Fat Tony and Taydex Wake Up

CAK141

Feb 7th, 2020

Nigerian-American rapper and entertainer Fat Tony’s fifth studio albumWake Up–a collaboration with producer Taydex–is saturated in the candid confidence that has carried him through his tenure in underground Hip Hop. Wake Up is an anthemic return to form after 2018’s 10,000 Hours. Inspired by quietly groundbreaking rap records like De La Soul’s Buhloone Mindstate and Ghostface Killah’s Supreme ClienteleWake Up shows Fat Tony widening the scope of his storytelling while maintaining his light-hearted and self-reflective demeanor. Taydex’s instrumentals provide a colorful and turbulent backdrop to Fat Tony’s anecdotal and satirical verses. The record is due February 7, 2020, and is his first with Carpark Records, building on the momentum Fat Tony has made in the few years since moving away from his hometown of Houston, TX.   

Fat Tony (born Anthony Lawson Jude Ifeanyichukwu Obiawunaotu) initially collaborated with experimental producer taydex on the tracks “Swervin” and “Ride Home” from his sound-expanding LP MacGregor Park. “I had such a good time working with him that I decided to invite him to co-produce a song called ‘Poet’ from my last album.” Fat Tony explains. “After that, I just decided, let’s make an EP together.” The pair began recording a five-track EP in December 2018 at Taydex’s studio, which would lay the groundwork for Wake Up. Fat Tony and Taydex put the project on pause for about three months while Fat Tony was living in New York and co-hosting Viceland’s late-night variety show VICE LIVE. After the show ended in April 2019, Fat Tony flew back to LA and spent a month and a half with Taydex recording new tracks and elaborating on what they had already started. “I thought it would be more interesting to make it an album than an EP, and that the time we spent apart before making the second batch of songs would make it a more interesting and diverse body of work.” By the end of the second session, Fat Tony and Taydex had created a complex collage of sounds, stories, and references that flexes the MC’s growth as a writer and the producer’s masterful assembly.   

For Wake Up, Fat Tony invited a cast of talented peers, including Sophia Pfister, Negashi Armada, Dai Burger, Clarence James, and Revenge Wife, to spit verses on the album. The record’s lead single “Godly” shows the musical and conceptual range the album has to offer. Fat Tony hopes that the creative risks taken on the album gesture a leap forward in his discography while retaining the charisma and sincerity his fans know him for.  

Tracklisting

  1. Get Out My Way (feat. Sophia Pfister)
  2. Godly (feat. Negashi Armada)
  3. Big Ego (feat. Sophia Pfister, Dai Burger)
  4. Magnifique
  5. Run It Up (feat. Sophia Pfister)
  6. Omaha (feat. Clarence James)
  7. Wake Up
  8. Cut That
  9. Make It (feat. Revenge Wife)

Audio

Other Info

PRESS CONTACTS
USA/Canada: nick@orienteer.us
Mexico: sandra@arts-crafts.com.mx
Europe: andy@carparkrecords.com
Japan: shigeru@bignothing.net
Australia/New Zealand: jacob@carparkrecords.com, apple@carparkrecords.com 

WAKE UP
• North American publicity by Orienteer
• College/Non-Commercial radio by Terrorbird
• Digital Marketing by Terrorbird
• Limited edition neon yellow colored vinyl
• “Godly” and “Get Out My Way” music videos by Lenore Miles
• November Tour with Black Midi
• Vinyl includes free digital download

UPCs
LP: 677517014112
CD: 677517014129
Digital: 677517014150

Press Photos

Hi-res TIFF album art:

Photos by: Meredith Truax

Photo by: Lenore Melo

Artist Bio

Somewhere between DJ Screw and Bad Brains, De La Soul and Scritti Politti sits Houston’s native son, Fat Tony. For the last decade, Anthony Lawson Jude Ifeanyichukwu Obiawunaotu has been everywhere: from star-making turns on the first A$AP Rocky mixtape to hosting shows on Viceland and Super Deluxe, to co-founding a DIY culture magazine to playing every worthwhile rap party in America and burning the stage down every single time. A singular and experimentally-minded rap artist adept at both traditional regional styles and indie pop, hardcore thrash, and melodic candy-painted bangers. He is punk in the platonic sense of the word: experimental and subversive, but also funny, whimsical, and virtuosic.

 

Over the course of more than a half-dozen LPs, and countless other short-form gems and collaborations with everyone from Das Racist to Bun B, Fat Tony has reimagined and blurred the boundaries of hip-hop. There are a few things you can depend on in this schizophrenic world. About once or twice a year, Fat Tony will drop an album and it will sound like nothing that he has done before. There’s a spirit of creative restlessness and intelligence that runs through his deep discography. He is a national treasure, one of those rappers destined to seem forever underrated until you ask around and realize that everyone in their right mind likes Fat Tony. He is the Whataburger of rappers: if you know you know.

 

Raised in Houston’s historically black and culturally radical neighborhood, the Third Ward, Tony’s mom and teachers educated him from the get-go about how this was the regional cradle for the Black Panther Party — and how BP hero, Carl Hampton, was murdered by the Houston Police Department. It was an environment where social awareness and Pan-Africanism were always around and celebrated. His childhood home was filled with records—country music, King Sunny Adé, and Jimmy Cliff from his father’s collection, his mother’s classical music, rock, and soul, and his granny’s gospel. Then as a teenager, empowered by the internet and his discovery of independent artists like E-40, Bikini Kill, and Bad Brains, Fat Tony began recording and distributing his own music. Heavily influenced by renowned Texas rappers like UGK and Scarface, Fat Tony started playing and organizing live shows at a time when there wasn’t much of a scene for young artists in Houston. He started booking bands of all types from all over, hand-making flyers for the shows and mailing them to addresses nabbed from the Carnegie Vanguard High School student directory.

 

His dedication to Houston’s rap scene earned him Houston Press Music Awards’ “Best Underground Hip Hop Artist” in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013. Primed for more national audiences, Fat Tony began taking his music on tour and collaborated with more artists around the country. His sonically unpredictable and emotionally vulnerable music has garnered praise from Pitchfork, The Fader, and Noisey. His achievements in rap have pushed him out of his comfort zone into other performance and hosting opportunities on TV and the Internet. This fall, Fat Tony releases Exotica on Carpark Records. It heralds his most visionary work yetan ode to the art of storytelling through music. A rich and compact iteration of rap short fiction that firmly establishes him as his own one-man genre, the preeminent post-modern griot shooting game.