My interview w/rapper Fat Tony for DRENCH magazine

March 3, 2008

The Houston Hip-Hop scene has caught a lot of attention within the past couple of years…though this is true, some mention that eyes are veering off in different directions. But a surge in skilled rappers has become noticeable throughout hip-hop in its current stage. Of the noticeable few is a Houston group, the Low Ends, namely one of its members, Fat Tony. With a quite prominent resume for an up-and-coming emcee, and a stage such as the South, there’s a possibility that Fat Tony and the Low Ends may be something to look out for.
DRENCH: What was your first hip-hop experience?
Fat Tony: The first Hip Hop experience that comes to mind is buying my first CD, Kriss Kross’ Totally Krossed Out with Jump, I Missed the Bus…all those Jermaine Dupri money making classics. Their Sega CD video game had me wanting to be a rapper hella hard. I was into rap heavily since I got that CD in 2nd grade…after that there was a bunch of Fat Pat, Jay-Z, Biggie, Scarface, 2Pac, Cash Money (Mannie Fresh has always been that dude to me), Geto Boys, De La Soul…getting played. I went for any thing I’d come across on TV or the radio at the time. Video programming was much better back then…I remember even MTV, BET, and local video shows like Street Flava being a bit more varied then before the focus of commercial music hit that ballin’ craze and rap became the biggest seller. They’d even play older shit sometimes. That’s how I saw De La cause that “Me, Myself, and I” was still getting put on as a throwback jam. Beastie Boys caught me early on too. One CD I remember saving up money to buy was, “Hello Nasty,” at Sam Goody (which, of course, was super expensive…like $20 for one CD – a bunch of bullshit); that was 4th grade for me.
DRENCH: What’s the history behind the creation of the group, The Low Ends?
Fat Tony: In fall of 2005 I decided to try my hands at a new rap project aside from music I made with Young Cuz and what I wrote on my own. I got together with a friend named Roman who made beats and we started making songs together. I came up with the name and started getting the ball rolling on writing more songs and getting shows after a few months of that. Spring of ‘06 I found Robert and we became cool through bonding over music in a class that meant nothing to my credits that senior year (basically I was looking for something to interest me in that room). He made his way into the group simply ‘cause I believed he had hella potential for a guy a couple years younger than me, and I knew he was a person that strives to be creative lyrically. Myself, Robert, Roman, and Young Cuz all went to high school together at Carnegie Vanguard.
DRENCH: Who are music artists who influence your style?
Fat Tony: A lot of folks…and a bit varied. I was always interested in music, musicians, instruments, mics, and records from an early age but my thoughts toward creating music really came around age 14 when I was heavy into punk bands and starting to look more into rap that just wasn’t out there mainstream wise. The internet did hella good in influencing me and helping me read/hear/see all that’s out there. That’s why I can look back on all this illegal file sharing fiasco nonsense going on and think it’s totally silly. Napster and other programs put me on to a lot of stuff I would’ve never gotten the chance to sample and listen to without it. But that’s a tangent for another interview…as for the styles that I influence me, it’s always been a lot of rap, punk, reggae, soul/r&b, post-punk, funk, and rock ‘n’ roll that really caught me hard. My biggest influences rap music wise would be Outkast, A Tribe Called Quest, Devin, UGK, Mos Def, De La Soul, Timbaland, Prince Paul, Little Brother…(The Listening is forever a classic in my eyes…and not for golden age nostalgia/old rap style wishes either…it felt & still feels like fresh music), Supreeme, Beastie Boys, Rakim, Slick Rick, Souls of Mischief, Common, Kanye, Ice Cube, Ludacris, Jay Dee (J Dilla), DJ Screw, Goodie Mob, The Neptunes, Murs, Atmosphere and Nas. 10th grade year a girl sold me Illmatic for $3 cause she got it as a gift and didn’t know about it nor want it…..the best $3 I’ve ever spent (Thanks, girl.) Other big influences on me are Prince (mainly his late 70s/80s period…Dirty Mind is my record til the grave), Ian Mackaye, Bad Brains, Lee Perry, The Wailers, Sly & Robbie, Pixies, Sly Stone (and the Family too…especially Larry Graham), The Smiths, Modest Mouse, The Ramones, My Bloody Valentine, Parliament – Funkadelic, and Michael Jackson (since I was in diapers that’s been the nigga for pop music!).
DRENCH: How would you describe your style?
Fat Tony: A mesh of conscious raps (term used for you knuckleheads that think you need a name for someone with a mind & an opinion), hella energy, charm, hopes & dreams, determination, lust, love, shit talking, good flows, & cadence filtered through a water pipe and clouding up your room…all coming from a 19 year old dude out of Houston, TX. I like talking about how good I am like every other rapper in existence, and I really like messing with concepts & focused song writing. I think my style is for everyone. I think genres and styles and all that are cool for convenience…but when it comes down to it I never want to be pigeonholed. Ultimately, it’s just American rap music.
DRENCH: There’s a lot of talk nowadays about the state of hip-hop…what are your thoughts on it ?
Fat Tony: It’s good, it’s bad, it’s silly, it’s yadda yah…it’s a bunch of shit that needs to catch up with the times and develop – on the artists & label’s parts. Those suits gotta be more selective in picking quality…and folks gotta come with fresh stuff. That’s how Hip Hop has been though…so I don’t see a reason to complain. I’m just excited with all the new stuff I’ve been discovering around this country in the past year. Good rap music is coming up (as always).
DRENCH: A lot of artists liken hip-hop to a woman. What would you compare hip-hop culture to?
Fat Tony: A greedy, old white dude…cause that’s what a lot of it is! Money hungry, prestige hungry and greying in all the wrong places. But that’s just for this moment…as a whole Hip Hop is BEAUTIFUL. If it were a woman she’d have to be a dime…that had a thing for tagging and doing as b-girls do. And making it rain too.
DRENCH: I hear you’ve been doing a few shows lately, what’s the show experience like?
Fat Tony: The show experience is wonderful. I’ve been performing music for about 4-5 years now but really getting into the swing of emceeing in the past 3 years. I’m always trying to improve as a performer ‘cause live shows are very important to me. Ain’t nothing like a crowd. That’s the best arena for Hip Hop to go down…live & in person. I just played Halloween night at the Pi Lounge and have a show coming up November 2nd at my school – University of St. Thomas. I played a Thanksgiving show at Warehouse Live in Houston on November 22nd, and a show at the Contemporary Arts Museum on December 1st. I have a couple shows going down at the SXSW pre-party in Austin at Salvage Vanguard Theater, March 7th. I’m coming with another one at the Karma Lounge on March the 9th, and I’m performing at the March Mashup on a floating party boat in Lake Austin, March 12th. Then I’m performing at Light Bar for the SXSW (Austin) showcase on March 15th. Come check me out some time and get that experience. Just bring a lot of open minded people that are ready to have a good time, just bring two girls for every guy in your party…a sausagefest at a Fat Tony just won’t do…no disrespect to my male bredrin, we’re cool.
DRENCH: What do you think your best song so far is?
Fat Tony: At this moment, “Love Life” (Produced by Hollywood Floss), & “Jaded” (beat by DJ Steez), are my favorite songs. I’m excited to see where the rest of my songwriting is going to go with the songs I’ll be writing from this point on. I feel like I’m in a real good state of developing my music right now. I’m trying to take it to each and every ear willing to listen!

