If you’re in the club and it’s your b-day, then this song has probably been played and you and your friends have probably went crazy. “Birthday Chick” by Jacksonville, Florida rapper Trap Beckham has been the ultimate celebratory theme song since it’s release. The young rapper hit the scene fast, already creating a buzz around his music, so quickly that his infamous “Birthday Chick” song has been played in HBO’s hit series Insecure.
The Def Jam Recordings signee has released his latest single “Going Down” after dropping a mixtape every year for five straight years on his birthday. 2012 was definitely the peak year for the Florida native and now, five years later, Beckham is persistently building his resume and reppin’ his hometown.
– At what age did you say “music is something I want to pursue professionally?”
Professionally I would say like age 14, but I was writing music since age 8. So yeah, just all my life really.
– What was the music scene like growing up in Jacksonville Florida?
It’s not a lot of artists there. It’s not a lot of major artists definitely. I’m the first artist with a major deal in like two decades. So it’s like definitely not a lot of people that come out of Jacksonville. It’s a lot of local talent, but as far as like people staying consistent and getting signed, it’s not a lot.
– T-Pain and Kanye were major influences for you growing up and beginning your music career. What about them inspired you musically?
Just their musical style. The way they put together a song. The fact that both of them can produce. Just the themes of their music, the content, the music videos. They’re both creative.
– 2012 was “your year.” Can you tell me about some of the major moments from that year for you?
2012. I had dropped my mixtape that I had dropped every year “7.14.12” that year. It was like one of the best bodies of work I had put together because it was so versatile. It was a real big peak year. We did a lot of shows that year. We made a big impression.
– For four years in a row, you won Artist, Song, Mixtape and Performer of the year at the Duval Diamond Awards. How did it feel when you won those awards especially just starting out?
It feels good everytime. No matter how big I get I want my Duval Diamond Award because that’s where I’m from. As long as I’m the best doing it, I want my award. (laughs). I feel honored to even say I got those awards. It feels real great to have them.
– You’re signed to a major label. Def Jam recordings. How did this partnership come about?
I have a partner named Stevie Stacks and like basically- Stevie, I’m on his label- he linked me with A&R from Def Jam and he flew me out here, we linked up, we clicked. First day we dropped like three songs and two weeks later we was in the office in New York and everything just clicked. The energy was there. It was just a good vibe. I thought it was the right decision.
-Your single “Birthday Chick” has received a lot of recognition which continues to increase. Can you tell me a little about this song and the creative process?
*Singing* “One time for the birthday chick.” The creative process I was just in the club you know, lit. I’m listening to the vibe. I’m like “man.” I look around it’s so many birthdays. I just started rapping in my head like “One time for the birthday chick. Two times for the birthday.” So like I go home, I start whipping up the beat, and like two days later we have a song and we get it played the same week in the club, basically we have all the DJ’s. It caused steam as soon as it played.
– This single was played on HBO’s Insecure. How did it feel when you found out that your song was being played on one of the top shows on TV? Did you check out that episode?
I didn’t watch Insecure until that episode. I’m not big on (watching) TV but I’m gonna get the whole thing (season) on DVD and watch like ten, twenty times just because. I’ll end up watching it.
– Speaking of birthdays. Is there a memorable birthday you’ve had?
I usually don’t remember the birthday because I be so, so, so lit. (laughs). This year, this past recent birthday it was lit because we actually had a pool party. We took over the Jacksonville Jaguar stadium. We had the screens, we had football games playing on the biggest screens in America, right now I think. We had the pool in the stadium. We just took over the stadium and had a dope pool party for 7.14.16.
– Is there anything special you like to do when you have free time?
I like to chill. I like to smoke. I like to listen to music. I like to go out to eat and do like recreational stuff.
– What has this music game taught you at such a young age?
It just taught me to stay consistent, keep your head down, keep runnin’. That’s how you finish the race first
– What do you propose is key to staying relevant in the music industry?
Being open to like adjusting the sound. Even like Jay-Z, he’s open to like adjusting the sound. “I Got The Keyz” doesn’t sound nothin’ like all his older stuff so you just gotta be willing to adjust with the sound.
– What’s next? I know you just dropped your single “Going Down.” You have a music video for that too as well. Do you have any touring plans or anything?
Yeah, we’re putting together different stuff like that. I got a lot of shows in February/March. It’s not an official tour right now, but once I have a project to base the tour around, I’m pretty sure that will come into play. As of right now, we’re just pushing the record “Going Down,” pushing another record at times. Of course the “Birthday Chick” record. It’s just a party everywhere we go.
– Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Interviewed by: Simone Grant