Trek finds happiness, manifests a new beginning with ‘For Now Pt. 1’

The EP, released last week, is the first in a series leading to a new album from the rapper by year’s end

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
Trek Manifest

A few weeks back, Trek Manifest got a FaceTime call from a friend, which he ignored, believing it to have been made in error. And then the friend called again. And again. So finally Trek relented and answered, at which point the friend informed him that not only had T-Pain played the Trek Manifest song “BL3$$3D” during a Twitch stream, but the “Buy U a Drank” rapper had absolutely lost his mind while doing so, letting out a series of high-pitched OOOOOHS!

“I was freaking out for the first two or three days because I was in shock, like, dag, someone of that caliber genuinely likes what he hears from me,” Trek said by phone from a family vacation in Tennessee. “And then it was like, all right, let’s get back to the music. Let’s get back to what brought us to this day.”

While Trek has generally laid low since the July 2020 release of I Appreciate Your Patience, he’s been anything but inactive, recording almost daily and amassing a stockpile of more than 80 songs, a number of which he plans to release in a series of EPs beginning with For Now Pt. 1, which surfaced last week. This is all building to the release of the rapper’s next full length, dubbed Everything’s Personal, which he expects to put out by the end of the year.

“I would say the T-Pain cosign kind of woke up a sleeping giant, like, let’s get this stuff out there. Let’s get it all out,” said Trek, who earned the ire of his family by lugging his recording equipment on vacation to Gatlinburg. “In my mind, I’m planning to release five [For Now] EPs, but who knows? It could be eight or 10. My friend [and producer] Snow, in particular, calls me an alien. And I can’t help it. I just zone out and record like crazy.”

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This near-constant excavation has continually pressed Trek to dig deeper into himself, and tracks on For Now Pt. 1 find the rapper wrestling with everything from his upbringing on South Champion Avenue (“For Now”) to the way his mother’s 2019 death led him to more deeply interrogate his faith (“The Plan”).

“I’m not questioning it in the sense that I don’t believe in it, I’m questioning it to find clarity, questioning it to find better communication within my faith so that I can, one, personally grow, and, two, know I’m not the only person going through that shit,” said Trek, who has been urged from childhood to question his faith by his preacher father. “I question it every day. I’m very inquisitive.”

While leveled by his mother’s death, the rapper said his experience with her passing is far removed from how he navigated the 2005 death of his sister. “I really didn't have much to live for, and I didn’t handle that right,” Trek said of the time following his sister's death. “So when my mother passed on my birthday, it made me think, damn, why am I still here? It made me question the whole idea of mortality and knowing that, depending how you use it, you might not have that much time, so how you manage it is important.”

As a result, rather than retreating, Trek said he made efforts to open himself up, not just on record, though I Appreciate Your Patience is, at least to this point, the most revealing release in the rapper’s increasingly impressive catalog, but to life in general.

“I’ve been doing a lot more recording, but I’ve also been doing a lot more living, and a lot more being around my children,” said Trek, who has witnessed more of his mom’s grace and patience emerging in his own actions as he’s gotten older. “In comparison to when my sister passed, with my mother, I have a lot to live for right now. … So the goal is to get through it and not just sit in it, and I’ve been able to not sit in it, and I’ve seen myself get better as the days have gone by.”