TRAETWOTHREE’s name comes from his hometown of Los Angeles, representing his area code 323 at any given moment. With his roots in the city, the singer-songwriter is inspired directly by the likes of Tank, Tyrese, Erykah Badu, and The Isley Brothers, even describing his sound as “South Central at nighttime.”
And while most artists come out of South Central LA rapping, TRAETWOTHREE is here to bless the world with all the R&B vibes he can — giving a different sound that people have never heard before. Plus, he has one of the biggest cosigns from Nick Cannon, who went on to sign him to his Ncredible imprint in partnership with Art@War and Atlantic Records.
Falling in love with music his sophomore year of high school, TRAETWOTHREE states, “I liked what music did for me, so I want to be a part of that for other people.”
Most recently, TRAETWOTHREE released his highly-anticipated debut mixtape called Out The District, spearheaded by lead singles “710” featuring DW Flame, “Stuck In My Ways” featuring Blueface, and “Worth It” featuring DDG.
AllHipHop spoke with TRAETWOTHREE in downtown Los Angeles to discuss his roots, his sound, how Nick Cannon found him, the new project, collaborating with Blueface and DDG, and more!
AllHipHop: How would you describe your sound?
TRAETWOTHREE: Dark R&B, but at the same time just a vibe. I’m big on vibes. It sets the tone, the whole aesthetic. It feels like you can listen to it late night. I set the tone for late night.
AllHipHop: You’re from South Central,how does that play into your life and career?
TRAETWOTHREE: It was cool, it was regular honestly. Just staying out the way is the best way to go. I’m always trying to stay out the way and stay focused.
AllHipHop: What artists impacted you the most?
TRAETWOTHREE: Definitely Nipsey coming out the city forsure. R&B-wise, I’ll say Usher, Eric Bellinger. He’s the GOAT man.
AllHipHop: How did you get into the music business?
TRAETWOTHREE: When I got discovered, I was selling shoes and they saw something in me. I met Nick Cannon, that’s my big brother. I met him and we’ve been rocking since then.
AllHipHop: Where were you selling shoes at?
TRAETWOTHREE: Dick’s Sporting Goods. [laughs] I was selling Jordan’s, crazy. Nick had some people that he was working with at the time, we were having a conversation. I was really trying to sell them shoes, but I had told him I make music in between time. I sent them some of my music, then we went to the studio for a little bit. Nick had walked in and was listening to my stuff. He told them, “I want to work with him, he’s hard.”
AllHipHop: Just like that?
TRAETWOTHREE: Just like that. This was probably four or five years ago.
AllHipHop: How did Nick end up signing you to his label?
TRAETWOTHREE: It was just organic to be honest, we had started working every single day. Me and the whole Ncredible team, we just started working. It was organic. Nick’s a big brother for real, it’s like a big brother little brother type situation.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to have a co-sign from him? He’s such a GOAT in all this.
TRAETWOTHREE: Yeah it’s huge! Even our conversations, just learning from him. Even on the business aspect, it’s definitely a blessing.
AllHipHop: What have you learned from him?
TRAETWOTHREE: Just to work hard. To keep working hard. Even watching how he works, I’ve never seen him sleep. I’ve never seen him sleep before, so I learned that just from looking at him.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to be a part of the Ncredible family? Are you the only artist?
TRAETWOTHREE: It’s a couple other artists: Justina Valentine, DW Flame out of Long Beach and Hitman Holla to name a few. I’m the only one singing and doing what I do.
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AllHipHop: How’d it feel to be featured on his mixtape, Raw&B?
TRAETWOTHREE: It was a blessing. I loved it. It tells a story that represents him. Just to be a part of anything he has going on, it’s dope.
AllHipHop: Bring us back to that recording session for “GOT HOES.”
TRAETWOTHREE: He had sent me the record and it was an LA West Coast beat. It was organic honestly. Anytime me and Nick are in the studio, we’re vibing. We have a good time for real, we be turnt up. For real, we be turnt.
AllHipHop: How was it doing the Wild’ N Out Tour?
TRAETWOTHREE: It was big! That was my first time really performing. To be doing it in front of arenas every night, I was doing arenas with 15K, 20K people. It was crazy. It definitely gave me a lot of experience after that. It was amazing.
AllHipHop: Were you nervous that’s a lot of people??
TRAETWOTHREE: Nah. It’s crazy because once they throw you out there like that, it’s no room to be nervous for real. You have to do what you do, you’re in the spotlight. 15K people, you gotta do it.
