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Trinidad James: Don't Be S.A.F.E. 


Rarely does an unsigned hip-hop persona emerge from the womb this fully formed. From the outset of Atlantan Trinidad James' debut EP Don't Be S.A.F.E. - an acronym for Sensitive As Fuck Everyday - he sets himself apart from the run-of-the-mill ratchetness. His forte is "Gucci shades, gold chains [and] fat asses," as he raps on "Team Vacation." But as his name suggests, there's something slightly foreign, yet hood as hell, about his Southside swag - especially when he lets loose his ad-lib, a wild yelp reminiscent of a backwoods preacher spitting holy-ghost fire. Over a 30-minute collection of free beats (from spacey synths to trunk music) curated from the Internet, James' exudes a self-styled, don't-give-a-fuck attitude. "Too clean for them photos/so please do not snap those," he raps on "Females Welcomed." And even when a cliché dubstep breakdown - featuring vocalist Reija Lee of Mad Decent duo FAUX NO - comes two-thirds of the way into the track, it's less of a cringe-worthy moment than a testament to his arrogance when he pulls it off. (4 out of 5 stars)

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