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Artist of the day: Prezidential Tripz

17

April

Presidentialtripz2  

Bronx-born rapper Prezidential Tripz loves Young Jeezy and Biggie, but he loves the vibe he gets in his new hometown of Tampa.

"Up north everyone is about who’s better, who’s got more money, whose car is better, whose swag is better," says Tripz, a.k.a. Keishaun Khie Harris. "Down here people are more accepting. People might not bop their head but they’re listening. Every time I finish a show here in Tampa, even if the crowd seems dead to me, they’ll all come up to me and say, 'Yo, you did your thing.’ They take it in and then they give your props."

After the jump, check out Julie Garisto's interview with Tripz, and get the full story behind the name of his label, Forever Rich...

Commander in Chief: Prezidential Tripz is Keishaun Khie Harris.

Trick or treat? He was born on Oct. 31, 1987. Oh, and yes, ladies, he’s single.

All over the map: Though born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Tripz doesn’t identify only with East Coast style. “My music is like a collage of everything,” he says. “I have a blend. Some of my influences would probably be Jay-Z, Biggie and Tupac. I like a lot of South rappers also. I really look up to Young Jeezy. Lil Wayne influenced me a little bit. I don’t want to say I sound like anyone else, but I definitely take heed to what other people do and say, not follow footsteps, but take theirs and put it into mine.”

Recordings: The Campaign mixtape and Forever Rich Presents with MCs Dolo, J.O., Gramz, EZ and Big Leak.

Personalities, egos: “I’ve seen more ego up north than down here. Up north everyone is about who’s better, who’s got more money, whose car is better, whose swag is better. Down here people are more accepting. People might not bop their head but they’re listening. Every time I finish a show here in Tampa, even if the crowd seems dead to me, they’ll all come up to me and say, 'Yo, you did your thing.’ They take it in and then they give your props. It almost seems like people down here are afraid to show their emotions more. There’s a little more energy up north.”

Favorite show: Opening for Flo Rida at Club 360, last year on June 28. “We did it big. We bought some bottles of Champagne. We made it look like we were the headliners. On top of that, Flo Rida didn’t even perform. … He showed up, which you gotta respect. The club didn’t have whatever he needed to perform. We made the best of what it was.”

The image he wants to portray: “I don’t look for conflict. I don’t look for trouble. I want to touch people. I want to reach people, give them respect and get respect. I’m not looking to be the toughest guy out.”

His own label: Forever Rich

Bling and balance: “Being 'forever rich’ about being rich in life, rich in spirit, not just cars and jewelry. (The flashy image) is what grabs attention. If I said I wasn’t a flashy guy, I’d be lying, but at the end of the day that’s not what all my music is based on. I have music that’s about growing up on hard times, the speed bumps on the road trips to success … songs the females will want to dance to (smiles).”

New opportunities: He’s studying recording arts and begins an internship at Clear Channel this month.

Sweet ink: Tripz has a sense of humor and sentimentality that shows through in his tattoos. He has on his right and left forearms each the words “Halloween Baby,” along with several other tats that express meaning about different aspects of his life, all inked by Big Dog in Town N Country.

Spoken like a Scorpio: “I’m not quick to anger, but when I get mad, watch out.”

-- Julie Garisto, tbt*

[Last modified: Friday, April 17, 2009 7:00am]

    

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