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Ohio rapper’s career takes off with state tour
Cleveland hip-hop artist Tezo is one step closer to reaching his goal of taking over the music industry thanks to his first statewide tour.
“I just want to share it with the people. It’s not too deep or political it’s just about the sound,” said Tezo, whose given name is Martez Little. “I want people to see who I am and take from that.”
Tezo began his career on the streets of Lakeshore, Ohio, where he was given the stage name based off his nickname “Tez.”
“My friends and I would just get together and rap,” Tezo said “People really liked what I was doing and it just went from there. “
Since 2009, Tezo has completed four projects and recently completed a mix tape featuring a compilation of all his music. The tape includes 11 tracks, one of which being is Tezo’s personal favorite, “Evil Plan.”
“Well, ‘Evil Plan’ is the second track on the tape and I really just surrounded the rest of the project around that,” Tezo said. “The song doesn’t necessarily have a purpose. I like to let people create their own theories about my art, but if I had to say what it meant to me, I would say that it just symbolizes my plans to be successful.”
Within the past year, Tezo has put his plans for success into action by appearing at two different festivals, finishing his longest mix tape to date and hosting an Ohio tour.
“It’s just been a good year for me and my team,” Tezo said. “I couldn’t do it without them.”
Tezo not only attributes his recent rise in popularity to his team, but to his family and his hometown as well, claiming that without them he wouldn’t be where he is today.
“They’re the things I take the most pride in,” Tezo said. “If you have good music, it’s all about the roots. You don’t change for anyone else, you just be you.”
Nathan Fox — otherwise known as All Day Recess — has been Tezo’s producer since the duo left the Cleveland-based label Playground Bully Muzik Corp.
Fox said that he decided to work with the rapper because of his attitude and his sound.
“He just has this voice that is very unique and has this ability to rap within the beat and make it sound like an actual song instead of a guy just rapping,” Fox said. “He would’ve been hot five years ago, he’s hot now and 10 years from now he still will be.”
Fam Bellinson, Tezo’s manager, added that his music is soulful and real because of the subject and intensity of each of his songs without forgetting to add some fun to the mix.
“Some of his topics can be a little more mature but he doesn’t forget music for the club,” Bellinson said. “He just makes hard rap music and it’s well put together, well-polished and easy to listen to.”