Tedy Andreas made a massive impact with his recently released mixtape ‘IN2DEEP,’ using nine-tracks to prove that raw lyrical hip-hop is alive and well. Despite his origins in Houston, the 22-year-old carries an East Coast-influenced style that’ll remind you of New York’s most legendary emcees.
We caught up with the rising flame-spitter to learn more about his new project, growing up in Texas and more. Read our full conversation below.
Your mixtape ‘IN2DEEP’ grapples with a lot of emotion. Where do these inspirations come from?
It was a tough & frustrating time for me during the making of the tape. I basically made this whole thing in a New York City basement where I was living. I just had a lot going on in life, and I wanted to let loose through the music.
What experiences helped shape the project’s sound?
I was basement living on some grimy shit. It was a summer project, but the summer wasn’t lit like I thought it would be. I wanted to drop this things months & months before, so as I said I was frustrated with myself. While I’m falling out with my girl, Mom’s calling me talking bout she hate her job & money problems every other day really gets to me. That’s where the frustration was coming from. I feel like how I was feeling reflected sonically on most of the joints. Shit wasn’t sweet. A lot of pent up aggression was shown in the records.
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Describe life growing up in Houston
I was a wild kid yo; shit was fun I guess. Skateboarding heavy, smoking ‘n shit. Always in the city.
When you hear the term ‘Houston rap,’ what do you think of?
I think of cats like Geto Boys, UGK, Flip, Mike Jones and all the OG’s. Growing up, Z-Ro was my favorite Houston emcee. I got heavy into the screw tapes later on. I liked pretty much everything else I heard, but personally it wasn’t my thing. Houston rap culture is super dope, though. I wish it was still like it was in the 90’s & early 2000’s.
Did you compete/work with locals or has it always been more of a solo endeavor?
It’s always been solo, but not on some fuck everyone type shit. I been writing raps for mad years and when I was growing up, it wasn’t as popular to do as it is now. Cats would laugh & shit when I said I wanted to be a rapper so I stayed lowkey about it. Everyone would spit at lunch tables at school ‘n shit, but not many people were recording yet
I had a homie who would go half with me on studio time and we started recording at this lil studio in Alief once or twice a month when I was 16. I showed some friends my shit one day, and they were like “…Dawg you gotta do this; you’re nice.”
After that, I started really dropping shit. I think I still have a problem with collaboration simply because I’m so used to doing things on my own. My brain doesn’t think to network but I’m trying to get better at that.
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Do you think the stereotypes associated with Houston rap have made it harder or easier for you to gain buzz?
Neither. I think we’re in an era where the geography you’re from doesn’t put you in a box as much. It’s kind of sad to me. I miss when rap had more different regional cultures & sounds.
You come equipped with an old-school esque flow on nearly every track, placing a ton of emphasis on lyrics. How did you develop this sound, who were some of your biggest inspirations?
The first rap album I listened to was ‘Get Rich or Die Trying’ by 50 Cent. I was 9 or 10 years old, and I knew I wanted to be a rapper. Then, Tony Hawk’s Underground came out and I first heard ‘The World is Yours’ by Nas. That shit changed my life. I loved that song yo. I remember going to a pawn shop with my Mom and I saw ‘Stillmatic’ for like $4 and I thought that song would be on it.
My Mom bought it for me and I would listen to it for like a year straight. The east coast style rap was my shit. I loved the music and the lyricism. I always loved bars so I’ve been rapping like this since I first started. In middle school I was on Mobb Deep & Biggie shit. I think I was just influenced at the right age to want to spit like them.
Read More: Tedy Andreas talks ‘IN2DEEP,’ personal struggles & more