Screaming fans, jammed packed shows, thousands of social media followers, spot tour dates and regular radio appearances all for one young hip-hop trio, Trip Terror, Inc.
With their house party beats and playful lyrics, they put you in mind of a new age Kris Kross with a dash of The Black Eyed Peas. Jalyn “Frost” Reed, Josiah “Casper” Reed and Christian “Young C” Reed have it all – the dance moves, the charm and the fans.
They proved that the night they opened up the Houston tour for the teen boy band Mindless Behavior this past December. At the time of the show, the lead singer from Mindless Behavior had just left the group, and their performance reflected their loss, which left their fans displeased and vulnerable to gravitate towards the talented trio, Trip Terror, Inc.
“The Mindless Behavior tour experience was hype, all we wanted to do was stay on stage all night,” Casper said. “Their fans instantly became our fans.”
Like most hip-hop and pop groups performing in local clubs and talent shows and shopping their own mixtapes around was the ground work for becoming the artists they were destined to be. But this day and age the starving artists have an advantage over the previous hip-hop generation – social media.
With one retweet, repost and upload you could be an overnight celebrity just like the rapper, Soulja Boy. All it took was for him to upload a video to YouTube featuring his now popular dance, “The Superman.” And with over 156 million hits later he is the celebrity that he is today, a creative artist that paved the way for young tech savvy artists to reach a mainstream audience via social media.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube has played an intricate role in establishing the fan base for the eclectic trio. However, before their rap career began they started off as a five-man dance group called Trip Active. Jerking at school functions, parties and events they caught the attention of impressionable children in their local neighborhoods and schools as well as inspired a number of others to form dance groups.
Trip Active was so energetic and distinctive that another 11 member dance battle group called Westside Terror Jerks invited them to be apart of their music video and to join together as dance group, called “Trip Active.”
In 2009, the name changed to Trip Terror with 16 members. Slowly, but surely, members were purged out of the enormous dance group, and by the end of 2009, the group no longer just danced, but added rapping to accompany their hyped dance routines.
Trip Terror later released other members from their dance group and started recording songs with the members who were serious about combining rapping and dancing.
Soon after the dance group added rapping into their act, other members began to drop as well. After the second reduction of members, the group released their first single, “Tyed Out.” They also released remixes to popular rap and pop songs to keep social media buzzing with their fresh faces and entertaining material.
Due to contracts and other personal reasons, Trip Terror released the other members from the group and left the last three standing – Frost, Casper and Young C. The group kept their initial name and added Inc. to distinguish the name from the previous group.
Dancing, performing and rapping are not newly discovered talents of the group, it was growing up in the church that taught them the fundamentals of entertaining.
Since our parents are both ministers, we were in church all the time. We mimed and danced at church and other church events. “Our performances were highly energetic and genuine,” Frost said.
Growing up in the home of ministers held them to a higher standard and stricter rules and guidelines, however, their parents also encouraged their creativity and did not limit their possibilities.
“We could listen to any type of music while we were growing up,” Young C said. “But, having pastors for parents helped keep us grounded.”
Artists like Chris Brown, Eminem, Macklemore, Justin Bieber and Drake have influenced the three to become better dancers, think more creatively and to hone their rapping skills in order to compete with other independent and mainstream artists.
We have learned a lot from some of our favorite artists. “They inspired us to give a full energetic performance and engage in the audience to make them feel like they are having a one-on-one experience with us,” Casper said.
They have even taken their act to another level. Interactive reality television shows are more popular than ever now-a-days. Budding artists audition with the show’s producers and celebrities who judge their best routine with hopes of making it to the final cut. With the help of social media, the artist’s fans might help advance the act to the live show.
In 2011, Trip Terror, Inc. traveled to New Orleans, La., to sign up for an audition with the interactive reality television show, X-Factor. Thousands of talented artists of every race and age braved the cold and waited in lines for hours just to hear the words ‘sorry you will not make it to the next round,’ however, Frost, Casper and Young C were determined to make it past round one of the producer’s auditions.
“There were so many talented people there, singing, dancing, beat boxing and rapping. You couldn’t say that you were better than anyone because they were all good and doing the same thing you were doing,” Young C said.
The trio’s determination carried them through the third round before they were told they would not advance in the competition. Although they did not make it to the celebrity judges’auditions or the live show, the took home more than they bargained.
“Seeing all of the other talented artists, braving the cold just like us to get a shot at stardom motivatedus to come home and grind harder,” Frost said.
The grind did not stop once they returned from X-Factor try outs. The group is focused on working on their album “1 Percent” with producers from Sony Records, honing their writing skills, increasing their social media traffic and taking every opportunity to perform.
“Success is not making money, it is making it through life accordingly and being able to do what you love,” Frost said.