credit: Anthony Obi
Hailing from Houston’s Third Ward, Fat Tony (born Anthony Lawson Jude Ifeanyichukwu Obiawunaotu) is a Nigerian-American rapper who has played an integral role in shaping the Houston rap scene. Heavily influenced by renowned local rappers like Lil’ Flip, Fat Tony began making music and playing live shows in 2004, a time when there wasn’t much of a scene for young artists in Houston. In 2010, Fat Tony released his innovative debut full-length project RABDARGAB, produced by Tom Cruz. The album paved the way for a new Houston sound, bringing to the forefront the unique perspective of a Nigerian-American Houston-native, along with sonically dense and dynamic production. Fat Tony’s second studio album Smart Ass Black Boy, released in 2013 on Young One Records, was well-received by critics for its warm, laid-back vibe. With stand-out tracks like “BKNY,” “Hood Party,” and the album’s eponymous track, the project was listed by Houston Press as one of the “11 Best Houston Releases of 2013.” The rapper won awards in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013 for Best Underground Hip Hop at the Houston Press Music Awards, and has worked on groundbreaking collaborations with the likes of Das Racist and A$AP Rocky.