DRENCH: What do you think makes a man?

Fat Tony: Integrity, discipline, and being able to learn from mistakes and grow through tough times. I think all those things ultimately make up the strength a man needs to carry himself and even others through his life. A man must make himself, and a good woman (emphasis on good), can hold that up through support & seeing eye to eye with one another.
DRENCH: What are your aspirations concerning music? What do you believe is your loftiest goal?
Fat Tony: I’m down for whatever comes my way music wise. I’d love to continue being an artist and gain success in it. I’d love to also help others with their music through managing or even A&R work. My loftiest goal is to just remain great, consistent with the quality, and continue to grow with my music the best way I can. All that is natural in my eyes, plus hard work & definitely determination, so I’m just excited to see where my life takes me. I definitely want to be remembered past my years in this. I believe in myself enough to make whatever I conceive in my hopes & aspirations become reality. Just gotta keep it moving.
• end •
Direct link to interview:
http://www.drenchonline.com/magazine/features/artistspotlight/fat_tony.html
Resources:Looking For Fat Tony?
www.myspace.com/fattonyrap
www.facebook.com/pages/Fat-Tony/9656164815
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2 Responses to “My interview w/rapper Fat Tony for DRENCH magazine”

  1. Tiffany Says:

    I enjoyed this. It’s amazing how much he’s doing, just at the age of 19.


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