I’ve discussed on numerous occasions via Twitter about how I am happy for the continued success of Philly artist Tone Trump. For some of you Tone may simply be seen as just another rapper from Philly but to me it’s not that simple. His rise from aspiring underground rapper to a newly signed artist under Young Jeezy is something that not only do I admire, but view as a prime example of someone pursuing a dream and making it a reality. I will give a little background into the influence Tone Trump has had on my career in music and in motivating me to getting further in life today.
In 2007 I was nominated for mixtape DJ of the year for the Philadelphia Music Awards and was working on a mixtape titled “Philadelphia: The Untold Story” featuring all of the nominated artists. I was actually still very new to the whole mixtape scene and while I was connected with people in the industry, commercial markets and outlets, I was still unfamiliar to a ton of artists that were nominated in my own city. While on a trip to Houston, TX for a weekend, I used the downtime to contact as many artists that were nominated as possible via Myspace. My goals were to get some exclusive material for the mixtape instead of the singles I already had access to, as well as bridging a connection with as many artists as possible and hopefully developing a working relationship. After reaching out to everyone I got one immediate callback, which was from Tone Trump. That discussion later lead to me being a part of an interlude on his first major mixtape “Blood In, Blood Out” on the skit “Respect The DJ”. I was honored. It felt good to be featured alongside DJs I respect and admire such as Ace McClowd, DJ NoPhrills, etc for what would be a pivotal project in Tone’s career.
“Philadelphia: The Untold Story” had been released, and Tone also helped me with not only getting the mixtape in more areas that I previously wasn’t connect to, but also was cool with me giving them away at his “Blood In, Blood Out” mixtape release party. Even though this series of events was only a few months in time, it was obvious he had my back and I had his. At my first event I ever hosted and sponsored I called Tone to ask if he could make a quick appearance and possibly perform. He was there in a flash and had nothing but love to give afterwards. This was a very unforgettable moment for me because only few people close to me actually knew the events going on in my life that were pretty much collapsing around me. Trust from people I respected on a professional and friendship level was broken during this event and he came through for me, no questions asked. In the midst of the madness, I would also ask myself if there was more I could do for him on my end.
During the lengthy hiatus I took from music in 2009 -2010 me and Tone lost the contact that we had established but there was never bad blood resulting from this. During that time he was in the midst of a deal with G-Unit: Philly and I was pretty much done with everything music related outside of just being a fan and listener. Even before I worked on getting back into everything I would still constantly check to see the moves Tone was making and felt nothing but joy for him. He was doing his thing on a level he’d never been on and kept pushing. That’s a testament to how he’s got to where he is today and it’s only the beginning for him. His talent and ridiculous work ethic was always present and maybe quite overlooked and unappreciated on my end.
My main reason of writing this piece was to not only show support to someone who helped me in my own personal journey, but also in a way to serve as a deflector and help people get an understanding to the stupidity of the hating comments I’ve seen directed about his new deal online. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the hard work paid off and was recognized by Young Jeezy. His ambition and drive was already being recognized by heavy hitters like 50 Cent, Raekwon, Noreaga, DJ Kay Slay, Funkmaster Flex and more before Jeezy was in the picture and there was no appearance too big or small for him to treat respectfully and give his all to. In an interview I did with comedian Clint Coley he stated that whenever he’s in another city to perform, if the topic of Philly hip-hop is brought up one of the first people he gets asked about is Tone Trump. The comments I seen yesterday had me asking how can anyone hate on someone who does nothing but work to make their dreams a reality but then it hit me; as he’s said numerous times, if they’re not hating on you, then you’re not winning. I wish him much love and nothing but the best in this next step towards a much bigger plan in store for him. #LetsWin