Tommy Valentine
Gig Seeker Pro

Tommy Valentine

Band Hip Hop Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Heart-shaped rap: Tommy Valentine celebrates love and music"

Tommy Valentine is not returning to the stage lightly. After a two-year absence, Valentine has spent months planning his grand re-entry to the Athens live hip-hop scene: a CD release show at the Georgia Theatre on, of course, Valentine's Day.

The confident Valentine has been behind the scenes in Athens' hip-hop circles for the past few years, managing other acts and promoting weekly venues like "Elementary School" at Tasty World, which cultivates original hip-hop skills like breakdancing and emceeing. Valentine, 22, wants to make music his career, and says after managing at least 20 different acts in town, he discovered the one act that he will always be able to count on.

"There are over 400 acts in Athens, but I haven't been able to find any that have the combination of drive and talent except for Bitter Fight [Against Nothing]," he says. "If this is going to be my 9-to-5, I need something to pay the bills. If I invest in me, I can never quit me. I am Tommy Valentine. As long as I'm Tommy Valentine, I'm a good investment."

This realization, plus trouble in his personal life that left him without a place to express himself, drove Valentine to return to performing and to record the new album. He says he's quite happy with the 700 sold copies of his first album, 2004's "In The Red," but he feels driven to perform and tell his story.

"I had a crisis in my life that made me feel that if I didn't create something, I would lose it," he says. "I started writing, and everything came out."

Valentine's new CD, "Van Gogh's Ear," features hip-hop, spoken word, and even some singer-songwriter pieces. When he was getting material ready for the album, he says, he wrote about three songs a day.

"This album is a release of mental pressure," he says. "I feel the most alive and happy and relevant when I'm on stage. The last material was great and it sold real well, but that was by accident. I realized I hadn't made an album that was great to perform. I realized I needed to make an album that allowed me to vent."

While there might be an obvious mental image when venting and hip-hop are combined, Valentine says he's trying to make a more organic style of hip-hop.

"Hip-hip hasn't gotten to the point where it can say, 'I'm at my end,' without having a misogynistic edge to it," he says. "I'm a sissy. I've been that way since first grade. I think that to deny love as an honorable, noble truth is something that can cause society to fall apart. I really want to create music that uses rap as an expression to celebrate love."

"Van Gogh's Ear" samples heavily from the music and movies Valentine enjoys, including three or four samples from the "Garden State" soundtrack, music from "Cowboy Bebop" and "Donnie Darko," and the theme from "Amelie."

Valentine's CD release show, hosted by Fort Knox, will feature seven opening acts, all selected for their music and drive and commitment, Valentine says. The openers are the Marvelous Rejectionz, The Renegadez, Rockwell Jones, Thieves of Always, Grand Finale, Bezy and Badkat. The groups have met every Sunday for the past month to plan the show and coordinate publicity. Valentine is promoting the show by having 10,000 "open letters" to the city printed up explaining who he is, what he's about, and inviting people to the show. He will sign all 10,000 of them and then hand them out around Athens.

"I love this city so much," he says. "My hand is going to fall off by the time I'm done. I'm going to regret it half-way through it, but I won't regret it when I'm done."

Tommy Valentine CD release party for 'Van Gogh's Ear'

Marvelous Rejectionz, The Renegadez, Rockwell Jones, Thieves of Always, Grand Finale, Bezy and Badkat

When: 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14

Where: Georgia Theatre, 215 N Lumpkin St.

Cost: $5

Call: (706) 549-9918 - Athens Banner-Herald (Front Page)

"Go Tommy, it's your birthday: Local hip-hop artist celebrates his 23rd in style at 40 Watt Club"

Thanks to his parents, Tommy Valentine has always had big birthday parties.

When he was younger, his friends and family would have pool parties or big get-togethers at his home.

"I love birthday parties," Valentine said.

But his 23rd birthday celebration might actually be something even his folks couldn't put together.

The 40 Watt Club will be filled with his favorite local hip-hop artists Saturday in an event called "Tommy Valentine's 23rd Birthday Bash."

"What's bigger than the 40 Watt?" said Valentine, whose actual birthday was last Saturday.

He's not even having a smaller friends-and-family celebration - they will be at the affair, too.

But it's not just a birthday party to celebrate his last 23 years - Valentine said he wanted to "pay tribute" to the local hip-hop scene and benefit Nuci's Space.

"Birthday parties are tricky things," Valentine said. "It's always tricky to celebrate yourself."

He said he doesn't want to view this night as a tribute to himself.

"When it's your birthday, it's a way to reflect on where you've been and where you're going," he said. "And it's a time to be surrounded by your friends and family."

Valentine chose a lot of the performing artists - including The Renegadez, Bear of T-Neb, Elite, Rorshak, Jamie Radford, Blackrose Dynasty and the last performance ever by eLeMeN.O.P. - that had something to do with his successful year.

"They let me be a part of the (hip-hop) scene," he said about the musicians.

He wants to be included because of the individuality of the hip-hop scene in the Classic City. "You have every aspect of hip-hop here. You have dirty South, B-Boy and rap battles."

Valentine also likes to be a part of the close-knit relationships between everybody in the scene.

"The artists here all collaborate better," he said.

He said he's lived in or been to New York, New Jersey and Ireland and has never seen the type of hip-hop scene that Athens has, especially for such a small town.

Valentine also will perform during his birthday bash, but he doesn't know yet what his set will include.

He chose Nuci's Space as a beneficiary for all of the proceeds from Saturday's event because of his history with the resource center on Oconee Street.

"My experience with the music scene starts with Nuci's," Valentine said.

He said his Cedar Shoals High School band, Math Head, used the space for practices. It also was the venue for his first concert in town, as well as the first stage he performed on, and it's the first place he goes when his computer crashes.

"I try to do at least two shows there a year," Valentine said.

All of the musicians are donating their proceeds, and 40 Watt Club is lowering its prices to help Nuci's Space get more money.

Valentine also said he admires what Nuci's Space does to help others.

"They're nonjudgmental," he said. "And if they can't help you with something, they will find someone who can."

Saturday's event will be a banquet with free food, including Sherm's Wings and Papa John's Pizza, as well as a wedding-size birthday cake from a local bakery.

DJ Mahogany will spin tunes throughout the night, and Fort Knox host the the event. - Red and Black - Official UGA Newspaper (Front Page)

"ABC Pick of the Week"

"Tonight's program begins with a set from Athens' Tommy Valentine Presents. Lending his name to the act, MC and talented battle rapper Tommy Valentine rhymes over the grooves dropped by his rugged bass-drums-guitar backing trio. " - Flagpole Magazine


In the Red - EP - 2004
The Long Ride Home - EP - 2006
Free Man - EP - 2006



Currently at a loss for words...