Buffalo, NY emcee Son Of Tony says “authenticity is my greatest asset. I’m not an artist pretending to have come from the wrong side of the tracks. I come from and have been through some horrible things in my life.” Taking his name in honor of his father who was tragically murdered on the day he was released from prison, he has amassed a wealth of credible releases over the past few years.
Making the shift from rhyming in penitentiary yards to hustling music 24/7, he is readying the release of his double EP Sunrise / Sunset which drops on June 7th.
Weekly Rap Gods is premiering the video for his new single from the forthcoming project “Asylum” and asked him a few questions about the project.
You touch on a lot of deep and personal topics in your music, can you tell us what “Asylum” is about? And if you can also mention what you mean by the line “you ain’t take any L’s but you not really living?”
My “Asylum” was and is, pain. The song is about hustling them streets. All the crazy things you do to get ahead and feeling like there’s no way out. What I mean by that line ‘You ain’t taking no L’s but, you ain’t really winning,’ is me just saying how for some moments the game feels like it’s for you because the money comes. Of course the drama & violence comes with it too. You not taking no losses but you killing your own people with poison. There is no real win in that. It’s an illusion.
Looks like you shot in a particularly grimy abandoned warehouse, where exactly was that space? Do you have any history with that spot?
Just an old abandoned building around the way. Used to use it for target practice. We would go in there and just fire rounds. We was nervous kids growing up. Everybody we were growing up with at the time was getting killed. I also wanted to film somewhere where the focus would stay on me. Wasn’t concerned with the environment being pretty. So, I guess I do have a connection to that old building.
From your bio, it says that you only recently were able to make the transition from the streets to focusing on music, how did you make that transition and how do you stay on that path without temptation?
When I came home from Clinton Correctional, my excuse was, ‘I got to get back on my feet.’ When I found out my mother had cancer my excuse was, ‘I got to prepare.’ You know, in case something goes wrong. When my little brother got cancer? There were no more excuses. Found myself all the way back in the streets. Even with that said in the smallest context, that’s a lot. Life situations were pulling my heart so hard to the point where if I didn’t start to focus on me, I would die. Hence, the music. It was the only thing I could do to release and not cause any harm. What keeps me from living the way I used to is growth. You live and you learn. I’ve come too far to turn back for anything at this point.
I know a lot of your personal pain and trauma happened in Buffalo but can you tell me what you enjoy about the city? Is gentrification a real threat to what you enjoy about the city or does it present more opportunity for natives down the line?
Home is home. It’s like everywhere else and not at the same time if that makes sense? Gentrification is ongoing everywhere because the quality of life is enhancing. Especially technologically. But I can’t lie, the greatest thing about home that I love is, before WestSide Gunn, Conway, or Benny? We had no light here. They turned the light on. Now it’s time for the rest of the wolves to come in. Happy to be a part of this new era here and in Hip Hop. It’s an exciting time!
More info: https://www.sonoftonyussr.com