Six years ago, in the sweltering summer of 2008, the City of Houston bestowed a proclamation upon one of its citizens, a certain Frazier Othel Thompson. Rap fans know the man much better now as Trae Tha Truth, Houston's own "King of the Streets." The following year, the city was rewarded with "Trae Day," a free family block party and concert that has become an annual extravaganza of music, carnival rides, health screenings, school supplies and giveaways.
So much has happened since the first "Trae Day," both in the city and in Trae's personal life and rap career. A dispute with 97.9 The Box and subsequent ban from the station's airwaves only fueled Trae's urge to work, first aligning himself with Lil Wayne's camp and then signing with Grand Hustle, the umbrella label run by the self-proclaimed "King of The South," Atlanta's own T.I. Trae also suffered the loss of his brother "Money" Clip D and ABN associates Dinky D and Poppa C to gun violence. A bullet even managed to find his shoulder, although he would make a full recovery from the shooting.
Despite all of the adversity, Trae Day lives on as one of Houston's most anticipated annual events, and Tuesday's 2014 edition at NRG Park was full with memorable moments. Here is a short racap of yesterday's festivities as seen through my camera lens:
The doors opened at 3 p.m., with a line of fans waiting in the hot sun, ready to go inside. A few performers take the stage, all new, all raw, somewhat interesting. MC Wicked Cricket tries his best to keep the crowd motivated. No sign of Trae yet.
There were several rides and games to choose from, including a train, tilt-a-whirl, rock climbing, mini-pony rides, a camel and, as promised, a mountain of snow. Still waiting for Trae.
Trae arrives, and the one security guard manning the plastic rope fence was no match for the large crowd that had gathered to catch a glance of their favorite rapper. Then, as is his custom, Trae left the backstage area to interact with his fans. As he walked around the NRG parking lot inspecting Trae Day, a mob of at least 100 people surrounded him. He's like Houston's version of The Pied Piper.
Here's Trae riding the Tilt-A-Whirl with rapper B.o.B, and Autotune king T-Pain.
And then he rode a camel. That's gotta be a first in the rap game.
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Reps from Sheila Jackson Lee's office provided Trae with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition.
The Trill OG arrived as well.
T.I. jumped onstage to do his thing.
T.I., Trae, and B.o.B.
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Such a great crowd.
TV Johnny gave away grills, watches, and gift bags while Trae gave away sets of swangers from Texas Wire Wheels.
Thank you Trae, for another successful Trae Day.
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