With a reputation built on his original style and refusal to hop on any industry bandwagon, Ty was best known for his lyrical frankness and honest portrayals of everyday life, setting him aside from many mainstream hip hop acts and allowing him complete artistic independence. When he passed away in May 2020, tributes and plaudits flooded in from all corners of the industry. UK grime artist Durrty Goodz recorded tribute single ‘The Real Ones‘, which is out now on BBE, with all proceeds going directly to TY’s family.
After gaining notoriety on the London underground scene Ty signed to Big Dada records in 2001, the same year his mighty debut album ‘Awkward’ was released. The union between the artist and label saw a further two albums – 2003’s Mercury-nominated ‘Upwards’ and ‘Closer’ (2006) – released over five years.
After his fourth solo album, ‘Special Kind of Fool’, was released in 2010 via BBE Music, Ty featured and collaborated with many artists stretching from America to France. Closer to home, Ty featured on a tribute to the late Amy Winehouse, released in early 2012, and most recorded a track with former Radio 1 DJ and producer Kissy Sell Out.
On March 2nd 2018, the real mayor of Brixton returned with 5th longplayer ‘A Work Of Heart’. Produced predominantly and written by Ty, this hip hop classic is a proper artist album that elevates the genre in an ambitiously artistic manner akin to Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.
With wit, subtlety and humour Ty tackled subject matter ranging from Brixton, depression, poverty, racism, family, hip hop and the creative process, to philosophical musings on life and even imagined film soundtracks.