— Maybach Music Group (@MaybachMusicGrp) November 6, 2013
Years of grinding have paid off. Fat Trel has officially been called up to the majors, the news revealed in via Twitter on Wednesday.
Since he burst onto the scene, Trel has been one of Hip-Hop’s more interesting personalities, more Mr. Hyde than Dr. Jekyll. That he found such an audience to merit a major label signing him has to be considered a minor miracle. We have nothing but love for Trel around TSS, as we’ve shown since 2010 but his image doesn’t seem quite as radio-ready as fellow DMV-er and current label-mate Wale.
Which is why the Trel/MMG marriage is so fascinating.
Rozay’s label is, if nothing else, one of the most consistent names in rap, and if we’re judging success by the amount of rappers who have benefited from wearing Maybach’s chain, Ross has to be considered a much better executive than contemporaries like Jeezy or even Eminem.
But Fat Trel? Grimy lyrics, piercing eyes and all? We’ll have to play the “wait and see” approach, because Ross could take this in any number of directions. Stalley has proven that it is possible to preserve musical integrity while at MMG, but we’re still waiting for a proper debut album. As of now, the two possible outcomes of landing on MMG (and, really, the majority of the industry) would seem to be:
1. “Sell out,” ie make some club-friendly songs along with usual circle of names seen on Ross and DJ Khaled songs, release a couple of OK albums that reach stores like Best Buy. Not a bad move since cool and respect never paid electricity bills.
2. Operate in the shadows, releasing blog-freindly mixtapes and providing solid guest verses. More or less what’s being done now. He could potentially hover somewhere slightly above Torch and Gunplay, maybe in that same space as Stalley. Not a bad place creatively, but not on the A-team with Meek and Wale.
Time will tell if Trel can find some middle ground. In the meantime, let’s whet our appetites with his latest concoction, “Giddyup,” featuring his Slutty Boyz crew and Migos.