Tyke T
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Tyke T

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Memphis, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Hip Hop R&B




"Meet Tyke T"

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Tyke T


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Tyke T isn't the type of guy who waits for success to come to him. Since moving to Memphis for work in 2011, the local rapper has been recognized by ABC 24 and the Memphis Grizzlies, in addition to getting music placement on national TV shows on the Oxygen channel and MTV. I caught up with Tyke T before he played the Hi-Tone last Friday night to find out more about his recent success, his outsider status in the music industry, and what he has planned for the future.

The Memphis Flyer: What was the rap scene like in Smyrna where you grew up?

Tyke T: Being from Smyrna, there wasn't a whole lot going on. Smyrna is not exactly the mecca of music. When I was 14, I started rapping over songs that my brother had. He was a DJ so I would just rap over his instrumentals. The first song I ever rapped over was Celly Cel's "It's Goin Down." I guess a lot of people might think it was an overnight thing for me, but it definitely wasn't. I remember at some point wanting to move out of my brother's shadow and focus on making my own beats. My brother had a Casio keyboard, and at first I was my own producer, and the beats I made were terrible. The first song I ever wrote myself was called "S-Town." Master P was really popular back then, so I tried to make it sound like one of his songs. I wish I could find that CD because I know it was bad.

So once you moved to Memphis, you started the company Driven by Music. Tell me more about that.

Driven by Music is honestly everything to me. When we first started doing this, the first thing we started thinking of was branding. I wanted people to immediately relate to Driven by Music as my thing, and that was before I even had real music. We had shirts, an idea, and a hashtag. Back in 2011 and 2012, I would go to all these music conferences, and all they would push is branding, branding, branding. So I waited until I had the branding down, and then I dropped the music. Eventually I'd like to turn it into a record label, but right now it's just the easiest way for people to find what I do.

How did your song "Nothing to Lose" wind up on the MTV show One Bad Choice?

That MTV placement is the result of two years of hard work. I would ask all these music supervisors if they were looking for hip-hop, and, eventually, if you do that long enough, someone is finally going to be like "Ok man, what do you have?" It was also the continuance of people being like "No, you aren't going to get this. Stop asking. It will never happen." That kept me driven. Eventually, no matter how many times people say no, someone is going to say yes.

The thing is, all these music supervisors on TV shows are looking for music, but they may not be looking for the type that you make. It's important to ask them from the start what they are looking for. If they need a classical ballad and you are a freestyle rapper, don't waste your time. Truth be told, I don't have anybody that's helping me out, I don't know anyone in the music industry. I moved to Memphis for work, and I just decided I was going to make this shit happen. I've done open mic shows, pay-to-play gigs, and after all that you start to figure out, "Ok, this works, and that doesn't."

What was that feeling like? Hearing your music on television for the first time?

Well, MTV wasn't the first placement, so I'll tell you about the first TV placement I ever got. I was at home, and my homeboy's girlfriend was like "You know Tyke's music is on," and he texted me and told me "Man, your song is on Sisterhood of Hip Hop," and I was like "No it's not. Shut up." When the show came back on TV at 9 p.m., and I heard my song, I got on my knees at my house and just prayed. I wrote that goal down on a piece of paper in 2012, and, after a lot of hard work, it came true. When I got the MTV show, I was like "Hell yeah. Let's send this shit out immediately." MTV is obviously huge, and I'll have that forever.

How has the MTV show spot helped your career?

My SoundCloud and website are both blowing up, but I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to track it. People are figuring out where to find me, and then they hear everything I've done leading up to that song. It's been turning on listeners to my other music.

What does the future hold for Tyke T?

I have a 9 to 5, and I'm not afraid to admit that. The ultimate goal is for my music to generate my income. I'm just focusing on what I have to do to push my career forward. If somebody is winning, somebody is losing, and I'm trying to win everyday. My new EP is going to be called One Wednesday Night, and I think it's the best music I've ever made. - Chris Shaw

"Listening Log"

Tyke T

The Overlooked Reloaded

(Driven By Music)

A past winner of K97’s Next Big Thing competition, Memphis-based rapper Tyke T follows up last year's EP The Overlooked with an expanded mixtape called The Overlooked Reloaded, featuring new versions of tracks from the earlier EP along with a load of new material.

Tyke T isn’t breaking new ground here, but the new mixtape introduces him as an artist to watch because of his commitment to his craft, his polished delivery and his willingness to outwork his peers (“I deserve to shine, cuz .... I grind,” he boasts on “Stop Us Now”).

Speaking of grind, Grizzlies fans might recognize “Stop Us Now” from the PA system during home games at FedExForum. It’s typical of Tyke T’s rousing, crowd-pleasing style, reminiscent of Drake, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne.

