Meet the Rap Game’s Next Up Rap Artist
A city that brought hip hop numerous one hit wonders is now set to bring the rap game a new artist that seems almost destined to change the narrative of St. Louis’ hip hop scene, an artist by the name of TreyOneFour. A true representation of St. Louis, and not just because his name is based around the local area code of 3-1-4, but one that has experienced the good and bad that the city has to offer, through multiple eras, as his music can almost be considered as a bridge to different generations of St. Louisans.
Rapping before rapping became a thing, TreyOnefour took a long hiatus to get to this moment right before for his burst into the music industry. One could say if he was born in this era, where everything is easily accessible compared to the era he originally began where professional recording equipment and studios were scarce, YouTube and making music videos without a whole production crew was unheard of, and promotion was much more hands on, then we would certainly be talking about the next big thing from St. Louis since Nelly. Now, TreyOneFour is getting back into the mix with several recent releases.
TreyOneFour – Back n Forth
Meet and Get To Know TreyOneFour
Kulture Vulturez: Can we first start off with breaking down the different eras of St Louis rap, from club music to street music?
TreyOneFour: Chicago had a big influence on St. Louis rap [music of today’s era], like it had on probably the world. You mix Chicago [rap music] with a [person from St. Louis], mix Chicago with St. Louis music this is what you have. You got what you have today. Then, also, Atlanta has had a big influence on St. Louis [music] too.
Kulture Vulturez: How do you feel like you are different or where do you stand and fit in the two eras of St. Louis rap?
TreyOneFour: I will not say I am all the way different than the music that is going on today, but I will say the music that I make has no limits. The bridge of a St Louis rapper, I always crossed those bridges. Back during the period when nobody wanted to sound like Nelly, everybody wanted to sound [like the typical] during the Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane era.
During that period, it was just sounding the most “street” as possible. I remember I was singing on songs back then during a time when it was not cool. Now it is cool to be melodic. Also, St Louis follows a lot of trends. We set a lot of trends too, but we follow a lot of them, especially in the music scene. We set trends as St Louis is a city of its own, but when it comes to music it is really oversaturated with the same sound.
What makes the difference, it is not so much a problem with the sound because all the music is the same, but I could be telling the whole truth and people would respect it and stamp it, but another artist would just lie and be talented. That shit does not matter anymore, what matters is selling your image.
It’s a lot of good music. I be like ‘that shit is tight,’ when I am listening to random shit. After I listen to it, I go and research the character. If it is aligned with what he is talking about in his music, then I can f*** with him. Even if it is a little fabrication, I understand it is entertainment, but it just has to align [with the character of the artist].
If I listen to a street dude, he does not have to be in the streets today, but I have to look at him and say that he probably was in the streets. That is the only way to judge music, because it is a lot of good music. It is so easy to put it out. Black people are naturally talented in music. That’s our soundwave, that is our rhythm, that is our native tongue naturally. A lot of people making good music, so after that I have to look at your image, like do I feel this dude.
TreyOneFour X Sean Deaux – Show Me
Kulture Vulturez: Breaking down the other side of St. Louis from the negative, like the nightlife, the fun, and good times?
TreyOneFour: There is none. Let me be honest with you, when we were kids, we had fun being in danger. I am an adult looking back at that, there is not any fun in St. Louis. I cannot remember one big event that did not get shot up. That is dangerous, that is not fun.
Kulture Vulturez: Did the local skating rinks during your time in high school get shot up?
TreyOneFour: There were fights, and shootings outside of the skating rink. How many of my friends do you think went to the Palace (the local skate rink) just to fight? A lot of mines. Not my immediate circle, because I never been naturally on that shit, but I had friends who went there just to fight. Like 17 Solid (a local clique), I could name some cliques. That is why a lot of n***** went there for, just to fight. I went to have fun, but I put myself in danger to have fun.
Me being older now that was dangerous. You can get hit the wrong way and die, one punch. I had got jumped after the basketball game, Riverview [Gardens high school] and [Hazelwood] East, by at least 20 n*****. I could of got stomped the wrong way and died. I did not go there to fight. I got stomped out trying to help my homie who was getting jumped, and he started it. He pointed at some n***** that were on that, and they got on his ass. So, I was a victim of circumstance because that was my friend.
Kulture Vulturez: Breakdown your earlier mixtapes Limelight and Jail Talk?
TreyOneFour: I think Limelight was a good project. I might have commercialized it too much. I think I tried to mix a lot [of songs together onto one project]. As a body of work, I still love it to this day. I honestly think that it was before its time.
