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10 Rappers to Watch in 2012


8 of 10

#3. Fat Tony
Fat Tony
© Rizoh

Twitter: @Fattonyrap

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Claim to Fame:
  • Three-time winner of the Houston Press Music Awards' "Best Underground Rapper" award
  • Collaborative tracks with Bun B, Murs, Das Racist, and A$AP Rocky
License to Ill:

Fat Tony is an entertainer—one of the best in his class. But you never get the point that he's simply trying to entertain. In fact, you never get the sense that he's trying to do anything at all. This undermines the standard artist-listener contract. Club rap invites you to escape your immediate reality; forget that light bill, come dance to this. Conscious rap is typically condescending and preachy. With Fat Tony, you're not entering any of these unspoken contracts. It's easier to raise your internal guards if you knew—on some unconscious level—that an artist was trying to sell you something. You ignore him the same way you ignore the freckled kid offering you Girl Scout cookies outside Wal-Mart. This absence of agenda in Tony's music disarms even the most cynical of cynical bastards. Just plain good music you can bob your head to, clean your house to, or eat cookies to.

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