Trae Tha Truth and Mysonne are fresh off the release of their collab album If You’re Scared Stay Inside.
The album arrives at a pivotal point in America. After a year of protests and marches for Black lives, the pair deliver an album that speaks to this moment.
Inspired and recorded during their time on the ground in Kentucky during the Breonna Taylor fallout, If You’re Scared Stay Inside packs 14 tracks of raw emotion and OG wisdom.
The album features artists from hip-hop’s upper-echelon lending their bars such as Black Thought, Jim Jones, and Big K.R.I.T on the single Prayer For Me.
Kulture Hub got to sit down with Trae and Mysonne to discuss the creation of the album, the value of authenticity, and how the power to change the world is in the hands of the youth.
If You’re Scared Stay Inside‘s inception
Kulture Hub: What brought you guys together for this album?
Mysonne: Fate pretty much did it. Like you said, we’ve been doing a lot of on the ground and community work. And when the George Floyd situation happened, I was in Kentucky actually doing a memorial day service for Breonna Taylor along with the rest of the Until Freedom team.
And Trae, who was close to the homie George Floyd, came and went to Minneapolis in the wake of what had happened to him and we ended up meeting there.
You know, we always knew each other and had a lot of respect for each other. But I think at that moment as well, we really just grew our bond.
And from then on we went from Minneapolis back to Kentucky to fight for justice for Breonna Taylor and while there we just decided that we needed to document this moment and what we were dealing with.
The emotions, how we were feeling from the front lines, and what better way than us both being artists who love music who have a purpose to fight for our people then make an album out of it.
With us both coming from the streets and still wanting to fight for our people. We wanted people to understand that merge. Understand what we represented. So this project was something to reflect that.Mysonne for Kulture Hub
Artists’ role in the fight for justice
KH: George Floyd was a rapper himself during his time in Houston. It’s sad but crazy to think that someone from this culture is a symbol of peace. Everyone knows his name around the world and he’s a piece of hip-hop.
There’s a lot of rappers on the frontlines of this fight for Black lives. How important is it for Hip-hop to be at the forefront of this fight for change and equality?
Trae Tha Truth: I don’t think it should necessarily have to be a hip-hop thing or entertainers. I think it should be the people who genuinely care. And no matter who you are, no matter what race you are, no matter what background you got, whether it’s music or just a nine to five.
We need people who care and try to get the message across because a lot of people put pressure on entertainers saying or he should do this or these people should do it and I’ll never feel that’s fair to put a bracket on that.
Yes, it’s a blessing that we are entertainers but aside from that, we’re just regular street n*****. If we didn’t rap we’d still be the same people that would be fighting for the same process.Trae Tha Truth for Kulture Hub
The youth leads the fight forward
KH: Over the past year, young people have really stood up to fight for what they believe in. Do you guys see that continuing to push us forward?
Mysonne: Well for me, I’m definitely proud to see these young people stepping up. I think there’s an awakening and the young people are at the forefront. And they’re leading the charge.
I think these young people are a lot more fearless. They don’t want to do politics. they don’t want to peacefully coexist with things that they don’t agree with. They’re a lot more vocal and a lot more active. And I think what we do is provide that wisdom of what we’ve been through.
So you temper the wisdom with the energy and that’s when you get real change. We’re at the forefront of change. There’s no way that we can go back.Mysonne for Kulture Hub
We dealt with too many things in the last year that has completely changed the mindset of the world. Not just people in our communities.
There is an understanding that things have to change and any entity or structure that wants to keep it the same is going to fall because you can’t govern people in a manner in which they don’t want to be governed and you can’t control.
It’s just like anything, when you get tired of something, when it gets to the end it just overflows. And we’ve got to the end where it’s overflowing so at some point maybe I won’t see it in my lifetime, but at some point, it’s going to get there.
We’re just doing our parts to contribute. Coretta Scott King said, “Every generation is responsible for fighting for his own freedom”. We’re doing our part. The next generation has to do their part and continue on until we get the freedom that we are looking for.
Authenticity in If You’re Scared Stay Inside
KH: One of the themes of this album is authenticity. Telling people to be who they are. How important was that for you guys to put that type of message out, especially as OG’s for younger people to listen to?
Mysonne: It doesn’t matter what, what you think, who you are, what your beliefs are, as long as you’re authentic. I think people can sense authenticity all the time. It’s like for me, it’s people from different walks of life.
Like I say all the time, different religions, you got Muslims, you got Christians, you got so many people who believe different things. But when they authentically believe that it resonates with me, at least, you know, I think people can attach this.
So even when people who believe in the most negative things in the world, it resonates with people that want to, you know, agree with the same beliefs they have, because they see that as authentic.
So for me, it’s always important to be authentic when I could deal with anything that’s authentic, even if I disagree. But if I believe this is who you are, then we can find a common ground just based on authenticity. You know, you can find respect and authenticity and can’t find it when it’s not authentic.
When it’s coming from a place that’s not real, that’s fake, you know? So I pride myself on, regardless of what it is, I can sleep good at night because I know I’m authentic. So whether someone agrees with what I agree with. Someone doesn’t believe what I believe. I don’t have an issue with it because I believe it strongly, you know, and I’m a stand on it forever.
