Cork city rapper, Trigger is calling the shots

Trigger, aged 27, broke onto the Irish hip hop scene in 2014, with his debut album, ‘Triggernometry’. His songs deal with the harsh realities of inner-city life in Cork: social ills, crime, drug abuse and homelessness. His storytelling and insightful lyricism have won him fans nationally and internationally; his music is being played on RTÉ Radio 1, 96fm and Redfm. His second album, ‘Double Perspective’, was released in 2017 and included contributions from Irish artists Ophelia McCabe, Jambo, and Red the Future. With a new video, a new EP, and a new album on the way, Trigger talks to Anthony Angelini about the busy year that lies ahead
Cork city rapper, Trigger is calling the shots

“Here’s why you better where you’re you walkin, No lie, you better watch who you talk with, More trials, fellas chopped up, assaulted, That hard life chatter doesn’t matter when you’re blasted” — This lyric is from a song titled ‘Watch Where You Walk’, the first release from Cork rapper Trigger’s third album, 90’s Baby. The track portrays the seductive nature of the gangland lifestyle, which blights so many inner cities; it documents the choices that lead people down a destructive path. The track, a collaboration between Trigger and US rapper MC Eiht, is produced by Irish artist Kreo Ghost, whom Trigger had previously worked with on Double Perspective.

MC Eiht, a founder member of hip hop group Compton’s Most Wanted, is one of the most respected rappers in the West Coast scene; and has been releasing albums since the early ’90s. He was a huge inspiration for Kendrick Lamar and appeared on the title track of Lamar’s hit album, Good Kid m.A.A.d City. Trigger got in touch with him through his connections with the Outlawz, the iconic hip hop group with whom he shot the music video ‘Purpose’, in LA last year.

Both Trigger and MC Eiht offer their perspectives on gang violence and criminality: “His verse is about his own experiences. He was a member of the Crips and rap music was his way out. My verse is about the pitfalls and the trials and tribulations, the downfalls,” Trigger says. The video was shot in Dublin, while MC Eiht was on his European tour.

Trigger’s connections with American artists also got him contact with L’il Eazy, the oldest son of gangster rap legend Eazy-E. Trigger and L’il Eazy are planning to shoot a music video in Eazy’s family home in LA, a place of huge significance in the hip hop world and where NWA’s seminal Straight Outta Compton album was developed.

He is also working on potential collaborations with a number of other major American hip hop artists and producers.

Trigger and MC Eiht
Trigger and MC Eiht

But, along with the collaborations, 90’s Baby will be a much more autobiographical work than Triggernometry and Double Perspective: Trigger became a father last year and one of the songs on the album focuses on how this has changed him. There are also songs about friendships and Trigger’s outlook on his own life. The album will be the most honest he has been on record: “it’s gonna be a lot more personal and a lot more revealing”.

This more personal tone is reflected in Trigger’s greater understanding of how writing lyrics has developed into a cathartic means of self-expression: “I love the whole writing process…. I do feel like if I put my thoughts on the paper, it’s kind of like a bit of therapy. I’d write stuff sometimes that I wouldn’t talk to people about in conversation, if I’m feeling such a way, or thinking about something.”

As he has grown more comfortable with this process, Trigger has felt that the quality of what he creates is higher and more authentic “Whereas, before, I used to have a lot of throwaway verses, now, when I sit down, I have so much to talk about.”

As well as developing songs for the new album, Trigger is also preparing to release an EP in the summer.

Titled ‘Make Rap Great Again’, a play on a phrase made famous by US president, Donald Trump, it features tracks with US artists Aktual and Young Noble, from the Outlawz. It’s all part of Trigger’s desire to create stronger links between his music and the music of his American peers: “this will be my platform to reach out to other artists in America.”

With new music videos and new opportunities to work with established artists in the US, as well as in Ireland, Trigger’s 2019 is shaping up to be a very important year.

‘Watch Where You Walk’ is released today on Trigger’s YouTube channel: TriggerRapArtist; ‘Make Rap Great Again’ is released in June; ‘90s Baby’ will be released later in the year.

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