Another standout track is “Small City, Big Dreams Remix,” which adds some interesting detail to Tyke T’s aspirational story (“I remember Christmas when khaki pants was my only present”) and a feature verse by New Orleans transplant Tori Who Dat.

While Tyke T has picked up some well-connected champions in the industry (K97 deejays Big Sue and Devin Steel drop shout-outs on the tape), he seems to harbor no illusions about the fickle rap game. As he says on the trunk-shaking “Nothing to Lose”: “I don’t need BET to validate I’m a star/Waiting on approval won’t get you very far.” — Mark Richens - Mark Richens

"Listen to "Kickin Flava" from Tyke T"

Check out the newest single “Kicking Flava” from Tyke T off his project “The OverLooked: Reloaded” which is set for release in August

Audiences who enjoyed Tyke T‘s flow on his previous efforts will still find the essence of what they have come to know and love on his newest release. It will definitely intrigue new listeners who might have initially “Overlooked” his first efforts, with his new joint “Kicking Flava” off his project “The OverLooked: Reloaded” - The Source

"Vh1- Make A Band Famous: Get to know 12 more of the Finalists"

What city or town do you call home?

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Fun fact: The reason that we came together was to do a show for the “Hard Rock Cafe” rising star contest. The week off the show, they cancelled because lack of entrants, and we were disqualified because we had prior engagements the next week. God works in mysterious ways, cuz look at us now going to NYC baby!!!!

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The reason why I am named Tyke T, is because Tyke is a nickname that seemed to stick with me all through my childhood years, up to even college. Some people didn’t even know my name was really Tyrone. My grandma used to call me ’T Tyke Em”, so I went ahead and reversed it to Tyke T. It’s also in a way paying homage to some of the veterans in Hip Hop who have the single letters in their name. Like “Heavy D” “Ice T”, “LL Cool J” “Master P.”

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

It depends on what you mean by first song? The first, first song that I ever performed on stage was in highschool musical “Oklahoma”. I was the sheriff & I performed “the Farmer & The cowman”. Of course I killed it. The first song that I ever performed on stage as Tyke T, was in murfreesboro, TN at a “whole in the wall” type club with a former group of mine called “The Click”. We put on a hell of show in front of those 40 people lol. The first show I ever did with my band (4 SOul) was on Memphis’s Fox 13 Morning show! we destroyed the stage!

You absolutely cannot perform without…

A towel nearby. I have to be the sweatiest rapper in the history of Rap!

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We always find a way to get a prayer in before we go on stage. I know that sounds cliché. But without GOD’s grace I would not even be this far, so we have to pray beforehand!

What artists made you want to play music?

So many. From my youth it was BBD, Jodeci, Bobby Brown. When I grew older it was Jay-z, Cash Money Millionaires, Master P, Eight Ball & MJG, Yo Gotti, Young Jeezy, Drake Kanye West, Kendrick Laamar, Are just to name a few. But believe me there is so much more. I pull from every genre. Remember I grew up in the TRL era, so many of those pop groups, I still draw influence from as well.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Drake, Jay Z, Beyonce, Kanye West. The Reason being is I want to tap into those fan bases! I wanted to be exposed to those people, and present my brand to them.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To build a solid fan base, that will help my brand grow. Fans are the key to the music industry. I want to build my fan base to be an engaging fan base that has no problem with sharing and word of mouth to the next individual that will potentially become a fan as well.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Call my Momma! I want her to be the first to know!

Lastly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We are humbled for the opportunity, but on a mission to come back to Memphis with the Grand Prize. - Vh1

"Memphis rapper Tyke T claps back at racial injustice"

Rapper Tyrone “Tyke T” Stroble recently released a socially conscious single, “This Can’t Be Life.” The song focuses on the injustices faced by minorities in today’s society.The brother of Core DJ Ron C, Tyke T’s music has been featured on VH1 and MTV. The scholarly rapper received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Middle Tennessee State University shortly before his transition to Memphis, Tennessee.

Read what he has to say.

When did you know that being a musician was your calling?

My brother, who is a DJ, would bring in all kinds of music. I remember when I was 10 or 11, I was listening to Celly Cel’s “It’s Goin’ Down Tonight” song. I wrote my first rhyme to that, and ever since then I have been hooked!

Describe three other occupations you’ve held.

I’ve had so many jobs man growing up. I was a cashier at Dollar General, which we all later got fired, because the manager was allowing us to take so much stuff home at the end of the night (long story) … Krystal’s, McDonald’s, Popeye’s for a day (another long story).

After college though, all of my jobs have consisted in Sales. I have my MBA in marketing, so everything that I’ve done that does not consist of music revolves around sales.

What inspires you to perform?

I love the science of performing man. That rush, nervousness, butterflies, all of that energy right before you go on stage is such an indescribable feeling. I also love the challenge that comes with performing as a new artist. Like it’s my job to make sure that after I leave this stage you want to know more about me! And what’s the name of that song you just performed. I love that about performing.

