Long Story Short, It's A Long Story...
Antonio "TeeLow" Lopez is a hip hop artist coming out of Ohio. Born in 1990, TeeLow has a unique musical style that has grown throughout the years. From a modest start rapping at 11, to recording his first cd at 13, TeeLow has grown and honed his rhyme into a truly masterful art. Fans and skeptics alike have both come to respect, and even praise TeeLow's abilities with rhyme and flow.
TeeLow consider's himself a "self made," artist - for the fact that he has no formal training or schooling in record engineering or filming. He took it upon himself to learn as much as he could to put out what he would consider to be a "quality product."
"I want the always want the viewers, or listeners, or whoever - to enjoy the product first. I genuinely want them to look at what I put out and think to themselves 'ok, this guy is a professional, he takes his work seriously." I don't want them to think that I'm some sort of, hobbyist that just wants to play the part," TeeLow says, "especially in hip hop! There are so many people who just want to play the role of the guy they see on TV - and don't care about contributing to the culture or the art at all. They just want to look good - and hip hop rarely looks good from an underground standpoint. Local bars and clubs hesitate to have hip hop shows because of the negative stigma attached - such as fights, drugs, and ultimately the police shutting a venue down. No one wants that. That is bad for business. That's why I try to keep it as professional and true to the art as possible. I want hip hop to grow even further than it has now, and it can't do that if clubs are turning artist's away."
TeeLow drew inspiration early in his life from Eminem. When The Marshal Mathers LP came out, TeeLow was 9 years old, but can vividly recall hearing "The Real Slim Shady," on the radio.
"My cousin lived with us at the time, she was older. She knew about Napster and all that stuff - so she downloaded the music for herself, but I was drawn to it. Eminem was dope to me, and the video was hilarious. So I started off by listening really to what she had downloaded. I burned my own CD's and eventually learned how to download stuff too. I downloaded corny songs though, like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song. But I listened to the rap on the radio, which at the time was heavy, and as I grew up around 11 and 12 I had downloaded every single Eminem recording I could find. Even the 8-mile battle audio clips. I wanted it all. I wanted to listen to all the lyrical stuff and it grew from there."
TeeLow then began to write little rhymes and songs. He had no knowledge of proper song structure or bars, but he would show very few people his writings, keeping a lot of the material to himself. His writings started off as very raw emotional pieces - with very little attention to rhyme schemes or complex metaphors. Just feelings on paper. Soon, he found an online underground circuit which opened his entire world up to new ideas and a new appreciation for the art-form. He began "keystyle" (freestyle typing) battles in chatrooms and on message boards, and soon became so involved in the culture he even began a few boards of his own. This is where the love of the complex schemes, the multies, and the competitive nature took a firm grasp on his artistry. This is where his desire to be the greatest really took hold.
In the summer of 2003 TeeLow found a local studio that took him and his best friend in and allowed them to record their first mixtape Off The Hook. This was TeeLow's first studio experience and he instantly fell inlove with the process of building a record. Though Off The Hook wasn't by any means a world shattering record, it was a legitimate starting platform in which TeeLow would dive into the creative process from head first. In winter of 2003, he found a free recording software program and bought a cheap computer mic, and taught himself basic recording practices. He worked on his craft daily, and in 2004 when he went back to the studio to record his second album, he was much more prepared and his style was well put together. The content was also getting more lyrical.
Since those early days, TeeLow has grown into an artist with a mind for the community. He has created a viral video series called the “Open Letter Series,” which has led him to be a voice in the campaign for mental and addiction recovery! In particular, his stance against heroin has gained a lot of attention and has even put him in positions to speak at events and schools. Musically, on November 12th of 2015 - for his 25th birthday - TeeLow released his official debut album “X X V,” which has earned a lot of praise from fans and peers.
With things beginning to move in 2016, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen in 2017 as the music begins to spread further and reach more people. TeeLow is indeed an artist that should be kept in your bookmarks, networks, and favorite lists because soon enough he will be in your hearts.