AllHipHop: Have you performed in front of that many people?
TRAETWOTHREE: Nah, that was my first time. They put me on the biggest stage that I’ve ever done. We did the Staples Center, we turnt that up. The whole city came out, it was crazy.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to do that in your hometown?
TRAETWOTHREE: Man, it was so big. It was so big for the city because these are people who watch me grow up and grind, so it meant the world to me to do it in the Staples Center. Well now the Crypto.com Arena.
AllHipHop: Out The District out now, how are you feeling?
TRAETWOTHREE: You know, Out The District is my first body of work. So it’s amazing, it’s been a long time coming. I’ve been working on this project for about three years. I was putting songs together and being versatile with it, so it’s amazing.
AllHipHop: Why did you name Out The District?
TRAETWOTHREE: Just because this is the start of my career. It’s the introduction. It’s important that I let people know where I’m from. All the music and everything comes straight Out The District, out of the Crenshaw District.
AllHipHop: You got some bangers, including “Stuck In My Ways” featuring Blueface.
TRAETWOTHREE: Shout out Blueface, we went crazy on that. Blueface is from right around the way, so that was really organic. We were gonna do that anyway, but we had locked in. Our teams have been locked in for years now, so we came together and did something dope for LA. I had sent him the record and he got it back to me the same day. He was rocking with it.
AllHipHop: That quick?!
TRAETWOTHREE: That quick. It was big. That’s one of my biggest features I’ve had so far, so I love it. Blueface was gassing. You know he be gassing.
AllHipHop: Do you have a favorite song on the project?
TRAETWOTHREE: I’ll say “710” with DW Flame. Even the recording session, the process of everything. We were making a gang of records all day. Probably five or six records. It was showing love to Long Beach. Even though I’m not from Long Beach, I have mad love for Long Beach. I spent a lot of time out there. Artists back then, they used to always be like “Compton to Long Beach to Inglewood.” Just showing love to different cities, so it’s cool for us to do that in this new generation.
AllHipHop: How’d you end up getting DDG on “Worth It”?
TRAETWOTHREE: Shout out to his team. My manager set that up with his manager, shout out to Meechie. That’s my boy. Once again, that was real organic. Just being cool with his team and my team, we made that happen. But he sent it back ASAP too. We got it done, then we got the video done. It was a big vibe, especially on set. It was definitely cool.
AllHipHop: Who or what inspired “Done Done”?
TRAETWOTHREE: It’s crazy, I made “Done Done” a couple years ago. It’s a real vibe. I’m Nigerian, so I definitely wanted to get versatile and show everybody how I can get on any type of beat. It’s a big vibe on that one.
AllHipHop: Talk about your Nigerian roots and how that plays into your music.
TRAETWOTHREE: It’s crazy because my favorite genre out of everything is Afrobeats, that’s literally what I listen to every single day. My dad’s side, my granny is Nigerian. It made me want to get closer to my roots, closer to my culture. I’ve definitely been tapped into that for quite some time now.
AllHipHop: What is it you want fans to get from your story?
TRAETWOTHREE: I want people to see everything I could do, how versatile I am. Just appreciate the music, it’s a worldwide sound. This is the introduction of me, and hopefully people love it.
AllHipHop: Three things you need in the studio?
TRAETWOTHREE: A Cup Noodles, Casamigos, and manual lights. So we could change the lights and set the vibe, set the mood.
AllHipHop: Goals yourself as an artist at this point of your career?
TRAETWOTHREE: I’m hitting all of my goals to be honest. Just to keep making better music, bettering myself and staying consistent honestly. Better videos, I want to grow my artistry in every single way possible.
AllHipHop: What do you like to do when you are not doing music?
TRAETWOTHREE: I’m a big binge watcher of Netflix. I play Xbox a lot, that’s what I’m really into. I just be kicking it.
AllHipHop: Anything else you’d like to let the people know?
TRAETWOTHREE: Go get Out The District, out now. Make sure y’all download it: Apple Music, Spotify, all platforms. Shoutout to Ncredible, Art@War and Atlantic Records. We going crazy.
AllHipHop: Do you have a memory with Nick Cannon you can share with us?
TRAETWOTHREE: I don’t know because we kick it literally almost everyday. We just kick it every single day. I feel like every day’s a memory for real, it’s always something going on. It’s not anything specific.