A breakdown of Tony’s Shhnow’s introduction to the rap game and his recent ascension as he paves his own path to success.
I’ll begin with a little backstory for those who aren’t familiar. Tony Shhnow was born in LA and was raised by a single mother and his sister. Once his mother saved enough money up to relocate, the family moved to the city of Atlanta. Seeing his mother struggle to make ends meet pushed Tony to make a way to provide through hustling in the streets. The kinds of legends that were being played around his mother’s home-names like Michael Jackson, Al Green, 2Pac, Alicia Keys, Sade, Erykah Badu-built Tony’s love for music, which eventually developed into a proclivity for rapping. He’d spend time casually freestyling in cyphers with his friends and classmates during and after school; the constant positive feedback he received fueled his confidence. He started making music around 2012-2013, not taking it seriously until around 2017. A big music inspiration for Tony is Lil Wayne, and listening to Tony Shhnow’s music you’ll understand the influence. His 2020 mixtape BLACK BILLIONARE CLUB was even No Ceilings-esque in it’s execution, where the Shhnowman rapped over instrumentals from the early-2000’s era. On the minimal beats, he delivers a plethora of metaphors and catchphrases, mixed with vivid storytelling, painting pictures of his block and the activities taking place around it. Tony brings his own unique style to quality street music in which there is always a message.
I was put onto his music initially by way of a feature on a Virginia rapper’s upcoming album that will be out before the end of the year-shoutout to Drew Famous. Hearing Tony Shhnow‘s voice for the first time I could hear the hunger, grit, the character, wit, and the undeniable authenticity behind his lyrics. When asked in his own words how he would describe his sound, he said “If Jay-Z was from Atlanta or some sh*t” and his work ethic is just like the greats out of the south, unveiling so much music as if they lived in the studio.
“I just make music for real n*ggas to relate to and get money to. I make the music I wanna hear, for the people who are in the situations I was in.” – Tony Shhnow
The Cobb County native has been on a hot streak lately, dropping six projects last year and five this year so far. Tony has found the yings to his yang in producers CashCache and SenseiATL; his chemistry with the two being a catalyst for the consistency in the Shhnowman’s sound. CashCache produced hits include “Zaboomafoo” and “Vet”, while SenseiATL produced hits like “Why U Mad”, “Penthouse”, and “What’s Going On.”
Though my watchings of interviews and learning more about the artist, my understanding is that Tony Shhnow is focused on longevity, not relevancy, which is what I respect a lot about him. We are in a time where so many artists are only putting out so much music and content because they feel like if they don’t they they’ll be forgotten about. Tony understands that hustle (the desired consistency in releasing music) but also understands that it’s something that needs quality to go hand-in-hand with. For example, take an artist like the reclusive Kendrick Lamar, who we only hear from every blue moon, which I believe is due to the time it takes for this artist to create a fully thought out, conceptually-driven quality project. We’re okay with pace because it suits him. An artist like Lil Baby may drop multiple singles and videos, all in the span of a few months. This is also fine because his work pace is perfect for him as well. Tony Shhnow wants to keep his foot on the gas, pushing out quality music at a high level, and this method has served him well thus far. In the past four weeks, he’s released three music videos as well as a behind the scenes making of his latest project with SenseiATL.
Personally, I’ve discovered a lot of artists this in the past year, and it’s safe to say that fallen in love with his ambient trap poetry. His music makes me feel good, and also like I need to go get some more money. If you’re hip to the Shhnowman already, hopefully this makes you more of a fan, and if you’re not familiar, this is a perfect time to find out because he’s definitely about to blow up, big time.