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Name: Adam Bernard
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Tahmell - The Son Also Rhymes
Thursday, May 05, 2011

Nepotism is an ugly word. It’s been known to cripple, and sometimes destroy, businesses and sports franchises. It’s what puts inept people in positions of power, sometimes even in our own government. It's also no way to start a rap career, which is why despite being the son of Rakim, who is hailed by many as one of the greatest emcees of all-time, Tahmell would rather blaze his own path than dive into his father’s long list of industry contacts. According to Tahmell, their relationship hasn’t been hurt by this at all. In fact, he says, it’s been strengthened by it. “I try to do my own thing and he sees and respects that.”

Born in Central Islip, but having spent most of his years in Stamford, CT, which is where he still resides, Tahmell didn’t even initially tell his father about his aspirations to be an emcee. He explains “it was really just getting down to a point where if I really want to do this I really need to buckle down and grind hard to show him that I’m serious instead of just going to him and telling him. Words are one thing, but actions are another.”

For Tahmell, his actions started early. He remembers rhyming when he was as young as five years old, but notes he didn’t get serious about it until after high school. “In high school I was playing football,” he explains, “so I was focused on that. I had more time to really focus and sit and write after high school.” This is doubly interesting because not only do a lot of emcees count high school cafeteria cyphers as places where they honed their skills, but Tahmell went to Westhill High School, where d_Cyphernauts emcees Othello and Nemesis Alpha teach. Tahmell never had a class taught by either of them, but says he spoke with both of the Ant Farm Affiliates’ elder statesmen a number of times.

Even though his graduation was all the way back in 2006, Tahmell just recently released his first project, a mix-CD titled The After Effect, which is available as a free download on his site, tahmell.com. He says the long wait to release music was on purpose; he wanted to take his time with his craft. “You can’t just put something out there,” he says, explaining that doing so would be akin to “building a car and instead of test driving it, giving it to the factory and saying ‘here, this is fresh, it’s a new car, sell it.’”

Nearly five full years in the making, Tahmell says The After Effect will give listeners an idea of “what I’m about, what kind of music I like, (and) what I bring.” He hopes the end result will be a record deal. “Hopefully this one will make an after effect. That’s why I named it that.”

Don’t expect to be inundated by a plethora of mixtapes from Tahmell as he works towards that goal of a record deal, though. He’s not a big fan of the mixtape scene. “It’s making money, but it’s not making the money you could be making,” he explains. “I just want to do these albums and do them the right way and put together these song ideas, these topics, and really put my everything into these tracks.”

Enfield’s Big Stat, who has been one of the few Connecticut emcees to tour the country on a consistent basis, has been working with Tahmell for a while and sees good things in his future. “Tah is a beast. He’s one of the few people I know that is extremely hungry, focused, energetic, and at the same time very humble.”

Big Stat is among a select group of artists Tahmell is currently collaborating with. Others include New London producer G-Whiz, Atrocity of Saigon’s crew Abandoned Nation, and Tahmell’s own brother, Bars, and cousin, Nellz.

Currently, Tahmell is working on an official full length album, but much like when he was preparing his mix-CD, he’s taking his time with it. “I have roughly seven tracks officially done,” he says, adding “I’m collecting beats from everywhere so I can have that good music, that good all around music that has that good feel.”

There’s another goal Tahmell is working on, as well. “I want to run my own label. I want to recruit my own artists. I kind of want to do this like 50 Cent, but times ten.”

When he does eventually accomplish those goals he’ll take extra pride in knowing that he will have made all those after effects happen on his own.

Story originally ran in the FairfieldWeekly.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:26 AM  
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