Tabi Bonney
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Tabi Bonney

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"Ya Heard"

Is this new cat Tabi Bonney out of D.C. the next hottest rapper to hit the game?

You be the judge! See the video here:

http://blogs.sohh.com/ya_heard/archives/2006/07/jermaine_dupri_1.html - SOHH.com


"HiphopBuzz - Tabi Bonney Interview"

Born in West Africa, and raised in D.C can you tell us what it was like growing up for you;was secular music allowed in your household? And what or whom influenced your stand-out style?

I had an extremely diverse and cultured childhood. I was constantly between 3 continents Africa, N. America and Europe. Mainly the first two, we lived in France for about two years. So I saw and experienced alot at a very young age, and I was exposed to all types of music. I think that traveling and my father influenced my style, and of course the golden age of hip-hop ex. EPMD, MC Lyte, Salt n Pepa, Slick Rick, Special Ed, NWA etc... Pretty much everybody.


Listening to "The Pocket" is a genius record; it offers awareness to D.C slang terms without gratifying the impoverished environments that the former "Murder Capital" is acclaimed for. Do you feel like hip-hop needs a change of heart since every emcee sounds and looks alike; and how do you plan to bring Washington D.C hip-hop to the forefront?

Yes! I definately feel like hip-hop needs a make over!
Everybody does sound and look exactly alike! I thought that superstars stood out and had their own unique style; isn't that what makes a star and makes you want to know how that person lives and what their world is like. I think that things have become to formulaic. That is part of the reason the music industry is in shambles right now. I think that I can hopefully bring DC hip-hop to the forefront by just being me and telling my story and putting people on to a new fresh style that they haven't seen yet. DC has it's own unique style and is an extremely diverse city, to be the murder cap and political city(capital of the world), is astonishing! If we take a look back on DC history, it used to be FLY. I remember hustlers were wearing Versace and Gucci, stylin on bamas : )


Obviously you made your own lane; your line of clothes look great; a European look infused with the urban culture. With a passion for fashion and music can you explain how these two interventions came into play? (Paraphrased- How did you get discovered and how did your line come about)?

Well I didn't get discovered by anybody, I pretty much just put myself out there! With the industry being in the state that it was and is, and with me getting turned down by a couple of labels and people not seeing my vision. I thought why not do it myself and put myself out exactly how I want to. So...I made my own music, put my CD together shot my own video and got it on VH1 Soul. The radio stations started to support me because they saw the momentum I had and of course loved The Pocket : )
I started with clothes when I was in college at Florida A&M. This was before Rappers having clothing lines was a trend. I definately try to steer away from any trends. I just always loved clothes. But what made me start designing my own, is that I couldn't find things that I truly liked. I would see a shirt or some piece of garment and always think "man that shirt would have looked much doper if they freaked it like this or put a patch right here, or made it this color instead of that one" So...I eventually just started making my own clothes.


In your record you rhymed "I got my diploma, To fall back On-na" How important is an education to you? And what are your views on the perception of hip-hop? And where did the name "Tabi Bonney" originates?

Yeah I have 2 degrees, undergrad in Biology Pre-med and a Masters in Biology and Secondary Education. I think that an education is extremely important! My parents instilled that in me constantly! You always can fall back on that if all else fails. It was a turning point in my life when I reached my senior year of undergrad and realized that I didn't want to be a doctor! At that point I felt like I wasted 4 years for nothing. But I just used that drive and determination and habits of success that I learned in school and applied it to music.
As far as hip-hop is concerned, I am happy for anybody that can make a living of an art. Regardless of how they did it or what they are talking about, I feel like it still takes a lot of hard work and guts to actually make money off of an art. And everybody has something to offer. Music should not be the same, it needs to be diverse. I appreciate west coast, hyphy, crunk, down south, NY and everything in between.
Tabi Bonney is my real name, my parents gave it to me. My first name is originally Tabiabue. But it originated from Togo, West Africa which is francaphone. And my last name is actually Old English/German. My father's father is German. I blame colonialism!


In Leader 101, John Maxwell quotes "Successful leaders are learners, and the learning process is on-going. Do you feel you have taken a position as carrying D.C and what defines Tabi Bonney?

I honestly don't want to claim that or carry that burden. I think it breeds alot of hatred in people for some reason. All I can say is that I love music more than anything - HiphopBuzz


Discography

- A Fly Guy's Theme (released '06)
- Radio airplay: XM radio, radio-one, internet radio)
- Video on (VH1 Soul, MTVu, MTV On Demand,
VH1.com)
- VIBE Magazine's Artist on The Verge Compilation
- Trois III/The Escort Movie Soundtrack
- VIBE/Diesel Compilation
-The Fader Magazine Issue 44 March '07
-Down Magazine April '07
-The Source Magazine April '07

Photos

Bio

The solo album was a long time coming. Tabi Bonney has been rapping since he was in high school, and then, started refining his skills in college, forming a group, Organized Rhyme with close friend, Haziq Ali and opening for well-known artists - LL Cool J, Camron and OutKast. Recording a few independent singles and releasing the self-titled underground classic, Bonney & Carter, he captured the attention of rappers like Camp Lo and Dead Prez. His debut CD is stacked with cool guy tracks and little treats for the ladies, like the Raheem Devaughn-assisted, “Doin'it.”
For Tabi, the old saying, “A first impression is a lasting impression,” holds up after all. First off, there’s the fresh gear – a European street flare so unique, he had to start his own clothing line, Bonney Runway. Then there’s the fresh D.C. bred flow, which he describes as hip-hop with a pop appeal. Others say his music is reminiscent of Q-Tip in his prime and captivating like Kanye West’s outside the box lyrics and infectious beats. Finally, there’s the hook: experience.
Tabi has music in his blood. Born Tabiabuè Bonney in Lomé Togo, West Africa and son of afro-funk superstar Itadi Bonney, Tabi remembers seeing his father perform on tour in West Africa, Europe and the
United States. He says, “Music has always been a part of my life. I knew that I was going to be an entertainer at a very young age.”
The rapper, presses the envelope, setting him apart from the rest. “I just got tired of everybody being a thug and looking exactly alike,” says Tabi. This attitude spawned his debut album A Fly Guy’s Theme. The album brings the fresh back to hip-hop. One listen and you’ll see why Tabi is feeling and doing good.
His debut video can be seen on VH1 Soul, MTVu, MTV On Demand, and VH1.com.