By Carlos Cureno
Hip Hop Vibe Staff Writer
Most know hip hop has moved online and many newer artists owe their celebrity status to internet success. This is how T. Carrier first gained recognition in the game. However, his initial rise came as Smoovie Baby, his first rap moniker.
Those who are wondering what happened to Smoovie Baby, he is still here and still making dope music. The only difference is that he made a change that better represents himself. Enter T. Carrier and “Feelings,” his new single.
T. Carrier is going to be showing up, all over the place, as 2016 comes to an end. While he is rising, Hip Hop Vibe landed the opportunity to speak with him. In the latest On The Rise segment, T. Carrier speaks on his history with Sage The Gemini, his name change, and his R&B influence.
Read the entire interview below:
Can you tell us about your early work with Sage The Gemini? Me and Sage started working together on a project of mine in 2012 called “Young, Wild, & Pretty” (under the name Smoovie Baby). At the time, he produced pretty much the entire project and he was recording me in the studio in his house. Later that year, he put out the record “Gas Pedal” which went viral really fast, and I stepped more into the supportive role of his career. We both were apart of the same collective, Black Money Music Group, before he eventually went on to work with HBK Gang.
In what ways did you two’s early work establish both of your respective sounds? We were very close, like brothers, so our personalities already similar in that regard spilled over into the music. Two niggas with deep voices that rap (laughs.) People often couldn’t tell who was who on songs we made.
Where did you come up with the concept for Gumbo & Prerolls? Gumbo & Prerolls is a representation of what I am as an artist. The “gumbo” refers to the mix of different vibes I bring to the table. I’m not just one thing nor do I discuss only one subject in my music. I am a little bit of everything, but the overall goal is to give you one result and that’s a great tasting meal. Also compliments my Creole heritage and, the way gumbo has always been a special occasion meal in many ways in my family. The “prerolls” speaks to the idea of bringing people together. When you think of smoking weed you think of smoking among friends and people you get along with. And that’s what I want my music to be, I want it to be able to unite people from different walks of life but in the end they can bond and because friends through my music. And who doesn’t enjoy smoking a joint with a hot bowl gumbo in front of you?
Seeing how you have performed, twice, at SXSW, do you feel it is important for an artist to perform there? I do feel that it’s important but I feel that it is even more important to build your brand and have your presence be felt more. There is a shit load of artists who show up during that week and if you don’t make an impression out there it won’t benefit you as much. So as grateful as I am to have performed at SXSW, I can’t wait to perform there again only this time be all over that bitch.
What inspired the shift in your music from simple rap to more of an R&B/rap sound? Well, the funny thing is that, before anyone ever knew who I was, I sang. I didn’t even barely listen to rap until I reached middle school, mostly because my mom didn’t really allow it in the house. So, I was always more drawn to R&B from the jump. I looked up to Usher, R. Kelly, Dru Hill, people like that. It wasn’t until puberty hit, and I lost control of my voice, that I leaned more towards rap. That was also around the time Lil Wayne and Cash Money started taking over the industry and he became my biggest rap influence. So, over the years, I’ve tried to find myself as an artist and blend my love for both genres in my music and I felt that now is the perfect time to showcase that.
Do you see yourself doing future records with Sage, or the HBK Gang? Absolutely. I love those guys. They inspire me everyday. Done so much for the Bay Area music scene and are a bunch of talented muthafuckas, you can’t deny that.
Thus far, how well do you think the single, “Feelings,” is performing? So far, the response has been dope. It’s still hella early, so I really don’t know where it will go in time but I’m happy to see people fucking with it for sure.
Where can fans connect with you on social media? I tweet all the time so it’s best to hit me on Twitter @tcarriermusic.
Follow Carlos Cureno on Twitter @DjayyCharliee.