ in Europe, trappin’ in Hollywood, leanin’ in Houston, and snappin’ on his debut project, “No Sleep Vol. 1”.
How did the Trill Sammy movement start? You landed on my radar a few years ago when “Trappin” dropped, but I feel like I was late. You were already poppin’ by then. It really got going off of Twitter and Vine. My freestyles just started going crazy. I was really just having fun and fans responded so well to it. Once it took off is when I really began getting in studios and working on things way more seriously.
What got you to start taking rap seriously so early in life? The trend now is these guys in their mid 20’s who tried the streets first and got locked up. When they get out they give rap a try. But you were like 15 or 16 already recording, releasing videos, doing shows, getting paid. It was once fans responded to the my videos that I knew I had to get more serious. But I always had a vibe when I’d freestyle. In school we’d just start doing it during lunch and I feel like I always got a good reaction. Once the videos started going viral though I became way more serious and started really recording songs. The making of my first project, No Sleep Volume 1, was really important to my growth. Working with the producers and artists that I worked with taught me so much and gave me so much experience.
You remind me of a young Snoop Dogg. Tall, skinny, women and weed, laid back flow. Fans are as drawn to your relaxed lifestyle as they are to your music. What artists most inspired you early on? Yea, definitely Snoop and Wiz except with a Southern twist. Other sources of inspiration are all the Houston legends. Soulja Boy, too.
Are you still indie or on a major label? Talk about your grind, how much work you have to put in to make this all look so easy. I signed a deal with Benny Blanco, and his label is with Interscope. The making it look easy part is just being from Houston. That’s how we all act, we’re just laidback. But it definitely takes a lot of work. I’m lucky that I got started the way I did, but to maintain it, I really have to work on it all as much as possible.
You moved out here to LA a year ago. What’s your experience been living in Hollywood? What adjustments did you need to make coming from the South to the West coast? Moving to LA’s been good. The easiest part of the adjustment has been the weed culture. Just walking around and smoking wherever I want is really freeing. Living here I can see why a lot of artists come out here at least for a portion of their careers. There’s so many people here and always things to do.
We constantly read about the violence amongst the youth in Chicago, LA, and New York. Have things calmed in H-Town or do gangs and drugs still run the street scene? It’s tough. I’ve lost a few partnas this year. RIP Fredo and Free Lew.
So many deaths amongst your peers, young rap stars like XXXTentacion, Doe B, Lil Snupe, Young Greatness, Chinx Drugs, even your Texas neighbor Yella Beezy had an attempt on his life earlier this year. How does this kill climate effect how you move? It’s unfortunate that we’re doin’ this to each other. I’ve definitely had some close encounters and have become increasingly paranoid about the way I move. Unfortunately, the tiniest amount of fame can put a target on your back. I wish it wasn’t like this because we’re just hurting ourselves. RIP to everyone who passed this year. We lost some crazy talented people.
“No Sleep Vol 1″ is your best work to date. I just wanted “Two” and “Don’t Mean It” added on there, but “Nah For Real” is probably my favorite. The sound is bigger, broader, you didn’t just go for trap beats. How has your sound evolved? Shout out to Jake One and Sam Wish. They really helped provide me with production that isn’t typical trap. I think my sound evolved a ton over the making of this project mainly because of the people I worked with and because of the amount of time it took to make it. All that time just gave me the life and work experience needed to grow a bit and make something more refined.
On “Feel Better”, you rap: “My cup dirty, popped two Xans got me slurrin… drinking Henny out the bottle.” Your generation is rap’s first doing as many drugs as they’re dealing. Why? I think every generation has their own drug culture. Obviously lean is a staple in Houston and that’s definitely been passed down. Regarding artists doing as many drugs as they’re dealing, I think that’s just the reality of the trap culture. People rap about what they do. A lot of us gotta trap to make a living. Even when we get recognition as rappers, we’re often still trappin’.
Is “Trill OG” your strain? How deep are you into weed culture and the enterprise surrounding it? I love weed. It’s a part of my life. Trill OG is my strain and I’m definitely looking for ways to get further into the business. It’s something we talk about a lot.
What’s up with Sammy’s Closet? I’ve got a bunch of new merch I’m working on. I’m excited to share it with all my fans.
What next moves can we anticipate from you, man? I know you have the European tour setting off in a few weeks. Is a debut album in the works? I’ve got a project with my brother Dice Soho that we’re wrapping up. This one’s been a long time coming and I’m super excited to give the music, visuals, and performances to our fans.