I know I am before my time, not trying to toot my horn, but I always been making music a step above the regular artists. I have always done what I wanted to do musically. It is not necessarily I am before my time; I just experiment with stuff that the average person won’t. Then I would notice a couple years down the road that this is the standard, and I was experimenting with it, but I did not capitalize on the situation.
Jail Talk was a collection of [songs I did] before I went to jail, and while I was in jail, that my cousin put out for me.
TreyOneFour – Steak Sauce
Kulture Vulturez: Do you feel like with your music being before its time that many listeners might not understand or be ready for it.
TreyOneFour: Still today, “Bleu Cheeze,” that is a hit and miss song. It is only hit and miss because it is not really the wave of today, and I knew that, as far as the street crowd. It is a street song, but it is hard to bridge that gap. Naturally, I associate with the street crowd through my background and stuff I put myself through, I don’t blame nobody else that is what I put myself through.
Sonically, meshing those two together, because I always been the dude that was cool with everybody. So, mixing those two personalities, it is not too many people like that. In our generation of black culture, we have a problem with fitting in and some people feel like they can’t be both.
When you cross that bridge and get it to mesh right, like a perfect example Drake. Drake can talk some street shit, but everybody knows that is cool Drake. Also, it is how Drake puts it, he does not put it like I’m going to kill you. [Drake] puts it like, if you play with me it might have to get like that, because I have to protect myself.
So, I can respect Drake. I don’t think he would shoot anybody because he is very wealthy, and because he has people that will for him, hired police officers or hired security. It’s just a mesh. My partner Sean [Deaux] does good with that. But everything is not for everybody.
Kulture Vulturez: What did you learn the most from your time being in prison?
TreyOneFour: I learned respect. That is the biggest thing I learned. I learned the value of saying thank you. I already had that from my mama but being in jail enforced it. It is already open season for whatever can happen, or will happen in jail, but not having simple respect then you will probably have a target on you.
I learned it is valuable to be smart, I learned that. I used my book smarts in ways that I thought I would never use them. I learned being content with being independent, and not having anybody to come f*** with you and see you. I was all the way in Louisiana, so I had nobody that could come and see me. So, I had to be content I am not getting a visit. I learned survival.
Kulture Vulturez: What led to your resurgence, or comeback into music and hip hop?
TreyOneFour: To be honest with you, when I started rapping the first time, it was because everything was right. I was financially right. I always had a plan. So, what made the resurgence of me rapping again is not that I stopped it just I had to get everything together, so I had to put all the pieces back together. That’s what got me to rap again. That’s what created the resurgence.
To be honest, I won’t even call it a resurgence. Rapping is not cheap. For all of you independent rappers that think you just drop a song on your shit and it just going to go up, nobody knows you. I mean that with all respect even if you know ten n***** from your hood, [you could know] 30 n*****. That’s nobody. Rapping is expensive, so I had to get my finances straight so I can feel good about what I’m rapping about. That’s what it took, to be honest with you.
TreyOneFour – Bleu Cheeze
Kulture Vulturez: Breakdown your latest music, starting with “Bleu Cheeze”?
TreyOneFour: “Bleu Cheeze,” that is my most recent release. They hated on it, but it’s cool. Somebody flagged and reported on YouTube, they have one of them [age restrictions] on it. You can still view it; you just have to make sure you are logged in and have the age restriction off. It was going up. It is still going up this day. It is still moving at 5,000 views, so I’m cool with that. It was on pace for more [views]. That really hurt it, or maybe it did not, maybe it met its plateau regardless.
It’s a hit, it is just over people heads. With the music I make, you have to put that bread behind it. I am not going to [lie]. I make street music, but it’s not for the everyday street n****. You have to be on a level that I am on. It is for a grown street n****, it is not for the kids so much. It’s not for the knuckleheads, but for the n**** that really knows what he’s doing.
Kulture Vulturez: Breakdown the Kobe Bryant tribute, “24”?
TreyOneFour: (Quotes a line from the song). Yeah, that’s my shit. Kobe is my favorite player. I mean, it’s self-explanatory. It goes Kobe and Jordan, then everybody else I don’t give a shit. It is just Kobe and Jordan, that is it. So, I had to give it up [for Kobe Bryant’s greatness]. I actually got to see Kobe at one of his games before he died, I took my son. One of his last games before he retired.
That was real special to me. That was very special to me. He scored two points and they sat him for the rest of the game. But I seen those two points, I might have blinked, to be honest with you, or missed it, but I was there. Me and my son were getting into because he was rooting for the other team.
Kulture Vulturez: What is up with you rapping with Sean Deaux?
TreyOneFour: Yeah, we got a project coming out. I can’t give you all release date because, I don’t know. We have two more videos to shoot before we are going to release it. And you have to [talk to] Sean Deaux to find out when he is going to be ready to shoot them two videos.