What instruments, if any, do you play?

None. When I was in the sixth grade I played the clarinet, but I gave that up pretty fast. If I could go back and do it all over again, I would for sure learn the piano.

How would you describe your music?

Relatable. I would call myself the “People’s Rapper.” Like once you hear my music you can say to yourself, “Damn … that’s true.” … Or “man, bruh just like me, some days I hate going to my job too.”

When you are on stage what do you want to convey about your style?

Energetic, crowd participation, engaged from beginning to end with the fans

Name three musicians who have influenced your approach to being a musician?

Drake, Graduation album Kanye and way too many people condense down into one for the third one.

Describe your creative process from concept to complete song.

Lately I’ve just been voice memo-ing my freestyles. I love this new style. It feels like I have taken off all restraints that come when writing a song. I used to sit down and go (1st verse, chorus, 2nd verse, and chorus…blah blah). But by doing this I was putting way to many limits on myself & not allowing the creativity to take over. I feel so free now when recording. From that I’ll go back and pick what parts I might actually want to take into a full song and that’s how my music is being created now. I love it.

How do you select your creative music partners to fashion your musical voice.

One of my strengths is bringing out the best in artists, I think. Like I feel like I can see the talent in you, and mold it to fit the needs of whatever record that I have for you. I only want to tap into whatever your strengths are as an artist, because if we are working together I want you to shine just as much as I do on the record. It’s not about me, it’s about the musical integrity! I don’t care if you have a fan base of 2 people or 2 million, if you fit the record, you fit the record and let’s go!

What advice would you give anyone preparing to enter the music business about publishing and management?

Google. There are no more excuses. Information is readily available these days! Educate yourself before you sign anything.

If you were going to sing for any famous person as a celebration of what they have done for humanity, who would it be? President Barack Obama. He legitimized any person of color actually being able to believe that they could be the president. Like I feel before Barack, people would tell little Black boys and girls that “You can be the president of the U.S. if you work hard,” but I’m not sure how much they believed it — because it never happened before. Now you know it can happen!

What are the effects to society that you would like the results of listening to your music to be?

Specifically for “This Can’t Be Life” I’m hoping to continue conversation and awareness. Like discussing these type of issues are hard. They are not easy topics, but the only way to bring awareness to what’s been happening and how things have been is to keep the dialogue going. Denying that there is a problem, makes you apart of the problem. We just got to keep striving to be better.

If you could go outside the USA to write and produce music what country would you choose and why?

Definitely Jamaica. That Reggae sound is amazing. The energy feels so authentic.

What do you like the most about being musician?

Freedom and Creativity to say and create what you want. Almost in no other field, do you have that. I love it!

What producers are you looking forward to working with soon?

To be honest, I don’t have a list of producers that I’m aiming to work with. To me it doesn’t matter who makes the track, if it’s a dope beat, then I’ll use it. That’s really how I am when it comes to picking records. But of course I wouldn’t mind working with the guys that have & are currently killing the game you know. Dr. Dre, Timbaland, Pharrell, Lil Jon, Metro Boomin, Mike Will, Kanye, DJ Mustard. I mean the list can go on and on

Name three musician you would like to record with that are hit makers?

Drake, Kanye and Master P…I wanted to be a No Limit Solider all my life man.

If you could make a duet with someone who would it be and why?

I can’t narrow this one down. I can tell you it would be an artist from the ’90s R&B. I can’t say which one, because I love them all … but def someone from that time period. That music is timeless. I’m a huge fan of that whole era!

What musical awards have you aspired to receive and it happened?

So in Memphis, they have something that is called the K97FM “Next Big Thing” contest. The first year I went out for it, I didn’t even make the cut to have your music voted on. So I was determined to be sure that the next time the contest came around, that I would win it. Sure enough the next year came and not only did I make the “cut”. I won the whole contest!

What musical achievements have you yet to obtain?

Hearing my music in a movie. I think that has to be an awesome feeling hearing something that you created in a movie. I want that and I’m going to find a way to get it done.

Finish the sentences:

When I hit the stage I feel … Like a family member who has been away for a couple of years, but finally comes home. What I mean by this is, we’ve all had relatives who you haven’t seen in years and then they pop back up right? It normally takes a little while for them to assimilate back in, but after a while everything is smooth and back to normal. That’s how it is with me on stage. At first there is always a nervousness/butterfly feeling, but after about 30 seconds back on the stage I feel right back at home.

When the crowd is responding to my music I know … That I’m using my gift the way GOD has planned for it to be used.

I appreciate my fans because … Without them I’m nothing. There is no way that I can go anywhere in the music industry without them, and I am always so appreciative of them and their support for me and my music.

Music is my calling … And I know without a doubt this is what I was put on this earth to do. It’s my job to cultivate a fan base, so I can spread my brand around the world.

