Makes No Difference Who You Are, Believe
In the realm of rap, kingship is an honor unlike any other; one that often comes with cars, clout, and lots of Cristal. But with the rise of emerging Christian rappers like T.S.O., those three C’s have been favorably replaced with a much more prominent one: Christ.
Tyscot Records’ latest artist isn’t wasting any time hitting the market with his new music, and from the sounds of the content, he’s not afraid to aim high. Tackling this genre of religious rap means joining the likes of Christian contemporaries like LeCrae and Mali Music, but T.S.O. is up for the challenge; he’s entering the musical arena with a story to tell.
Born and raised on the Southside of Chicago, T.S.O. (birth name: Verdell Gray) experienced what some would consider a less than fortunate upbringing. Family life during his formative years proved to be a challenge for this motivational musician—chaotic from the start of its formation; but unbeknownst to him, or any other, the confusion that surrounded him would send him spiraling toward his purpose, his destiny.
At the age of 14, T.S.O. moved away from his mother and began staying with friends to escape the abuses of home. But after growing frustrated with the lack of stability, he made the decision, at 16, to enroll in the Job Corps. Job Corps did its part to mold him into a more determined individual, but before he was to return to high school to obtain his diploma, his father was shot in front of him, making him a principal eyewitness to Chicago’s reputation of retaliation.
A year later, at 17, T.S.O.’s first child would be born into the world, adding to his list of multifaceted life experiences. It was then and there that he decided to enroll in college. So, at 19, after having graduated from high school, he was accepted to Indiana University, on a scholarship.
Some wonderful things happened to him during these years: basketball, fraternity life, and a college degree. But he found it most challenging to cut the familial ties to the hustler mentality… which came as no surprise as due to his lineage. It was in his blood. And this was the life; business as usual; survival, manhood.
It was after college that T.S.O. became a real estate investor, conceived two more children, and realized the true meaning of reason, season, and forever after reconnecting with one of his Phi Beta Sigma frat brothers that he once had a violent interaction with in college, and was now leading him to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He decided to move closer to his children, but while residing in Indiana, traveled back and forth to Chicago to make music, realizing Christian rap as the genre that would showcase his story and reveal his redemption.
His love of rap music brought him back to Chicago to make more music, and by 2009, he threw his first concert. He wanted to use his passion for song and love of God to share with others, uplift his brother, and spread the word. “He is one of the hardest working brothers in the industry. His music is genius and put together well, from the beat to the hook, lyrics… just everything”, says James Logan, Director of A&R with Tyscot/LOUD record label.
Having tapped into gospel titans, Canton Jones and Uncle Reece, T.S.O. was able to make his first musical offering, under the Tyscot/LOUD Record label. The end result was his first label single, “All I Know.” The song produced by Zoemane of KingzOf, stays true to the “preach without preaching” style of delivery that initially caught the label’s attention. LISTEN.
The art of hip-hop has begun to undergo a drastic change, and new artists, like T.S.O., are introduced to the public, knowing that they not only have what it takes to be great (and add to the scope of today’s popular music), but that they are different from what already is. “His music and staff are talented and not conformed to a box. It’s very current to what people enjoy listening too” says Logan.
What already is, has been done. But what T.S.O. is, is what he promotes, and what he stands for. He represents what’s familiar, tangible, and realistic, but when he puts his pen to paper, and lends his voice to studio, God is revealed. As a new, contemporary artist, T.S.O. simply hopes to promote perceptible, influential lyrics over infectious inflections.
With the release of his single, he has made an admirable attempt to bring his story to both the world of Gospel music and hip-hop. His subject matter is substantive, and unlike many other rappers, sheds light on his chaotic upbringing without endorsing his vices.
With both his story and his lyrics, T.S.O. unveils the harsh realities of the world, most of which are controllable, and yet still self-induced. His intention is to show us what he’s seen; allow us to touch what he’s touched, but the acquisition of those perceptions requires that we acknowledge what brought him through it: God.
T.S.O. takes scripture, life experiences, and worship, and wraps it in moral, yet hood-credible rhymes, with a sound as authentic as they come. It spills an unmistakable truth while challenging the listener’s thought process; educating them while entertaining them. There is possibility present in his pain; he loves his art and uses hip-hop to satisfy the need.
He obviously has a lot to say, a true story to tell. And he’s surely discovered the method of delivery to bring his purpose to the forefront. His choice to expend his energies by way of music, in opposition to the possibility for negativity, is more than commendable, especially in knowing where he comes from. His manager Charlene Oliver of Oliver Inc. Entertainment says, “I am so very honored to have T.S.O. as an Artist, because he is driven by hard work and doing the will of God. His passion is for the younger generation and dedication to bring them to Christ though his unique way of relating to them… which is refreshing. His vision is far more advanced than most and overall he is just a wonderful person who has our full support”.
T.S.O. (Totally Sold Out) hopes to wow audiences and label executives, and gain the attention of other artists, as he uses his story, his belief, his experiences and his struggles, to positively impact the lives of others who’s turmoil currently resides where his once stood.
T.S.O. is equipped musically and spiritually and ready to minister, inspire and yes, entertain youth, young adults and their families! Book T.S.O. Today. We work with all entertainment budgets because ministry comes first. Make us a reasonable offer and we’ll work with you! You can book T.S.O. through his manager, Charline Oliver of Oliver Entertainment Inc., 601.622.1557, email@example.com
T.S.O. welcomes interview opportunities through his pr marketing partner Cheryl Patterson and Universal Xperience 313.434.3589, firstname.lastname@example.org.