That’s one of the main things, you know, I think that’s one of the things that [me] and Trae have connected at. You know one of the main principles of our brotherhood is authenticity.
We don’t always agree on everything. Trae calls me sometimes like bro, bro, yo listen, and he might disagree, but he knows that I believe what I believe. And I know the same thing about him. So, you know, that’s, that’s what I say. Relationships are not about you always agreeing with somebody.
I don’t agree with anybody all the time. If you agree with somebody all the time, then that’s something that’s a little crazy cause we all individuals. But when you come from a place of authenticity, then respect is always good.
Trae Tha Truth: Just to go a step further, being authentic definitely is a major factor because it can carry weight a long way.
For example, with me being from the streets of Houston, Texas, people would only expect me to deal with street n***** from Houston. But I tell people, man, I deal with anybody according to them. As long as they are authentic and transparent about who they are, what they are.
If you’re a square and you ain’t never had a fight in your life and you let it be known, that’s not you. I can respect that. Whatever you decide to be, just be true to yourself. That’s what gains respect. Cause what happens is when you try and be something that you’re not, you put yourself in situations you don’t want to be in and we’ll look at you sideways.
All the while, you could have just been you and we would have accepted that. So being authentic is a major factor in every aspect for me.
Where do Trae Tha Truth and Mysonne get their inspiration from?
KH: What inspired you guys to work in your communities and be the change you want to see?
Trae Tha Truth: I think people just need help man. People need help and people need hope.
I never really realized this until the last few years, people also need leadership. And it’s only a selected few that can get out there and be the leaders that the people need.Trae Tha Truth
So every single one of these things comes into play. I feel it’s my responsibility because I live in the city, the community, the hood. And if I’m gonna do that, then why shouldn’t I be able to go out and assist so that I can try and help elevate them?
Mysonne: Same for me man. If you’re a product of your community, you come from your community, then it’s just natural. It’s a natural evolution when you are able to do something to give back to the place that you come from.
Everybody doesn’t feel that way but I think there are a few of us who understand it’s just our jobs. I wake up every day trying to figure out what can I do to make my surroundings better, man?
If I come from a community and I’m actually able to transcend and evolve and do a little better, and I have resources and opportunities to give back to that community to fight or speak on behalf of that community of injustice and things that I know that I’ve experienced while in that community, why not, you know, what else would I rather do than that? It gotta be in you, it ain’t on you.
Trae Tha Truth: For real. And I argue with people all the time cause they love to compare me to other rappers and I’m like stop doing this. If they want to help let them do it. If it’s in them then let them be them. You can’t force it because if you force them to do something then you won’t get the results.
A collaborative effort
KH: What was it like working together making this album?
Trae Tha Truth: You got to realize we’re just naturally brothers so it all falls into play. The only interesting part is the process of working. We have a couple of hours here, then we gotta leave to go do this. We gotta try to take a quick nap cause we gotta be up at this time.
Mysonne: Yeah. Trae has a crazy work ethic. I thought my work ethic was crazy. We were in different houses in Kentucky so the engineer and everything was staying with him. Trae called me and texted me at three, four in the morning like “hey, here’s two more beats.”
Have those done then by nine o’clock in the morning, I got to come and have the verses before we go to the rally. And then we come back from the rally and we sit in and do another two verses. So the process was crazy. We both had the same level of passion and love for the arts. So it’s crazy when you connect with somebody like that in so many different ways.
KH: What was it like being on the ground in Kentucky during that time?
Trae: It was just a different type of situation in general. You know, lots of different emotions, frustrations, a bunch of good moments too. I think in general because we real close with her [Breonna Taylor] family the people grew on us and we grew on the people. So it was just life.
KH: What’s next for you guys individually and do you see yourselves coming together to do another album?
Trae Tha Truth: You gotta realize when a relationship is genuine and like family, music is the last thing we have to worry about. It’s natural and it’ll fall into play when it’s supposed to. So that’s the easy part.
I got my solo and then my Trae and friends album. So we’re just doing our thing. As far as the project it was needed for when it was needed and where it was done and other parts it came at the right time.
Mysonne: Pretty much, you know we both love this thing and we both work all the time. This project was just needed at this time and we felt like it was necessary to put it out.
We’re definitely going to be doing music because we love it. we might just be somewhere and decide to do a whole album again. You never know. But Trae has a solo album. I have a solo that I’m about to release. I just released a video just to heat it up and keep things going.
But right now we’re really focused on working with our people. Breonna Taylor still ain’t get justice and this is the one-year anniversary of her murder coming up next week and we still gotta fight for that. We’re gonna be on the front line for our people and that’s the first objective.
But we want to focus on this album too because it’s definitely necessary and it’s a modern state and reflection of this time. A lot of people need to hear it because it gives you a feel and a vibe that I think hasn’t been in music for a while and that’s important.
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For more from Trae Tha Truth and Mysonne, check out their album If You’re Scared Stay Inside available on all streaming platforms.
And be on the lookout for their solo material in the future.