Fresh as Funk


The attitude, attire and confidence draped around him were vibrant reminders on what hip-hop once was. Covered in afro-centric colours and beads, a young emcee by the name of, TMG warmly welcomed me, eager to have his story behind the mic heard.

TMG shows a vintage lyrical structure in his music, while still including a state of mind that is fresh and modern amongst today’s society. He has drawn influences from various artists such as: Sade, Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West and Dead Prez.

“These artists showed me how to find a peaceful balance and overall acceptance. Growing up in this area, I could have resented my skin colour because I was a constant outcast due to my blackness. But Dead Prez taught me how to embrace the uniqueness of my skin tone,” says TMG.

TMG loads the microphone with personal hardships, a freedom of self-expression and leadership that presents listeners with more than just originality. There is a serious level of creativity and rebellion to break through what’s ‘trendy’.

He has taken the time to explore his craft by examining hip-hop culture, paying attention to the words, theme and message that previous and current emcees offer listeners. His desire to be stimulated by more than just a beat is what fuels him to continue contributing to the game, whether it’s through a pen, microphone or beat.

He is a strong believer in hip-hop’s impact on its audience and on its ability in making a difference, and freeing listeners who need freedom from their current struggles and hardships.

“I live around the quote, ‘each one, teach one’. I suffered from depression and guilt for a long time after three of my friends committed suicide, that pretty much set the platform in hip-hop for me, it motivated me to create more than just music but a temporary break for anyone struggling,” says TMG.

TMG describes hip-hop as an outlet of self-expression, an ultimate art form of each genre from Rock ‘n’ Roll, Jazz, Reggae and more but deeper than that he views hip-hop as a culture that embraces life and unity. However, through hip-hop’s most recent transition he believes newer emcees need come into the game equipped with originality, stronger lyricism and visuals attached to their music.

The goal needs to go back to the days where emcees painted a bigger picture for their listeners. He believes this can be obtained by studying the culture behind hip-hop, reading more and digging deeper into individuality. Putting more love and thought-provoking punch lines or bars into hip-hop music is a major element that he would love to either provide or hear from anyone gripping onto the mic.

“The song that best describes me would have to be Nas when he said, ‘Got rhymes 365 days annual, plus some load up the mic and bust one … because life’s a b**** and then you die that’s why we get high cause you never know when you’re gonna’ go,” says TMG.

Most recently TMG was offered an opportunity through Team Backpack to participate in their annual cypher competition/program in the city that never sleeps, New York.

“TMG finish this sentence for me, I fell in love with hip-hop when I heard…”

“Nas-I can!”

For more information on TMG follow him on Instagram: @tmg_yongegarvey




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