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Tum Tum

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Texas, we have problem. For far too long, hip-hop has overlooked Dallas, dismissing the southern city as nothing more than the home of an infamous football team and more than a few dysfunctional oil tycoons like J.R. Ewing. But native son Tony “Tum Tum” Richardson has a solution. An overnight celebrity on the D-town mixtape scene as part of the Dirty South Rydahs (DSR) hip-hop collective, Tum Tum plans to use his major label debut disc Eat or Get Ate (T-Town Music/Universal Republic Records) to shut down all the misguided myths about his hometown and put his city on the hip-hop map.

“Dallas is just like any other hood like L.A. or Chicago or Detroit,” says the 24-year old, whose explosive first single “Caprice Muzik” is bumping in Chevys below the Mason Dixon and has an accompanying video spinning on MTV2 and BET. “It’s real blue collar, but it gets gangsta when you go down to the slums.”

Tum Tum, who was given his moniker by his grandmother because of his always protruding belly, grew up in the slums. For a while, he gave in to the lure of the streets, but in 2001, he retired from the life to pursue music. “I saw a lot of people get locked up and I didn’t want to go that route,” Tum says. “I had to do something different with my life.”

A rap career had been in the back of Tum’s mind since high school when he used to sneak out of class to hit up a popular record shop. He didn’t take his potential career seriously until he witnessed Jay-Z’s Hard Knock Life tour. Tum quickly recorded a demo and took it to the record store to play for owner George Lopez, who along with Trinidad Delgado and Alan Powell had recently created the record label T-Town Music.

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