Warning: The video contains explicit language
There are many monumental moments in a person’s life. Moving to a new city, marriage, kids. For one Dallas artist, his most recent monumental moment came in the form of a name change.
“I had a moment with a friend of mine, and she was like, ‘I tried to show you to my friend and it was hard to find.'” Tommy said. “I ultimately decided to change my name to Tommy Raps. Tommy is my given name.”
Tommy Raps currently splits his time between Dallas and New York, where he relocated in 2022.
He’s able to learn more there about the inner workings of the movie industry. “There’s opportunities [in New York], but I like the way they were presented. It gave me the chance to do what I already do in a different realm,” Tommy said.
He may be just getting his foot into the scene in New York, but Tommy’s got experience with the film world.
In 2019, as So-So Topic, his song “Expl0de!” was featured in Spike Lee’s Netflix show She’s Gotta Have It. Lee posted on his Instagram asking for submissions from artists.
Since 2018, the production of Tommy’s own sitcom Going Nowhere Fast has been underway.
“It takes place in Dallas. It’s the true story of how me and my best friend [Kool Quise], and how we got our start [in music],” Tommy said. “The first episode is called ‘There’s A Guy In Your Car.’ We went through a series of random events that night [in 2011]. We foudn a random guy asleep in his car, randomness ensues. That’s when we knew we would be best friends.”
The show is currently in editing, and the first season is set to include eight episodes.
In his current reality, Tommy is excited to set off on a European tour with GRAMMY Award-winning artist Kimbra, traveling to Amsterdam, Paris and London in late January (just to name a few). The Dallas debut show was the only chance to see him in the states before departure.
“It’s a crazy way to kick off a new chapter in my life,” Tommy says. “It’s unbelievable to me.”
He’s also keeping his chops sharp with a new 365-day challenge of “Tommy Raps Daily” videos on his Facebook and Instagram pages. He writes, raps, records, edits and produces the videos himself. The topics range from authenticity to a craving for a burger, showing his playful range of lyricism from depth to light.
“[The pandemic] innovated my urge to hustle. I had to get back to the world – reintroduce myself properly,” Tommy said. “Something I wanted to nail was being consistent.”
The artist’s first release under the name Tommy Raps will come as an EP, which is currently in the works with a name TBD.
“After the pandemic, the entire flow got messed up. I was gonna release an album a month,” Tommy said. “Since [the pandemic], you naturally have to change how you’re moving. People don’t take entertainment the same way.”
“For the most part, I produced it, wrote it, rapped it – and [Lee] made it really nice. He did a couple different instrumentations,” Tommy said. “Hopefully I’ll have something fresh for everyone by the Fall.”
Jessica Waffles is a freelance photographer/videographer and regular contributor to KXT.
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