Tre’ Da Kid’s Rollercoaster Journey Has Landed Him a Deal with 300 Entertainment, and the Title of Hometown Hero in Annapolis
At 30 years of age, one of the latest artist signed to 300 Entertainment says he feels like he's starting a whole new life
“Every rapper has their own story,” says Annapolis, MD native Tre’ Da Kid. Born Edward Seay in the capital of MD, he’s made the transition from the TV screen on 106 & Park to fellow Marylander Kevin Liles’ 300 Entertainment record label. Tre’ has a story that not only himself, but those who have helped him along his journey and his hometown can be proud of.
Born into music, with his father being a DJ, Tre’ says his love for the art has always been a constant. “[My dad] liked Biggie a lot. He liked Pac a lot. I would ask for money to buy my own records. I started going to the mall at a young age spending money on any Hip Hop record I could get my hands on.”
The transition from a consumer of Hip Hop to a creator of his own music came in middle school, he said. The switch came with his father at the forefront once again, providing an in-home studio for Tre’, where he says it became almost second nature for him over time.
It was then in high school where his rollercoaster journey would begin, with his debut mixtape Street’s Most Wanted. “I was one of the first dudes around my way with a CD and a cover with my picture on the front,” said Tre’. “That one was what jumpstarted it.”
From there, Tre’ continued his career and landed himself on television screens across the country with an appearance on BET’s 106 & Park in 2011 for their Freestyle Fridays. “I came up in the era of battling,” Tre’ explained when asked about the decision to audition. “I battled a lot of dudes around my way. It was 400 contestants [for Freestyle Fridays] and they were only picking 8 of us. Man, I think I was in there rapping for like four or five hours,” Tre’ laughed.
Even on national television, Tre’s confidence and composure wasn’t shook at all. Even though he did not win the entire competition, him being on the screen and introduced to those in the audience as “Tre’ Da Kid from Annapolis, MD” was a win in itself, said Tre’. “I lost the battle, but I won the war just by having the opportunity for someone from Annapolis to say they were on 106 & Park. I know dudes that wouldn’t be on TV unless it was the news. So we won just off seeing ‘Annapolis, MD’ at the bottom of the screen.”
The love and support Tre’ has for his hometown has been reciprocated back to him organically, even before his record deal with 300 Entertainment. “My people gravitate to me because people see how serious I am,” said Tre’. “If you have a lemonade stand, but you’re only out there once a week, you ain’t really selling any lemonade. They see consistency from me. I put my heart in it. Even if I was wack, you can’t deny that I really want to do this.”
Five years later, Tre’ found himself in a familiar predicament auditioning for Verizon’s #FreeStyle50Challenge. This time, the stakes were higher, with a collaboration with London on da Track, $10,000, and a deal with 300 Entertainment on the line. “I thought this might be my bounce back,” said Tre’. “I wanted to meet [Kevin] Liles and tell him that I’m that next guy. The way they talk about Kendrick, the way they talk about Drake – I can be that for you,” he said about the importance of what was on the line for the contest.
However, in the process of beginning to get ready for the competition last September, Tre’s mother, Gladys B. Seay passed away after suffering a stroke. Determined to make her proud, he pushed all the way through to become a national finalist. After flying to Atlanta, GA, Tre’ was declared the national winner, landing him all three of the before-mentioned prizes.
Perhaps the biggest prize of them all was the record deal with 300 Entertainment, co-founded by Baltimore native and fellow Marylander Kevin Liles. “It’s deeper than signing an artist,” said Tre’. “He signed somebody that’s where he’s from. We’ve built up a relationship way deeper than music. We respect each other as men, we’re both fathers. It’s deeper than rap.”
Recently, before the release of his single “Run It,” Tre’ also lost his father who first introduced him to music. “You know how Lavar Ball so pressed on Lonzo [Ball]? I think he’d be like ‘that’s my boy,'” Tre’ said about his late father. “He instilled it in me – my pops taught me how to be an artist. I think he’d be all for it right now and super hype.”
From Sway in the Morning alongside Liles, to rapping in front of DJ Kay Slay, to most recently appearing on Hot 97’s Summer Jam as the opener, Tre’s stock continues to rise as he’s been almost born again, and given hope to his hometown of Annapolis, MD. “Timing is everything. I just turned 30 and I feel like I’m starting a whole new life. I got people older than me going back to do whatever they were passionate about, people that I never even knew had a dream. It’s dope to see I’m being an inspiration to people.”
Follow Tre’ Da Kid on Twitter
Follow Tre’ Da Kid on Instagram
Listen to 60 Minutes with Tre’ Da Kid here
Check out Tre’ Da Kid’s latest single “Run It” here on all major platforms