Less than 60 seconds into Trina’s debut album, the high-pitched rapper squeaked the following declaration: “This ain’t no bullshit I’m selling you.” By the end of the song, Trina says, “You ain’t heard? Fuck nigga, I’m da baddest bitch.” It’s a talking point that carried over to the next song and title track, “Da Baddest Bitch.” It’s also a talking point that’s followed Trina for her entire rap career.

In an Entertainment Weekly review of the album, Trina is described as “nasty as Lil’ Kim used to be” and celebrated for positioning herself as “the new queen of randy hip-hop tales in which sex is a contact sport played by rival genders.” The review was an A-, though while I’m not sure where that ranking stands today, the album is surely memorable to many all the same. 

To this day, I can still gleefully recite the lines, “X-Rated/Elevated/Buttnaked/And I’d probably fuck your daddy if ya mammy wasn’t player hating.” The one about “letting him eat it while my period on,” too, even if it’s not applicable. 

To this day, I regret not following Trina’s advice: “I got game for young hoes/Don't grow to be a dumb ho, that's a no-no/See if you off the chains/Stay ahead of the game, save up buy a condo.” It surely beats the student loan debt I’ve amassed for a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism. 

To this day, I will listen to “Off the Chain With It,” “Ain’t Shit,” “Off Glass,” and “Bitch I Don’t Need You” with as much excitement as I did when I first heard them in high school. To this day, you cannot convince me that “Pull Over” is not one of the best-written songs in American history. 

Today marks the 15th anniversary of Da Baddest Bitch, and on the heels of that anniversary comes news that she has signed a new record deal that will be a joint venture with her own label, Rockstarr Music Group.

Trina’s commercial success has never been as sizable as her contemporaries like Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown. They were multi-platinum successes with their respective debut albums whereas Da Baddest Bitch went gold. Her follow-ups continued to net sales within that frame, and yet, despite never being as huge a draw as any of them in their prime, she is musically more viable than they are in 2015. The same goes for Trick Daddy, who initially introduced us to Trina in 1998 by way of “Nann Nigga.”

More often that not, it’s better to have a success story that is slow and steady than sharp and short-lived. 

Yes, Lil’ Kim can still command me and others in an arena to recite her classics line for line, but when her remixes to today’s hits play, the audience channels Helen Keller and Beeker from The Muppets.

I don’t know where Foxy Brown is. The last I heard she was in a Key Foods supermarket express line with too many items.

This is not to disparage either; I am a fan of them all, but the point is 15 years later Katrina Laverne Taylor can still release new singles and still score media attention without the assistance of a reality show or stories about beef with her junior.

She has done so by maintaining the fan base she developed more than a decade ago by shrewdly figuring out a lane and working within it consistently. She has dibbled and dabbled over the years, but for the most part, Trina continues to explore many of the themes espoused on Da Baddest Bitch: her big ass; her great sex game; how terrible men are and typically only good for money; her having her own money; her amazing ass again; her being da baddest bitch.

Sometimes being a good artist is figuring out what works for you and sticking with it. People still love big asses (and still pretend non-black women popularized them); people still like to harp on how good at sex they are; men are still typically terrible. The same way my mom likes Frankie Beverly and Maze to stay in their lane is the same way I appreciate Trina for sticking to hers. 

More often that not, it’s better to have a success story that is slow and steady than sharp and short-lived. 

I have never stopped listening to Da Baddest Bitch and will always make room for Trina because I can always count on her to give me exactly what I need from her. That’s made her not only da baddest bitch, but one of the most lasting.

Who’s bad?

Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem, and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him @youngsinick.