Fat Tony continues to expand both in and outside the city

Fat Tony ShowWhile awaiting a platter of Ethiopian cuisine at legendary Awash restaurant in the Little Ethiopia neighborhood of Los Angeles, Houston-based rapper Fat Tony rapidly scrolls through his Twitter feed on his phone and replies to a few questions from fans and friends, while simultaneously pondering on his experiences performing for the first time in the city of angels.

Nothing new for the long-time multitasker, who has worn many a hat and involved himself in various musical scenes up until now – something which has undoubtedly allowed him to connect with diverse audiences.

The Fat Tony story began years ago in Houston on various school campuses. A subtle nod to this Houston Independent School District experience is given in the title of Fat Tony’s critically acclaimed 2010 album RABDARGAB; a reference to the ubiquitous 90’s “Read a Book, Do a Report, Get a Buck” program where H.I.S.D. rewarded young students for reading more books.

Ironically, despite Tony’s notoriety for clever rap lyrics, he wasn’t always focused solely on hip-hop. “Growing up I listened to everything from Outkast to The Ramones to Prince, to name a few, and these influences all shaped my sound,” explains Tony.

Indeed, he did spend some time in high school as part of a punk band in Houston before moving on to focus on his hip-hop career, starting with freestyling with friends at school and ultimately recording full songs.

Flash forward a few years later, and Tony’s notoriety in Houston’s music scene has steadily risen. After earning a hat trick of awards by winning the Houston Press Best Underground Hip-Hop Artist award in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and being named on URB’s Next 1000, Fat Tony has focused on pleasing his local fan base with a myriad of concerts throughout the year, and expanding his sound and audience to more cities.

After performing at the 2010 College Music Journal Music Marathon & Film Festival in New York City, Tony performed several shows in Southern California, and reflected on his travels. “Having a chance to spend time here in L.A. and make new fans has been a great experience. The cultural diversity of this city is amazing. I definitely can’t wait to come back,” says Tony, thumbing through a July 1996 issue of a hip-hop magazine.

Tony has frequently listed New York legends from mid-to-late ’90s “Golden-Era,” such as Nas and A Tribe Called Quest, as strong musical influences, and it’s easy to detect a tone of appreciation in his recounting of his experiences performing in the Big Apple.

Which brings us to tonight: Fat Tony teaming with rising New York artist Theophilus London to perform at Fitzgerald’s: Brooklyn meets Houston, at a venue that has a long history in Houston’s musical scene. The two MC’s will be joined on the bill by Brandon West and La Catrin. Fat Tony will be ending the year with three more Texas shows: performing on December 13th in Austin with the supergroup Mister Heavenly (composed of Member of Islands, Man Man, Modest Mouse and actor Michael Cera); Black Christmas II: Son of Black Christmas at The Mink (December 17th); and Free Press Houston’s New Years Eve Party at Fitzgerald’s

After the trio of Texas shows, Tony will be performing in Washington D.C. for the first time to start off the New Year at Day Two of Lyric Olympics on January 10th.

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