DubCNN.com caught up with an artist from Alabama you should be familar with, Tam Tam. The female MC has a record produced by SD’s Dennis Blaze and has recorded with Keith Murray and Jaz-O.
We sat down to find out more about Tam Tam, her take on the industry and the music that’s coming out of her region right now, we also touch on how West Coast hip-hop has influenced that particular region.
Interview conducted in February 2015.
Questions Asked By: West Haven Blast
DubCNN: Checking in with a very hot artist; you most definitely should not be sleeping on, TAM TAM. What’s good TAM TAM – get us up to speed with a little about yourself and your team?
God is what’s good. Faith without works is dead and the team and I are most definitely working. B.I.Z and I currently have a record out that’s gaining a lot of attention called “If You Love”, produced by Dennis Blaze from Club Killers & 95.7 KISS FM, San Diego. It’s available at all distribution outlets. It’s amazing to see how the people are responding to the record and the DJs and Stations are showing a lot of love.
The journey to get to this point has been up and down; a lot of struggles and disappointments from people, but it has also been a great learning experience because my Faith in God has grown stronger. The love for my craft, my son & my family is what motivates me to keep pushing. I’ve experienced so much and I would like to have a positive impact on our youth. I’m a pioneer in Alabama, along with Mike White “Tha Beholder” and “B.I.Z”. Tha Beholder is the first male rapper who worked with me.
B.I.Z & I both had a situation at Big Cat Records. However, I dropped my first Mixtape “Think It’s A Game” with Big Oomp Camp, hosted by DJ Mist & DJ Montay and several Mixtapes followed. I speak on Tha Beholder & B.I.Z because they are an intricate part in my career as well as my life. The three of us are cousins. It’s more than just music with us. It was when I linked with Cool V “The Official Whistle” that I began to evolve as an artist and obtain a better understanding of the Industry. He has taught me so much. I’ve grown as a business woman. Cool V is responsible for my marketing and branding at Rated Next. We have a lot of things in the works. You can check us out on Kendrick Lamar’s “So You Wanna Be Signed” Vol. 1 Mixtape hosted by DJ Flipcyide. The records we have on there are called “Laid Back & Thowed”, produced by LST; B.I.Z has the record called “Screens” Feat. Kafani, produced by LoLo and I’m on the Remix. Tha Beholder record is “Everythang Match”, produced by Ken P.
Our brands are Team Rated Next, Juelz of Rome, Divas on Deck, Rated Next Radio Network, Thowed Off Entertainment & Noisy Neighbors. “So You Wanna Be Signed” Vol. 2 hosted by The Game & DJ Flipcyide will be our next release and the record that we have on there is called “Clubville”, produced by Burn One. Be on the lookout for “Hookah Dreams” by B.I.Z, “7 Days of Hell Reloaded” by Tha Beholder & my E.P which is untitled as of right now. DJ Wizz “The Waxx Kutta” and I are cooking up a Mixtape for the second quarter. I have a crazy catalogue that I can’t wait for the world to hear. However, I do have out an all female Mixtape hosted by DJ Papito called “The All Female Industry Takeover” Vol.1. The fam and I are just keeping that focus and remaining positive and productive.
DubCNN: You havea single out now featuring the legendary KEITH MURRAY, titled GIVE ME THE BEAT. Tell us how this collaboration came about, & how it was to work with the DEF SQUAD MC. Where can fans get it?
I’ve been working with the producer LST of 21st Century Sound for many years. LST was doing some work on Keith Murray’s project and he sent me over a track. The track was a re-worked version of George Benson’s “Give Me The Night”. I remembered that classic. I did my research on this hit to see how I wanted to approach the record. We’re talking about a classic record so I knew I couldn’t miss with this one. I had to nail it. I called in the R&B singers Eric Long and DPC to flip the chorus. Once the chorus was solidified, I zoned into the verse to make it fun and relatable while bridging that generational gap. I sent the record back to LST. LST called me a few days later to say that he let Keith Murray give it a listen and it was a wrap after that. Keith Murray stamped it. It’s on youtube and will be available for distribution second quarter. Working with Keith Murray is a pleasure and I’m looking forward to working with him again.
DubCNN: Your video MY LIFE IS REAL has features from names like Cool V, Mr.Collipark, Yung Joc, Khia, and Yung Berg. That’s a very impressive list! Tell us a little bit about this video and its cameos?
My Life Is Real is a song that I wrote about the things that I experienced in my life with my Ex and him having to go do prison time and me being left to raise our son as a single parent while pushing my career forward. It’s crazy how that video turned out because the video actually captures me on my job as an artist and the camera man following me to major shows and events. A lot of the footage was not planned out, just me in action and capturing who I was interacting with at that time. We took the footage and added a concept to it in the editing process and the results gave us some nice views.
DubCNN: Dope! What are your feelings on hip-hop today in general? And as a female MC what are your thoughts on the lack of female MCs in the game today?
