New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Growing up in Annapolis, Maryland, Dontay always looked up to this older brother. Known as the rapper T-Y, Dontay's older brother of 7 years made an early reputation for himself along the East Coast and eventually in Atlanta as a musician with unique talent. Dontay would often hear his brother rapping with other local musicians in the neighborhood, and always loved that his brother was so well respected.
So it was perfectly natural for him to want to follow in his brother's footsteps. And so immediately after high school he went to college and began studying music theory and audio production. He soon adopted the name Tha Shepperd, and much like his brother began to make a name for himself along the East Coast. Everything
was moving along well, and the future looked bright, until an unfortunate event occurred in Baltimore City in 2012 that derailed his momentum for a time.
After getting his life back on track and spending over a year in Louisville, Kentucky on his family farm, Tha Shepperd was ready to re-enter the rap game - only this time with a completely different outlook on life. He and his brother began to collaborate on some music and eventually decided to start their own record label in late 2016, which they call F.A.M.I.L.E. Records.
"It stands for For All Mankind
Intelligence Light and Energy," Tha Shepperd said of the record label. "We started a company by the same name back in 2010, and the main reason we're starting the company again is because of T-Y. He'd been doing his thing in Georgia for awhile and would sometimes send things to me. I had been working as a manager for a little bit and we had a conversation one day and decided to do this for real."
T-Y is, in his little brother's estimation, the "Michael Jackson of hip-hop." He gives him that moniker because of T-Y's ability to catch new fans with raps and music that is accessible. The two of them are currently collaborating on music that they hope to be able to release later this summer or early fall. The first project is an EP called "Youth Revival" from Tha Shepperd.
"It's not your modern, typical music," Tha Shepperd said. "Right now a lot of what you hear on the radio is here today and gone tomorrow. It's either not good nor real deep music. The hits we have today are only good in the club for 30 or 60 days - materialistic rap - before they become weak. F.A.M.I.L.E. Records has artists that are diverse. We're speaking messages that are subliminal or political or Godly. That's one of the prerequisites for being on our label is that you have to have talent and understand that we live for God and for all mankind. You have to have energy and see a light where there is darkness. The music we are putting out is for fans of old-school who recognize authentic hip-hop, and our songs are a message. That's what this EP will show."
T-Y is also working on two different albums, which are tentatively slated to drop later this fall. The first album will be titled "Memoirs of a Playboy," while the second will be called "Ggod." These two EPs will showcase T-Y's diversity and emphasize who he is as an artist.