"I'm a real boxing fan. Growing up as a kid, my father's favorite thing was boxing, and all of my uncles. If you are from Philadelphia, you gotta love boxing, man. And we got a great culture here and a legendary situation. Me and my man Banks, we talk boxing all of the time. I love taking his money betting on fights (laughing). I love the sport, man, and honestly, I think if I wasn't rapping, I might have been a boxer, and that's honestly how I feel. I love the sport. I watch it as a fan and I love the sport; nothing comes close to boxing to me. I love it... shout out to Garcia too. He is repping the new generation of Philly fighters and he about to knock out that boy Zab Judah. We looking forward to that," stated rapper Tone Trump, who talked about his love of the sport of boxing and much more. Check it out!
PC: I got one of the hottest rappers out of Philly, Tone Trump, here on FightHype, because not only are you a huge fight fan, you really follow the sport of boxing. Before we get into that though, how are you?
TT: Man, I'm blessed, man. I'm living good. I'm living a lot better than I used to be, so I thank God every day for how I'm living. I'm moving around, traveling, learning a lot, and hustling, trying to hit my goals.
PC: When I see an Atlanta cat like Young Jeezy go to Philadelphia and find you, that says a lot about your talent. How did the deal with CTE come about and what does that say for what you bring to the table?
TT: I mean, first and foremost, I feel honored. Like you said, for somebody from so far away to acknowledge my grind and my talent and my heart, and you know, before we even did business together, he was one of my favorite artists, so it made it even double special for me. So I took it as a compliment, and obviously I want to prove him right and prove to the world why I'm a superstar.
PC: I watched a video interview with you and you said something interesting. You said, "It's not just about getting out of Philadelphia, but you have to get out of Philadelphia and be willing to work." Can you elaborate on the message you were sending with that comment?
TT: Like right now, I'm sitting with my homie Chris Banks and one thing that I tell him and he tells me, and my old head and lad told me, is no heart, no money. And that's one of the most important things to get on this road; you gotta have heart and you gotta have money and you gotta be willing to sacrifice. You go to other people's hoods and they have different rules and gangs and relationships and all types of things, and shystie women and all types of things that come with this shit. When you out here on this road, it takes a lot of faith and a lot of heart and a lot of money, and it's something that everybody can't do, so for those of us that choose to do it, we go out there and we do it and it's important for your brand because it's cool to be the best on your block, but it's not that profitable. After a while, you only be seen in your neighborhood. If you want to hit the world and people want to ride with you, they gotta be able to feel like they can see you in they hood too. The internet is great, but at the same time, you really gotta get in these streets and see your people.
PC: Anytime you can get work with a legend, it's special. You recently released the single "What You Smoking On" featuring Warren G. I know that was a special moment for you. What was it like being in the studio and working with Warren?
TT: Man, that was a great experience for me, man. That was another movement. I looked up to the whole Death Row and G-Funk era with Snoop, and obviously the big homie Warren G is a legend from that era. To be able to work with somebody that worked with Nate Dogg, the greatest hook man of our generation and maybe ever; I got a chance to go to LA and work with Warren and it was a great experience. He let me hear records from Nate Dogg that never got released. I was in the studio feeling like I was a part of history at that moment. And he kicked me a bunch of beats and he is a super producer and he was just giving me CD'S full of his beats and let me record on 'em like, "Go ahead and do your thing." No politics involved and that's rare in this business and I'm honored to have a song with him. We got busy on that joint and it's a real song because I'm a weed connoisseur. I smoke all day, every day and that nigga Warren G had me so fucking high, it was only right that we put out a song called "What You Smoking On". Them California niggaz aint no joke; especially the OG niggaz like Warren and Snoop on a whole 'nother planet with that shit. I remember I was so fucking high in that studio, I was trying not to embarrass myself. I was like, "Don't feint in front of Warren G (laughing)." I was fucked up my nigga. We did the "What You Smoking On" shit and it was perfect.
PC: What can we expect from you on the music front in the near future?
TT: Right away in the immediate future, I'm so excited about the projects I got coming up. I'm working on a new solo mixtape as well as I'm bringing out my crew. I got you see the tattoo on my hand, it's "TN" and that's my company, Top Notch. Top Notch Inc., and I'm gonna be showcasing my artist on my "Top Notch" mixtape. I'm writing my first book that will be out before the year is out. I'm putting out a short film as well as a DVD showing my grind, so it's gonna be a bunch of content coming out from Tone Trump, and just building my buzz and prepping it, and God-willing I will put out my debut album the following year. So that's what the grind is about; this year, me showcasing my talent as an artist, a future legend, and also as a CEO and a boss as well as an entrepreneur like no other that's ever been seen. I plan on it being everything, from Tone Trump deodorant to beard sprays and everything. We in it for the long haul, you feel me?
PC: You got a lot of irons in the fire for sure. With everything you have going on, you truly stay on your grind. What keeps you motivated and how do you not get content?
