When It Comes to Latino Rap, Trae Is Part of La Familia

A couple of years ago, our brother was attending San Antonio Community College. One evening, he told us a story about a young cutie he was trying to spit game to at the end of his day.

"So I walk her to her car after class," he recounts. "And sitting there is the new Trae CD." "Are you serious?" I asked.

"Yeah, this pretty little chick has a hard-ass Trae CD sittin' in her ride," he exclaims, surprised that a petite mamita would be listening to something so hard. "They love them some Trae in San Antonio."

We thought that was pretty interesting.

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Fast forward a year or so, and our boy, Juan Velazquez, at Univision Radio's 98.5 The Beat, invites us to a San Antonio club called Joe's Volcano for a Halloween bash. Joe's Volcano is equivalent to Houston's Roxy nightclub. It's been around since the battle of the Alamo and you can bet the house that three generations of women somewhere in the city, from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter, have popped, locked and dropped it on that club's dance floor.

So we think maybe we're a little old to be going to an 18 and up establishment, but Juan spits some names that caught our attention - Rob G, Big Gemini, Lucky Luciano, Lil Rob and Trae.

Sadly, the marketer in us always sees the world through boring terms like "demographics" and "supply and demand," so naturally we're thinking because San Antonio's such a Hispanic-dominated market (demographics), and throw in the fact that every other song playing on the radio at the time was Gemini's "Hypnotize," (demand) that the Dallas product, or maybe Rob G, would headline.

Looking at it now, we were pretty stupid to make that assumption, but it is what it is. Well, Trae was the last man standing on the stage that night and wrecked the hell out of the club. We consider ourselves big Trae fans but those damn Meskins in the 210 were singing along to tracks we didn't know the words to yet, and as our brother declared, "They love them some Trae in San Antonio."

Ever since then, we've wanted to talk to Trae out of sheer curiosity about what he thought of his large Hispanic fan base. Fast-forward another year and a couple of months, and we're part of the Rocks Off family and Jessica Vazquez of Street Science Entertainment calls us to pitch us a story. She tells us we should talk to Trae because a large percentage of his album sales can be attributed to his Hispanic fan base and it would be interesting to get his perspective on the Latino rap game. We found it odd because it was like she was inside our head, so we took it as a good omen and decided to follow the signs.

We reached Trae by phone Wednesday and to provide the conversation some context, we started off by telling him about that Halloween night and how his headlining performance was memorable.

"I remember that night," Trae tells Rocks Off. "I was actually not the headliner. Unk was." We played it off like it slipped our mind, but really, we don't have any recollection of Unk. Maybe Trae was the only thing worth remembering that night, or the goose had us feeling too loose. Ah hell, just blame it on the alcohol.

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