Though raised in Los Angeles, New York has crafted rapper Tyler Thomas's sound.
The 23-year-old rapper released his new EP, Birds I View, yesterday, exposing listeners to a different sound born out of real life experiences, not a need to make quick club songs. The sound is different, doesn't follow any one blueprint to a T and most important, Thomas's respect for legends in hip hop makes this project a beautiful start making it clear that a long career is what he wants and is willing to earn.
“I’m a kid that makes honest music about his life and tells stories about growing up," Tyler Thomas told BET.com. This seems simple enough and with a heavy East Coast influence, his thirst for great lyricism and respect for the craft becomes extra clear.
“My whole family is from the East Coast, they're all Puerto Rican, so a lot of my influences growing up were from the East Coast,” he said later citing Big Pun as a huge musical influence as one of the few mainstream Puerto Rican rappers to gain mainstream success.
Besides Pun, Tyler explained that he has been heavily influenced by Big L, the Notorious B.I.G., Ice Cube and DJ Quik. But now, in 2015, with the West Coast having an epic year — from Dr. Dre's Compton, to the N.W.A biopic, Straight Outta Compton, to Kendrick Lamar's year in review with the release of the socially conscious To Pimp a Butterfly — we asked the MC if he's felt pressured into finding a niche; his confidence spoke for itself.
"Honestly, I don’t feel any pressure at all. I’m just doing me and I feel like the West is honestly wide up. You’re naming a lot of people, but there’s no one group that’s killin’ it." He continued, "Especially for someone who’s telling stories and not just making turn up music [pauses] turn up music is great and all, but no one is really telling stories like that besides Kendrick right now, so the West is wide open. I feel totally comfortable doing what I’m doing, I don’t feel much pressure. I just feel like it’s going to come."
We're convinced Thomas is a rising star, but we want to know what you think! If you want to hear where Tyler Thomas's confidence stems from, go listen to Birds I View here, and peep his new visual for "Lincoln Avenue" below.
BET.com is your No. 1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.
(Photo: Stereotypes Music)