In the era of streaming, more and more people are cutting the cord for television and getting their entertainment fix from the web. With YouTube and Facebook becoming regular viewing destinations, it only makes sense to jump on the bandwagon when the opportunity arises.
That’s exactly what Houston rapper Fat Tony did when Super Deluxe offered him a gig hosting a show on their platform, which includes over 1.3 million YouTube subscribers and 4.1 million likes on Facebook. The entertainment company has worked with viral sensations such as Joanne The Scammer and Vic Berger, and if all goes well, Tony could be the next breakout star with his new competitive fashion show Thrift Haul.
With the series in full swing, HipHopDX spoke to Tony to learn about how he ended up at Super Deluxe and to get the scoop on Thrift Haul. The veteran MC also touched on his duo Charged It To The Game’s new album House With A Pool and reflected on his infectious Whataburger anthem “Drive Thru.”
HipHopDX: How did you first link up with Super Deluxe?
Fat Tony: I have a buddy there, that works there, he connected with me Stephanie Ward, she’s the creator of Thrift Haul. Linked us up on an email a long time ago, and we just never connected at first. And then, he reminded her to reach back to me. She hit me up, and we met up, and we started talking about Thrift Haul. She presented the idea. I made some tweaks, and then we got it cracking.
DX: So, you were saying she’s the creator of the show. How much input would you say that you have on the final product?
Fat Tony: I came up with the concept of having a guest judge there ’cause I thought it would be really funny to have somebody to play off the contestants with. And so far, Stephanie has taken my input and casting suggestions and wants to know what the content’s gonna be about, whether it’s going to be a ’90s party, or first date, or etc.
DX: That’s great. I think the choice of Buddy was really good in that first episode. He ended up being hilarious. Just from hanging out with him, did you know he was a perfect fit for this show?
Fat Tony: Absolutely. He’s an energetic, young, wild ass dude. I knew he would be great and I wanted to pair him with someone who’s a little calmer, which is why Stephanie brought on Molly Mitchell. I just thought that Buddy would be perfect. You know what I mean? He’s that kind of dude that will behave that kind of way with the cameras off, so getting a little bit of tension was easy.
DX: For the show going forward is it always going to be at that one thrift shop, or are you going to be traveling around?
Fat Tony: We would love to travel around in future episodes, but the first couple episodes are in the same location ’cause it’s perfect. The Goodwill of Southern California has been so kind to us. They really offered everything that we need to facilitate our show. It’s kinda crazy ’cause I have never been to that location before shooting this, and I was surprised that it’s so massive.
Hopefully, more people pull up to it after they check out this show, and maybe see what Goodwill of Southern California has to offer. They’ve got a huge sales floor, they’ve got an outlet side, and bins that you can pick through and buy by the pound. They’ve got a section in the back where they take the items that haven’t sold and they turn them into rags, so they reuse. I really appreciate that they don’t let anything go to waste there.
DX: Obviously, you’ve got a music career going on, so what did doing this show present to you?
Fat Tony: It’s fun. I always like to try something new. I’ve always wanted to have a little more under my belt than just being a rapper, which is kinda why I try to connect myself to so many different people throughout my career. This is just another example of that. I’m hoping that I get to do more stuff with Super Deluxe, and I hope to continue this show. It’s great that it gets to bring in my interests in vintage fashion too. I never thought that I could get to show my love for thrifting on full display.
DX: Can you tell me just a little about Super Deluxe and what working for the company means to you?
Fat Tony: I think it’s really tight that I get to work with a company that is new and forward thinking and wants to expand the whole idea of media. It’s not just stuff on YouTube and Facebook. It’s stuff that’s diving into TV and all forms of shit, you know what I mean? I think that the content that they have is pretty varied. It’s cool that they are trying to reach out to artists like myself and not just the regular run of the mill YouTubers or comedians.
DX: How many episodes of Thrift Haul will there be?
Fat Tony: We made a season of six episodes.
DX: Is there anything viewers or fans can do to push and help make it come back for another season?
Fat Tony: Man, get in the comments! Go ham on the comments on YouTube and on Facebook. That really matters more than you think in the selection of what the next episode is going to be about and just hype it up. Share it every which way you can. Blow those comments up, baby!
DX: I got to go into a little bit of music with you. Can you tell me a little bit about the Charge It To The Game project?
Fat Tony: Charge It To The Game is a project with me and my buddy Kyle Mabson, a producer. He make beats in it. This is our second project, it’s called House With A Pool. It’s out on Ghost Ramp Records.
That whole project started a couple years ago. Mabson sent me a bunch of beats that he planned to put out as an instrumental tape, and he suggested that I give a crack at writing songs to them. Did that and had a helluva time making it; put it out as an EP called Urban Hall of Fame. We decided to take it further, like a full album. This is a chance to show off our sense of humor. That whole project is us having fun and getting off mad jokes. For the most part, we try to delve into humor and getting off bars.
DX: That’s dope. One of my favorite songs of yours is one that dropped last year, “Drive Thru.” Can you tell me just a little about that song? I imagine it was fun to make a record about Whataburger.
Fat Tony: “Drive Thru” is a song I have been trying to make for years. I remember I first thought about making that song in January 2013, even before Smart Ass Black Boy came out. I was just thinking about that song, and I made mad different versions of it with two different producers. Probably the one that came out is my fifth version of it, the one that is produced by GLDN_EYE aka Tom Cruz. Being from Houston, Whataburger is sacred to us. I’m always trying to rep the home town in my own way.
I feel like it is really easy to mimic the typical style of Houston music, but I’d rather do it by referencing places that are local and special to me like MacGregor Park or Third Ward or Whataburger. I think it is something that everybody can relate off, no matter what your background is or what class you come from, we’ve all had moments where were fucking with some fast food.
I was really inspired by this picture, this tabloid photo of Kanye West at a McDonald’s drive-thru and he’s in this really fancy car. This made me think that this guy who is rich and famous is still eating the same kind of food that poor people eat. It really shows that there are some things that we can all decide on and all agree on, and fast food’s one of them.