Tom P’s third album, The Preachers Kid, was released Nov 11, 2013. In similar fashion as Tom P’s previous projects, It showcases his versatility, lyrical tenacity and perfectionism as an MC, but also offers a more in-depth look into himself as an artist. The influence from other Southern rappers like; Outkast, Goodie Mob and T.I. can be heard in Tom P’s storytelling and ability to construct his World through his lyrics, and explain it to the listener. While proclaiming himself as an “Atlanta rapper,” he seeks to separate himself as a unique entity, offering a different perspective on growing up, and his experience, in the city. Tom P does not hold back from the Atlanta braggadocio found in much mainstream-Southern rap but, rather than applying it to an abundance of money or jewelry, he might brag about being the life of the party or having a superior work ethic. For example, in the song “Sloppy Seconds” Tom P and his Atlanta-rap ally, RITTZ, trade fast-paced bars, ruling out the possibility that anyone, despite being wealthier or having a nicer car, will pull a girl that one of them hasn’t already hooked up with. While some songs were intentionally written to be fun or silly, Tom P also does not hold back from sharing his vulnerability on songs like “Hater Proof” featuring Cutty Cartel. The song is a personal journey into the complications, hardships, and duality of juggling a “regular life” and being an aspiring rapper. All 20 tracks on the album have a different vibe and purpose so whether someone enjoys Atlanta-gangster rap, lyrically-driven hip hop, introspective storytelling or even songs about aliens, there is something for everyone.
Tom P: Root For the Underdog
It seems that there are two different types of white rappers; those who are too self-deprecating and those who too braggadocios. Either way, there is very few white rappers with a proper amount of equilibrium. On Tom P‘s sophomore album, he attempts to not get too full of himself while unleashing less than wholesome autobiographical stories.
In a lot of ways, Tom P is an exciting white rappers. He is from Atlanta but has his own style that is not concerned with being part of the “dirty south” or fitting that mold. Instead, Tom P mixes a steady flow with Twista-speed double time. This dynamic makes his tracks fun to listen to but also more interesting than the typical chopped and screwed style that plagues much of southern rap. Tom’s voice reminds me of fellow white rapper Cage but his lyrical content is much less graphic or disturbing.
Tom P’s greatest critics dog him for being too mainstream. The reason for this is fairly easy to parse out while listening to Root For the Underdog. Take the track “Wake Up” for example. The production has an electro-dance beat feel and features vocalist, Julie Grass on the chorus. The track sounds more like a Lady Gaga song than something hip hop heads would enjoy but I do not find this type of mainstream pandering as a bad thing. The track has a unique flare, especially for the Atlanta scene.
Tom P’s real weakness is his lyrics. While Tom P is still considered a newcomer in the game, he talks an awful lot about making mad money in the recession. This kind of braggadocio seems to just be regurgitated cliches from more mainstream rappers. Fortunately, these type of lyrical missteps do not represent the bulk of the album and on tracks that do succumb to these pitfalls luckily solid production from the likes of SMKA and Justin Padron save them.
Overall, Tom P seems to be poised to be the next big thing out of the ATL. His fresh style and wry wit make him seem like he should be signed to Def Jux or something. The critics who rally against him may have some leg to stand on but not enough to shut Tom P down. I look forward to his future releases.
Tom P's first album. It was released in 2009 as Tom P's first solo project. It features 14 tracks of original material and features Boi Blaq, Drastiq, Ty-Vicious, The Black Maverick and JY. Unlike Tom P's newer material, it was not mastered or recorded professionally but instead in an attic studio. This gives it a very gritty, but authentic sound. The album has become known all over the South as a classic and been downloaded nearly 100,000 times in its re-released mixtape version. For long-time fans of Tom P, the album serves up a bit of nostalgia. While new fans will enjoy hearing Tom P's roots, higher-pitched voice, and dope but, yet, still developing technique. Give it a listen and see where it all started!