Linking up with Tay Adams in a stairwell for an interview isn’t too far shy of his brands aesthetic. If you’ve ever met up with Tay to purchase any merchandise, then you’re already privy to his TRAPPER pound bags with the name written across it. TRAPPER, a streetwear brand carrying a plethora of t-shirts, hoodies and known for his crazy customs whether it is a bandana crafted jacket or him putting his own markings on a leather jacket, you’ll definitely know TRAPPER when you see it. I got a chance to sift through the mind of the artist who doesn’t quite see himself as an artist, but as someone promoting a much bigger picture.
Q: When did you start TRAPPER? I remember when you were always taking pictures.
A: “I started it when like… I was just doing the pictures and I use to write it [TRAPPER] over them, and every time I seen people they would make it a big deal, like “Oh I need a TRAPPER shoot”. The first person to get a custom was 808-H; he was like “Oh I really need that”. So that’s when I kind of start thinking like hmm maybe I do got something type shit.
“Friendly competition is always good, always, it keeps you on your toes. Seven was doing this before me, so for me to even be competing with him that’s good enough for me.”
I really feel like I’m just becoming a brand, it’s almost been 2 years. You know how people are they make a shirt and think it’s a brand, but you have to put in the work before you can even classify yourself as like a competitor. I wouldn’t want to call myself a brand until I’m a competitor, because anybody can get a LLC.
The transition from just shoots to TRAPPER, I don’t want to say it was an easy transition but it kind of was. I already dressed sweet, so for me to do it, it wasn’t a reach, I didn’t have to sit and think how am I going to recreate myself. It kind of just flowed with me.”
A: I’ve noticed your brand doesn’t have a website yet, does that impact you inany way?
Q: “A website… yeah that’s next. It doesn’t hurt me in anyway, because it keeps the hype going though. It keeps the hype, because you can’t just get it. If I had the web already and you can just get it, it wouldn’t be as “Oh I need this” or “I gotta go to Columbus to get this” or “I gotta get to this”. So I’m building a website right now, I’m glad I don’t have a website yet, because it keeps the hype, it keeps everything going.
Q: Would you like to open your own storefront in the future?
A: I’d rather be in stores than have my own storefront, but I’m more with the online and pop-ups. I’ve talked to other people who have those bigger businesses like TACKMA and stuff like that and it’s just not a big thing for me right now, there’s no rush. I’m doing a pop up tour in Atlanta, a joint in Vegas. The pop up tour is to test the water just to see what we do, see what they’re talking about and how they’re feeling.
Q: What’s next for TRAPPER?
A: “I’ve been thinking about going mainstream and getting the free hand art digitized, I’ve been thinking about that and trying out different stuff, other than that I don’t know how I’m going to do it just yet. I can’t do like a thousand one of one’s. I’ve probably already done a thousand [laughs]; I can’t do a thousand more right now. So that’s what I’ve really been thinking about, what I’m going to do with the paint. I may keep it super limited and more expensive, but I’m going to figure out something.
“It’s like I gotta paint to keep going. It keeps me sane though, it’s like a peace of mind.”
I swear there’s been a few times where I’m like I’m not painting no more, but every time I say I’m not painting I’ll just be chillin and planning to drop, but in the mist of this drop I’m not really cooking up. When I was younger I use to paint, I thought I was going to be an artist. That was my first thing I thought I would do, but even till this day I don’t know how to draw though, but I’m okay I do what I do. [laughs] I can’t do the Bugs Bunny and all that on there, but I can put what I want though.”
Q: Who are currently working with? Who would you like to collaborate with?
A: “I got Sammy Davis and Bobby Biz pushing TRAPPER so hard, in the next couple of years it’s going to big. It’s definitely going to be heavier in Hip-hop, but I don’t know, we might go crazy; we might go SUPREME big with this one. Fashion and music have always gone hand in hand, it’s just like we’re just now getting it up and going. It makes sense because it’s all the same people doing everything.
I have some things in the works with MADE. My dude Hakim does Space boy and I’m about to do a collab with him. The Hair Plug, she’s a hairstylist, but she’s very fashion forward, so we have some stuff going on too
Events like the Streetwear Flea are important for the culture, for brands to all get-together and do shit like this. Even before I started TRAPPER I would go to events like it. I love it; it’s what we need. I love everything that Sole Classics does; they really try to push the envelope with the culture of this city.
Q: What do you want people to think of when they here the word TRAPPER?
A: “Economic Freedom. That’s what TRAPPER is about. Entrepreneurship. Once you become an entrepreneur you can free yourself economically. TRAPPER can come off ratchet, but I can do what I want because I’m an entrepreneur. It’s still positive, and if I wanted to send kids to school in it I still could.
That’s why I do TRPR for the kids. They’ll know they can have that same economic freedom.
The next thing I’m I working on is more high fashion, it’s going to be more cut and sew. Premium denims and all that good stuff, but I’m not going to tell you the name of it. See because some people they speed ball and do it too fast. You have to build it up and wait until your name holds weight. You have to have that work ethic, because if you do a spin-off too early it’s kind of for nothing. If your main thing isn’t doing anything, it’s like you’re hustling backwards. But I’m working on it, I’m not going to unleash it yet, but it’s going to be crazy when I do.”
For all things TRAPPER you can visit Tay’s brand page here.