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Trae Tha Truth

It's hard to believe it's been three whole years since Houston's Trae Tha Truth has released a proper studio album. He's never very far from a stage or the headlines, becoming quite skilled at (according to his publicist) "keeping the music news busy with music, videos, cartoons and lawsuits." Trae does do a pretty good job of supplying us with copy — look up his animated series The Adventures of Trae Tha Truth on YouTube if for some reason you haven't already – and it's not only because he's one of the few rappers with the cojones to stand up to a major radio station like 97.9 The Box. Trae has spared no expense on his brand-new Street King, recruiting some of rap's top MCs (Big Boi, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne) and producers (Mr Rogers, Drumma Boy, Mr Inkredible) to burnish his grim, streetwise flow. Take it with the usual hip-hop grain of salt, but scheduled to appear with Trae on Tuesday — when he'll front a live band like he did at last year's HPMA showcase — are Wacka Flocka, Jadakiss, Young Joc and Lupe Fiasco (and who knows who else).

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