TT: Honestly, I got a great balance. One minute, I'm on the corner of 51st and Market with a bunch of dudes who basically homeless, and then in a matter of hours, I will be around a bunch of millionaires. And I learn from all of them people. So one minute I'm in Atlanta living like I'm rich, even though I'm not yet, and the next minute, I'm back in my reality cruising down the street in Philadelphia and everywhere. Man, I'm from everywhere: LA, Chicago, and Houston. I go everywhere with no fear, but God is still real out here.
PC: You have worked with a bunch of artists. Is there one that you haven't had a chance to work with yet that you would like to?
TT: I think you should always shoot for the stars. I look forward to one day working with Jay-Z and I have a goal to do a song with Jill Scott. I'm gonna do a song for my mother with Jill Scott and I'm gonna make that happen for my album, so that will happen, and maybe Mary J. Blige. Everybody else, I know I can get them because I'm gonna build my brand to a point where it's gonna be beneficial for them to do a song with me anyway, so that's the way I look at it. I done worked with most of my favorite artists. I have records with Warren G, Young Jeezy, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, and a lot of them dudes that was on my wish list, I been knocked those projects out. Now it's about making great business decisions as well as showcasing my artists, so I'm excited, but of course if I had to say anybody, it would have to be Jay and Mary J. Blige.
PC: What would be the best advice you could give a youngster trying to get in the music industry?
TT: The main thing is have faith, man. I don't try to pick nobody's religion, but just believe in God and know that nothing is bigger than that or more important than that. This is a very tricky business and it's very gangsta, it's very cold, and it's real. It's a business that's very trying and you gotta have faith and belief in yourself; that's the main thing no matter what. There are billions of people in this world and if a million people say they don't like you, you can still get a million other fans. So keep God first, believe in yourself, and have good people around you and that's the best advice I can give you. After that, you see everything from Trinidad James to Nas; everything out here, so get your money and do what you do.
PC: That's one of the reasons I like you because you don't really knock any artist or genre. You are always positive.
TT: That's because I'm a hustler and a hustler realizes you can get money with everybody. As long as I don't compromise my manhood or do something that my mother told me I shouldn't do, and it's in the balance of my religion as well, then I want to go and get money with everybody. I got money last year with Young Jeezy and Lil B. How different is that? Lil B asked me to come out for his tour and paid me real nice. And he is the total opposite from "Snowman". I got money on both elements and that's what a hustler is supposed to do. I didn't compromise myself. I didn't go to Lil B's tour acting like Lil B. I was still being me and repped me and mine; made money, had a ball, and made history and I kept it pushing. And I salute homie for letting me be a part of that, but that's just how it goes; if you a hustler, you gonna get money.
PC: You follow boxing closely, and I'm not talking about the big name pay-per-view guys; you watch it all. How amazing was it to see Bernard Hopkins pull off the victory against Tavoris Cloud?
TT: I think it's beautiful, man. I think Bernard being in the spotlight all of these years is motivational for people here from Philadelphia. We are from the land where not a lot of people make it out, and he made it out in a way that's so different, being an ex-con and getting another chance and making the best of it. He is the champion here whether he got a belt or not; we salute him, and now to do it at his age is just come on. They need to be praising him the way they praise Peyton Manning and Tom Brady and the Kobe's I think Bernard needs to be in that same light, and that's just being real.
PC: I found it hard to believe the night he beat Cloud that he didn't get an opening on Sports Center or something.
TT: It's not a top story because it's Bernard Hopkins. He always did things his way. Look how he represents the streets; he's the Executioner. It's not like he The Golden Boy or The Pretty Boy or none of them guys. He's The Executioner, so I think if De La Hoya was the champ at 48 years old, we wouldn't hear the end of it. It will be all over. But it's Bernard and that's how he's always been; he has always been a champ of the streets and the people. He's never been the top story on Sports Center, even when he knocked De La Hoya out. That's just how it goes. He's still a champ and a future Hall of Famer, and now he's getting that money that he should have been getting. I'm happy for him.
PC: What got you into the fight game?
TT: I'm a real boxing fan. Growing up as a kid, my father's favorite thing was boxing, and all of my uncles. If you are from Philadelphia, you gotta love boxing, man. And we got a great culture here and a legendary situation. Me and my man Banks, we talk boxing all of the time. I love taking his money betting on fights (laughing). I love the sport, man, and honestly, I think if I wasn't rapping, I might have been a boxer, and that's honestly how I feel. I love the sport. I watch it as a fan and I love the sport; nothing comes close to boxing to me. I love it.
PC: It was great to interview you. I wish you the best with everything you have going on and we will talk again in the near future. Is there anything else you want to add?
TT: Shout out to the whole Philadelphia. I want to shout out a fighter from Philadelphia, Tevin Farmer, who I am real proud of; a young kid coming up. He did some sparring with the champ, Danny Garcia, getting him ready for Zab Judah, and shout out to Garcia too. He is repping the new generation of Philly fighters and he about to knock out that boy Zab Judah. We looking forward to that. But yeah man, shout out to the whole Philadelphia and of course the whole "Top Notch", and thank y'all for having me, man. Chris Banks and Banks & Ross, lookout for them and just stay tuned for more, man. I'm hustling and grinding, and follow me on all of the social networks; everything is my name, Tone Trump. So follow me for more info and let's keep talking heavy; let's win!
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]