Trizzy Tré, the Rapper, recently won the BEAM Competition for Springfest 2019 student performer. I sat down with the artist—also known as Tré Warner ’22—and discussed his music, career and getting to share a stage with Aminé.
Born in Harlem, N.Y. and raised in Minneapolis, M.N., Warner plans on possibly pursuing degrees in Education Studies and Business. “I’m a brother of Sigma Alpha Mu; I am a member of Basement Records; and I’m Black in America,” he said.
With his deep baritone voice, Trizzy Tré spits words rapid-fire. During the competition, he dropped a freestyle video that demonstrated a formidable mastery of lyrical language. He extemporaneously rhymes “pavement” with “Cambridge” and then “space.” It’s dizzying.
It’s probably because Trizzy Tré started out doing spoken word poetry. “I had a seventh-grade writing teacher who introduced us to this spoken word competition ‘Louder Than a Bomb,’” he said. “I was just infatuated with it.” Tré shared that his spoken word origins were instrumental in who he is as a rapper. “It’s gotten me very good at being poetic with the things I say—there’s a message, there’s meaning to what I’m saying.”
As to his message, Tré said:“Sometimes songs I’ll just straight up talk about being a regular dude and being lonely sometimes. Sometimes I’m talking about fear of police in my songs. Sometimes I’m talking about worries—I’m gonna possibly eventually bring out a black son, and I wonder how is he gonna develop in this world? Is the future gonna give him a life like mine? Is it gonna be better than mine? Is it gonna be worse? How am I gonna teach him how to be a black man who can survive through the trials we’re going through in America right now?”
He listed a variety of influences for him as an artist: Chiefly, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Vince Staples and Jay-Z. He also has a particular soft spot for The Notorious B.I.G. “Biggie Smalls is probably like the first artist I remember—my mom, she grew up in the Bronx. She always tells me how she watched hip-hop come up,” he said. “‘Hypnotize’ by Biggie Smalls was the first rap song I fell in love with.”
It’s worth repeating that Trizzy Tré is just a first-year. It speaks to his skills as a performing artist that he was able to clinch the BEAM Competition in his first year at Brandeis—though he does wish that there were more rappers on campus “just so I could have fun and playfully compete with them a bit.” At the moment, he said, it’s not a very crowded playing field. “I wish there was more of us out there.”
But that’s also meant that he’s gotten to have plenty of performance opportunities to hone his craft. From Basement Records nights at the Stein, to March’s “Shades of Blackness” event, he’s been able to develop his art while sharing his work with a campus audience.
At Springfest, Tré gets to perform on the same stage as Aminé, Rico Nasty and Ari Lennox. To prepare, he’s been working in the studio with his producer, Alex Flaxman ’22. “We’re just making music together, making sure we got a good setlist.” Look out for new music to debut during his opening act. “There’s definitely a few new songs coming at Springfest,” he said.
A talented performer with a lot to say, Trizzy Tré, the Rapper will take the stage on Sunday, April 7, with the doors opening at 2 p.m. “Look out for me at Springfest,” he said.