I get asked this question a lot so that just means that people know that there is an issue and would like to see change. I’m the bridge in the game. What I mean by that is that I’m not too young and I’m not too old. I’m right there in the middle. I’m an 80’s baby so I can relate to it all. I believe Hip Hop has many branches. It would be boring if everybody sounds the same. Being different and having your own style is what I like to see in an artist. It’s not about age, color or a coast; it’s about the music and bringing people together. There are a lot of female MCs/Rappers out here. Very few have the budget or marketability for the top and people have been conditioned to only want to see female rappers with less clothing. Female MCs/Rappers have to take a stand and start working with each other before we expect anyone else to make sure that we remain relevant. Some expect from others the very thing that they won’t do. I like to see other females doing their thing. Competition drives greatness; consistency is what builds the brand.
DubCNN: Tell us a little bit about the city you hail from Tam Tam…and how West Coast hip-hop has influenced that particular region?
I’m from the South; Huntsville, AL. Huntsville is a small college town with old money and a great place to raise kids and retire and we love football. Roll Tide! We have an excellent Space program among many other things like Engineering & Agriculture. Our market is a place to break music from other areas but not our own. We don’t embrace our own like we should. It’s very under-saturated; very few music conferences and not enough events that focus on fashion and film. Not a lucrative place to make money for a musician from here. Rich in musical history; Fame Recording Studio is in Muscle Shoals, AL and we have the Blues & Old School Festival here in Huntsville. My God-Father Joe Douglas (Manager of Frankie Beverly & Maze) brings the O.S Festival and Tha Beholder and I perform every year. We embrace the West Coast; most of us grew up listening to our favorites from the West. We don’t sound like the West, but we love that Soul in the music and sometimes you will hear it from certain artists that are from here. Alabama doesn’t have one particular sound in my opinion. It’s a lot of variety here. It’s been more difficult for me to completely break out in the South because I don’t sound like I’m from the South. I do a lot of work with producers from the West so certain records that I create have that feel of the West. The West is showing me a lot of love and I appreciate it.
DubCNN: Correct me if I’m wrong, but you also play a role in Radio Promotion/DJ Pools. What do your activities consist of in this field of work? And how did this exciting opportunity come to fruition?
I wanted a better understanding of the Industry from the Radio & DJ standpoint. I also wanted to expand my network. How I became the Director of the RW Record Pool started out as a volunteer situation. I had a record called “U Bop’N” that was hot in the streets, clubs & radio. I didn’t have the budget to show the DJs my appreciation for helping to break that record so I decided to volunteer some time at Ron White’s Record Pool. Well, I implemented a lot of changes with the help of Cool V & Marques “Mr. E Films” Emerson. We made sure the DJs were fed at the meetings, upgraded One-Sheets, Fliers, Websites, and Sponsorships & made the pool digital. Alabama needed this type of structure. Pushing the RW Record Pool throughout the network of Big Image & #TRN re-established the notoriety of the pool and gave the pool a global reach.
DubCNN: You also have a single that was placed on YELAWOLF’s SHADY/INTERSCOPE mixtape; I AM ALABAMA, titled TALK DIRTY. Can you tell the fans a little about this single and the mixtape?
Yelawolf is from Alabama. DJ Frankwhite from Montgomery, AL reached out to me to send him over the records from my city that was making the most noise. As the Director of the RW Record Pool all of the records were coming through our pool so I knew what was working and what wasn’t working. Jaz-O and I were in the studio creating at that time. Ken P. played a few tracks for Jaz and me and when Jaz heard the instrumental to what is today called “Talk Dirty”, he told Ken P. the instrumental fit me. He could hear my vocals on that track. I completed the record and sent it to Jaz and Jaz said it was hot so that’s the record we decided to give Frankwhite for Yelawolf’s tape.
DubCNN: Who are your top 5 MCs of all-time? You have also collaborated with Jay-Z’s mentor himself, Jaz-O. How did this union come about?
L Boogie, Tupac, Biggie, Jay-Z & Nas….I reached out to Jaz-O while I was working with the RW Record Pool to assist him with working his music. I never mentioned I was an artist. We developed a friendship. I invited him to one of our Record Pool events as a special guest. One day I was playing some music and he wanted to know who the female MC was? He really enjoyed what he was hearing. I reached out to him to attend my Mixtape release party and he showed up. We began going to the studio to work on music together. We have several records together. The record “Hush Money” will eventually drop as a single. You can also check me out on his project.
DubCNN: What projects does TAM TAM have on deck for 2015?
The All Female Industry Takeover Vol. 2, Alabama Street Music hosted by DJ Papito, Thowed off Click, The Perfect 16, Thowed off Click-Cadillac Music Vol.3, Thowed off Click-Certified & Affiliated 2, Beauty & Tha Beast Vol. 2 and a few more singles and videos.
DubCNN: What’s your YouTube page TAM TAM? So that fans can check out some of your videos, like the bangers we discussed previously?
Head over to Youtube/TamTamOfficial.
DubCNN: Where can fans reach you on social media TAM TAM? And where can fans purchase your projects that are available now?