Seemingly out of nowhere, Trinidad James appeared on the scene late last year with the smash hit “All Gold Everything.” Soon afterward, he signed with Def Jam Records, a deal allegdly worth $2 million. As his name suggests, he is originally from Port-Of-Spain, Trinidad, although he lives and records in Atlanta. While I’m not usually a huge fan of the more commercial styles of rap, I did want to check James out live, and see how he interacts with crowds. I learned that Trinidad James is a consummate performer. He immediately established a rapport with his audience at the MtvU stage in Austin, and he soon had them chanting all the words to his songs. Hundreds of cell phones were raised to shoot pictures. Seeing Trinidad James perform live helped me understand the phenomenon of his sudden popularity. He may not be the greatest lyricist, but he is a born showman, and you come away from his performance feeling that you’ve had fun.