T-Dubb-O is the Heartbeat of St. Louis

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of people who create music in today’s world, but there is nothing more interesting than an artist who wears their heart on their sleeve; an artist who is unapologetic for being themself; who lives by morals and codes; an artist who stands for something and falls for nothing.

One artist in particular that I’m speaking on is T-Dubb-O. What I found fascinating about T-Dubb-O is that he is on a mission to bring black people into liberation. He has stood on the front lines during the Mike Brown Protests, started organizations to help blacks, met Barack Obama to advise him on criminal justice reform, and much more.

Now on the surface, someone who has never met him might look at his tattoos, at him being a gang member, and see his guns, and call him a Menace to Society, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. When asked if he is an activist, he stated, “I don’t look at myself as an activist. I’m a Revolutionary.” 

T-Dubb-O, whose real name is Antoine White, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, on the rough part of the Northside. I call T-Dubb-O the heartbeat of St. Louis because he is a representation of what the black man is in the city.

When asking what made him join the Crip gang at an early age, T-Dubb-O stated, “I mean, I didn’t really have an option. Most of my family, the males were gang-affiliated. It wasn’t like I walked outside one day and said this is something I’m gonna do. It was breaded in me from a toddler.” 

T-Dubb-O said he started rapping because of his cousins. He remembers how it felt like an escape from the dangerous Northside when traveling to his grandma’s house in the small municipality of Velda City. Like any other grandma in the African American community, she was the glue of the family that kept them all together.

He vividly recalls his cousins stealing their grandmother’s camcorder and recording their freestyles. T-Dubb-O found it fascinating how his cousins were able to formulate songs and put words together. This piqued his interest and put him on the path to becoming a hip-hop artist himself.

Some of his influencers are:

  • 2 Pac, Eminem
  • Lil Wayne
  • Jay-Z
  • UGK
  • NWA
  • Nipsey Hussle

He is a music connoisseur, He let it be known that he finds inspiration from other music outside of rap, such as The Doors, The Weekend, Queen, and more.

On his journey in music, T-Dubb-O carried his talents over to becoming one of the highly acclaimed Battle Rappers in St. Louis, spewing out vicious material, knowing that people could validate the things he spoke about in competition. 

Even though he was well respected in the battle rap arena, he didn’t take battle rap seriously because music is his number one love. In 2018, his friend and rap comrade, Bo Dean, told him that he is one of the most talented artists in the city, and that everyone needs to just get behind him and push him out to the masses.

T-Dubb-O’s response to this was, “I ain’t that type of person to be like, yeah, just everybody run behind me and then when I get on, I’m a see what I’m a do. I would rather have people running on the side of me, not behind me. We gonna move as a unit.”

This caused him to start his own record label titled Audacity Music Group. The organization and the structure of the label happened organically. One song that the label released was All Mighty Gang. I found this song to be one of their most powerful releases to date. The hard-hitting beat with strong lyrics and a catchy hook gives you every ingredient that you are looking for as a consumer of hip hop.

What made this song stand out to me the most was at the end of the music video, members of three different gangs tied their rags together to form a truce amongst one another. They were able to put their differences aside and come together to do something positive. This gesture reminded me of the work that the late, great Nipsey Hussle was striving to do before his untimely demise.

T-Dubb-O’s latest album release, Don’t Stop At Lights, is a brilliant piece of art with phenomenal wordplay and amazing production. Tears on the Floor and Pressure are two of my favorite songs from the project. I will be doing a review of this album on my Youtube channel.  

With all the recognition T-Dubb-O has been receiving and the music that he puts out, I asked him what did he think about the state of hip hop today. T-Dubb-O doesn’t believe there is a state of hip hop right now. He feels it’s a state of the music industry with a mask on, saying that it’s hip hop. “We are back at a time where black people don’t own their music, it’s 360 deals, and artists today are not rapping. It’s a part of hip hop, but we can’t call it rap.” 

With all the wisdom and knowledge that he possesses, I asked him flat out, “What would you say to people who might call you a hypocrite or say that you are flashing guns in your music videos?” 