Then we will drop that project. It’s gonna definitely be a vibe. We got some songs out already, “Show Me” and “Double Cup,” those videos are on YouTube doing numbers, they doing good for an independent artist like me.
Kulture Vulturez: Was Double Cup your first video since you have been home from prison, and where were you at mentally after coming home?
TreyOneFour: “Double Cup” was the first video I dropped since I been out of jail. I’m not sure. I don’t know if “Numb” came out after I went to jail or before.
Kulture Vulturez: I believe the song “Numb” came out 6 or 7 years ago?
TreyOneFour: So, that was right when I got out. “Numb” was the first video I dropped. I would of dropped more music in those times, but in those times my focus was not there. I was hot. I made a lot of music but those were drug filled times to where if I had the mind that I have today, I know that it doesn’t seem too far [ago], but I was just out of jail. I was too caught up on catching back up. I am ashamed to say it, but I can’t even remember nothing besides being the highest. Those are the only memories I have during them times, to be honest with you. I do not get down like that no more. So, I’m good.
During them times I was what rappers talk about and be lying about. I was doing that shit and not lying about it. I was talking about going heavy and everything. Big ecstasy pills, mixing lean with the ecstasy pills, percs, and vicodins. We were big on vics back then, crunching that shit up and dropping it in with the syrup, those were dark times. But I’m an animal, I am not going to lie to you, I have a high tolerance. That shit wasn’t nothing to me.
My peers that were around me during those times, who were an animal just like me, succumb to the pressure. They failed. They dropped off, just to put it like that. They either addicts or broke or just something not right, nine times out of ten. Thank God I made it through. The drugs always win, that’s my best advice for everybody. The drug will always win. It can even be alcohol, I don’t give a f***, it could be weed. The drug will always win. You can’t beat the drug. Don’t try it. When you feel like it’s overwhelming, take control of your life. Because if you think you can beat the drug, you’ve already lost.
TreyOneFour X Sean Deaux – Double Cup
Kulture Vulturez: What’s next for you?
TreyOneFour: New music, just new music. I want to drop my own project, but right now we are just putting singles out. I don’t have a name for my project, but I am pumping these singles out. And I am doing a lot of collaborating. I plan on dropping an EP with this dude, a young n****, 448-Dboy. He hard, you should definitely look him up. That’s my dawg, 448-Dboy. CEO Films, CEO Pimpson is rap name. He shoots videos and he rap. So, I’m f***ing with him.
Me and Sean Deaux are still in the lab. Trying to get a video out this month (March 2022). I want to do at least one video every month, that is what I have been on pace [to doing]. Christmas season I took a break, December and January I did not put anything out, but then “Bleu Cheeze” came out in February. I just might surprise y’all with another new video, this month (March 2022) sometime, I don’t have no exact date. I would love to do 3-1-4 day, Trey One Four it is only right.
Kulture Vulturez: What do you think about the financial side of the rap game?
TreyOneFour: Rap is hard, that is my biggest thing I want people to understand. This [rap] shit is not easy. It is good to diversify your portfolios. I look at rappers like Nipsey Hussle, Burner, or Master P, if I can get to their levels musically and financially, I would be cool with that. I would be cool with being underground, having a cult and core fan audience that just love the shit out of me. I would just target them.
I don’t have to be the biggest of the world, because I know what to do with money. Some people do not know what to do with money, I already had money and I am not broke now. If you know what to do with money then sky’s are the limit.
If I could get a little change off the rap game, I am cool with that because I know how to invest it. Look at Chamillionaire. So, I know what to do. If I blow up or not, I am going to be rich regardless. Like Pimp C said, ‘If I wasn’t rapping baby, I would still be riding Mercedes.’
It is too much cryptocurrency out here, you have the stock market, NFTs, or whatever you want to do, it is too many opportunities to get money. Trucking companies, it is too many independent ways to get money, to ball like a rapper or really ball harder than a rapper, to be honest with you, you make your own contracts.
Kulture Vulturez: Anything else you would like to share?
TreyOneFour: The music is going to keep coming. That what it is going to take, that is what the people want to see. I will keep putting them on the vlog sites. Try to get that VladTV interview, and then we are going to transition to Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, all the Jimmies, Stephen Colbert, and then open up for Dave Chappelle (LOL). That is what I am on.
There is different waves, music is a wave you just have to catch. When you catch it, you just have to ride it as long as you can because when you fall off, it is hard to catch that wave again. You would catch little waves, but it does not be like that one. It is just discipline, if you are discipline then you can do whatever you want. My fans know that I am going to be consistent, and I’m always going to be true to myself.