My method of studying music is … Listening to old music, no matter what genre, and see in what ways I can incorporate it within my music. I love paying homage to the people that have done this before me.

When you find my music I want you to … Feel like you just listened to a human. Not a robot. A human being, who has various emotions just like you do. You might hear one song where I’m extremely happy so we about to go and turn up, but then you might hear one where I’m telling you about my fight with racism, or then you might hear me talk about being motivated because of all of the doubters…I’m a human, and my emotions are not one way, so I speak to that. But I think that’s what the beautiful thing about people, we are all different and composed of various emotions and that’s what my music reflects.

Name your favorite two books.

Anything with coach John Wooden. His Pyramid to Success is dope and lately I’ve been reading the Strength Finder. Always looking to become better and identifying my strengths and weaknesses is key. - Yvette Caslin

"Tyke T’s “This Can’t Be Life” Is The New Anthem For Social Justice"

In 2014, Tyke T was crowned te winner of Clear Channel Radio Station, K-97’s “Next Big Thing” contest. And he was the first Memphis Grizzlies showcase champion, winning the opportunity to perform center court for over 17,000 fans. Tyke T was also a Top 8 finalist in VH1’s “Make A Band” competition. VH1 also picked up his “Nothing to Lose” single while the Oxygen network also featured Tyke’s music. Influenced by the greats – Jay Z, OutKast, UGK & more – there’s no denying Tyke T’s journey to achieving his own level of greatness

This Can’t Be Life” is the latest release from rapper, Tyke T – the president of Driven By Music. After seeing much success from previous releases – such as “NoO” which was featured on VH1’s Black Ink Crew – the Tennessee native has been making advancements in his career. In addition to his single being placed in a popular TV show, Tyke has also opened up for artists such as B.o.B. and Lil Boosie.

Today, Tyke T liberates his long awaited single. “This Can’t Be Life ” speaks to the reality of what’s going on in America today. Blending street sounds with conscious reflections of modern American society, the IMAKEMADBEATS produced cut draws attention to the plight of African-Americans in this country.

Artist Quote: “This Can’t Be Life was my opportunity to artistically discuss what’s going on in our communities as well as the strong resolve African-Americans have as a people to rise from those situations.” - Hip Hop Weekly Digital Staff


The OverLooked 

  • Released: 2013
  • Format: Download/CD
  • Producer: Lexibanks, ZoneBeatz
  • Singles: “NoO", "Stop Us Now", "Nothing To Lose", "On Me" 



Tyrone “Tyke_T” Stroble is an exceptional talent coming out of Middle Tennessee.  An MBA graduate of Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), this high energy performer has been in love with music since he was a child.  His musical influences are evident in his sound and include: Jay-z, Kanye West, Drake, 8ball &MJG, Outkast and UGK to R&B artists such as Jodeci, Bobby Brown and B.B.D.

Tyke T’s short career has already earned him an enviable highlight reel. Most recently seen  as the opening act for hip hop recording artist, B.O.B hosted by Kiss FM;  Tyke was an opening act for Lil Boosie at the Mud Island amphitheater and also a headlining  performer for both DreamFest Weekend’s “Hip-Hop Unplugged” event in January and the Sole Searching sneaker event sponsored by k97 in February.

In 2013, Tyke T performed at Fisk University homecoming show which featured Ca$h Out, Verse Simmons and Travis Porter.  Tyke T had several television performances including a feature on Local Memphis live.   His single, “Stop us now” , is routinely played during the 3rd quarter of the Memphis Grizzlies home games and his single “Wake Up” is also in current rotation on k97.  in August of 2013, Tyke_T released the “Overlooked” EP.  The EP release was featured in the Memphis Flyer and on Action News 5.

In 2014 Tyke T was crowned the winner of clear channel affiliate k97 Next Big Thing 6 contest and the 1st ever Memphis Grizzlies showcase champion, in which he performed center court in front of over 17,000 fans.  Tyke T was also a top 8 finalist in the VH1 Make a band famous competition.

2015, Has started off with a bang for Tyke T. In February he released is highly anticipated mixtape, The OverLooked (Reloaded) hosted by iheartmedia affiliate K97. In March songs of the mixtape "NoO" & "O.B.A.H" were placed nationally on Vh1's hit reality tv show Black Ink Crew!

In August, Tyke T landed another song off the mixtape "Nothing To Lose" on Mtv's new hit show "One Bad Choice" 

A skilled songwriter, Tyke T is able to fuse sincere lyrics with his unapologetically bold, infectious style.  His music perfectly articulates the struggle many face trying to attain the American dream with humility, humor and an undercurrent of determination that belies his casual manner. Tyke T’s music is honest and relatable and provides a perfect soundtrack for the dreamers and those who rally against an ordinary existence.

Band Members