He responded, “Yeah, I talk about the things I’m about and what I’ve done, but I also let it be known that most of my friends are dead. I been to jail, I got homies that’s in jail who ain’t never getting out. I feel pain and depression every day thinking about all the stuff that I have done. I have  PTSD and so on, and I want to change it.”  

He wants to let it be known that he is a 2nd amendment advocate legally. “If you don’t carry a gun, you are a fool. I teach people how to legally own a gun. Yeah, I put guns in my videos cause I’m a gun advocate for black people. I’m not telling nobody to go shoot up no innocent people, either.”

Another topic we touched on was how St. Louis broke a record for the murder rate last year. I was curious to know what he felt could be done to not head down that same path this year. What could be said to the youth to stop them from committing these horrendous acts?

“Opportunity,” he said. “What in my right mind logically could I say to change these kids’ minds when they don’t care if they live or die because these are the conditions they were raised in. They were called monsters from the moment they came out of the womb, by the school system, their parents, and the streets. We can’t expect a child to think with the mindset of an adult, because most adults don’t think with the mindset of an adult. We have been miseducated, are walking around with undiagnosed mental health issues, drugs, and crimes in an impoverished neighborhood.”

I mentioned to T-Dubb-O about how the government dropped drugs in the community, and how it destroyed a lot of lives. He felt very strongly about that statement. He feels none of the organizations that say they are for black people talk about that.

“While they are sitting and smiling collecting a check, shucking and jiving in these people’s faces, you don’t tell them what they must stop doing to us; how they must stop creating the conditions for us to stop doing this because the root cause of this is white supremacy, systemic oppression, and economic slavery. If you take away poverty from the ghetto, crime will drop 80 percent, I guarantee it.”

T-Dubb-O doesn’t just talk the talk; he is all about action. He’s even co-creating an organization called Hands Up United. He grew tired of different organizations trying to shift the narrative. He wanted to do a programmatic response. He didn’t want to just march and sing when a police officer kills someone.

Hands Up United wanted to attack the cause. They have created several programs, such as Books and Breakfast, modeled after the black panther’s program, They have fed over 70 thousand families, done tech programs, showed children how to build websites, art programs, and many more. If interested in joining this great organization just go to handsupunited.org.

One milestone that I felt was important was him going to Washington D.C. to meet President Barack Obama.

“That meeting got hijacked,” he stated. T-Dubb-O went to Washington to speak for an organization called PICO, now named Faith In Action, trying to get some resources for St. Louis, and ran into Ashley Allison, the head of Public Engagement for President Obama at that time.

She was so impressed at how T-Dubb-O had spoken that she wanted to set up a meeting with them and President Obama.

“A larger organization caught wind of this meeting and they put other activists from other cities in the meeting and the meeting turned into bull crap.”

When asked if he felt Obama listened to his concerns, He stated, “Obama listened but he is a politician.”

T-Dubb-O is very disappointed in Obama’s presidency. “He knows how to play that game. He never said he was gonna come out and be a champion for black people. He did exactly what he said he was going to do. His focus was healthcare reform and gay rights. But more people were deported from this country when Obama was in office. More black and brown countries were bombed when Obama was in office, and more black men were killed by the police when President Obama was in office. Also, the wealth disparity between blacks and whites grew during his Presidency.”

He believes even if Obama’s hands were tied, he could have done an executive order as Trump did his first day in office.

In closing, I asked T-Dubb-O, for people who don’t know him, before he leaves this earth what is it that he wants people to know about T-Dubb-O.

“That my passion is absolutely real. I make a lot of mistakes. I am not perfect. I am nowhere close to it by any means. I’m just figuring this stuff out. I didn’t have a father. I was raised by every negative stereotype, but I had a hard-working mother and ultimately, I want to be a catalyst that helps change the conditions of my people.”

Check out T-Dubb-O’s Interview below!


LIfestyle blogger who talks all things personal development, productivity, and travel.