Maurice Young is kind of a creepy dude. “Trick love da kids,” the MC shared on his childhood reminiscence “In Da Wind,” distending the “o” with an emphasis that defies both transcription and explanation. On “I’m a Thug” he demonstrated that enduring affection for your children by encouraging a chorus of youngsters to chant the title chorus and, for good measure, to boast that they wouldn’t change if they could. It was like some prescient, anticipatory parody of Nas’s “I Can”; it maybe inspired Kanye to one-up Trick with the same gimmick on the wittier “We Don’t Care.”
Well, what do you know — my favorite Trick track surfaced on the soundtrack to a cartoon, Osmosis Jones. But if the nonsense boasts of “Nann Nigga” and anti-social glee of “Shut Up” had both tickled me, I goddam love “Boogie Shoes,” and will hug any thug who can respect the far too often disparaged KC & the Sunshine Band. (I suppose that counts as local flavor in the MIA.) And also, cool people were definitely not still enlisting the helpful grunts of James Brown in 2001.
I’m not sure the kids needed to hear him rhyming “I never had sex that costed” (though someone named “Trick” might have to clear that up) and “I fuck so much I’m exhausted” (even if he fails to realize that may say more about his stamina than his bedpost notches). But here the substance of this crew’s boasts are overshadowed by the elasticity of their flow. As crunk was in the process of redefining MCs as linebackers, Trick and his crew came on as ballers (literally, in the video), and embodied a truer old school vibe than revival acts like Jurassic Five. And at a time when every crew had its token bitch, Trina was indeed the baddest.
Trick hung on as one of the more under-sung second-string hitmakers for much of the decade, with some ace producers tossing decent samples his way–Ozzy on Lil Jon’s “Let’s Go” and the dang Talking Heads on the Cee-Lo production “Sugar.” Except for his cameos on those flashy all-star Khaled singles, though, I’ve mostly lost track of him ever since paying close attention to Miami rap meant repeated run-ins with no-talent fat ass Rick Ross.