Getting To Know Sir Gangsta. T

Tell us about yourself and your music

I’m just a gangsta from the hood who grew up in Detroit, MI off E. 7 Mile Rd between Ryan and Mound. My music is gangsta! I wasn’t always a gangsta. I ran by the name Terry Lee which was my father’s name and a nickname that the streets gave me because I looked just like him. Unfortunately, my father was killed when I was 14 so I changed my name to Gangsta. T. My mother was at work a lot and I only had one sister so I just ran the streets with the homeboys. I started skipping junior high school then eventually dropped out completely to hang with the G’s on the block who were partying and making music full time. Every day we would just meet at the ‘Shack’, which was my brother in law’s basement, to make beats, record, and party. We did music for fun but to us, it felt like a full-time career. We just had to find other ways to make money to support ourselves. Since 7 Mile was filled with gangstas and dealers, I was easily convinced of the street way of making money which was selling dope, robbing, and hustling. Years of that lifestyle became so overwhelmingly bad for me that I couldn’t separate the streets from my music anymore, plus I had my first son. I was involved in a lot of armed robberies and drug-related crimes and eventually convicted for armed robbery myself. When I went to prison, I was able to reconnect to my music and I also found God and made him a part of my life. I wanted better than just being in prison (that’s what I kept telling myself) because deep down I only wanted to make music. When I was released from prison all of the gangstas were there waiting for me and I quickly saw myself going back in the wrong direction so I had to make a choice quickly, music, or the streets? I chose music. I received my G.E.D in prison so I planned to go to college because I wanted to learn more about business and legal ways to make money. I still needed to support myself so I got a job in the meantime. I finished with a business management degree and saved up enough money from my job to buy a moving truck and started helping people move their things. This little hustle turned into 2 trucks, 1 van and 6-7 guys, and over 250 successful move jobs in Detroit, MI, and surrounding areas. I took all the money from moving and invested it into a record label, artists, beats, and equipment to record my music for the new music industry. I started a family and became a solo artist working from a home studio because I no longer wanted the lifestyle that the streets bring. My music comes from all the knowledge I have accumulated from years of the streets, prison, college, business, and of course partying and being a 7 Mile gangsta.

Talk to us more about your latest release

My latest release “Party All Night”, Vol. 7 is a banger filled with 12 party songs that make you feel good when you listen to it. Gangstas have a lot of fun when they are not doing gangsta things believe it or not. I had fun just making this album and it has a lot of great producers on it like K.E On The Track, Maxx Beats, Twanbeatmaker, Goon On The Track, and more. I feel this album has power in it to help more people enjoy life, party, go out, and have fun like us gangstas do if it’s banging in the clubs and on the radio. The energy on this album is positive and makes for a happier crowd.

What inspired you to write this release?

I decided since I no longer want to do gangsta things anymore that I would make an album that shows gangsta isn’t that bad and know how to party and have fun too. If we just take that aspect from gangstas a lot of people would enjoy life better in my opinion. I was inspired by my own life just looking back at the numerous times I could have been incarcerated or better yet killed. I thought about what made me like gangstas and how can I change the perception of gangsta to good, and it was the fact that they like to have fun, they like to go the clubs, they like to party, wear jewelry, have money, bang their music, ride rims and impress women.  So I wanted to just take that part of being a gangsta and exploit it the right way so I wrote “Party All Night” Vol. 7.

Describe the writing and recording process

I recorded most of the songs on Party All Night at Studio 17, which is a recording studio in Detroit, MI on E. 7 Mile engineered by 6SO.  The first song I made which was the title “Yeah Ma” I left the lyrics at home lol. We were all set ready to go and I didn’t have any lyrics on me so I had to write that song on the fly. The rest of the album I was going back and forth from home to the studio. At home, I would listen to the beats and write the lyrics then take it to the studio the next day to record it. I decided to only have a couple of features since I was trying to bring a different side of gangsta to life. When I recorded the song titled ‘Turn Around’ (feat. Maxx) I went to pick Maxx up from her house to be on the song and we wrote the song on our way riding to the studio. I only had one verse ready for that song so Maxx had to cover me most of the way. On the song titled “Feet Out,” I wrote that song from following different Instagram models and it took me two days to write that song and I recorded it at home. Most of the writing and recording process was not as easy as it sounds. I recorded a total of 30 songs in 2 weeks going back and forth to the studio and narrowed it down to 12 hits.

Any plans to release a video?

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes, I’m currently looking to get booked on tour with a major artist and maybe open for him or her later on in the year, or early 2021. I also plan on continuing to do local shows in my surrounding areas when things open back up and have a lot of things planned for the upcoming year.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

Well, I brand myself and my music differently by being real with myself, friends, and fans first. I wouldn’t rap gangsta if I didn’t live it. That helps me stand out from the rest of the artists out there because everybody in Detroit that knows me knows that I’m Sir Gangsta. T. This is not anything that I just came up with. I’ve been Gangsta T most of my life and I’ve been making heartless songs for quite some time now. So it makes it easy for me and for people to connect with me because I’m not scared to be fully who I am and give people my heart. When it comes to my music, I just stay true to what I write, what I live, what I like, what I do, how I think, how I move on the streets and what I’m going through as a person rather than just give fans quick lyrics on a beat. My music has to mean something to me for me to release it to the world. When people listen to me as an artist vs. other artists they get to connect with a real person and not just someone rapping.

Who have you been listening to lately?

Lately, I’ve been listening to other Detroit artists. I feel like Detroit artists are the most real in the game right now. We give people the best of the streets, the best of ourselves, and we all have a burning sensation to be part of the elite when it comes to Hip Hop and the rap game.

Who are your biggest influences?

My biggest influences in the game are Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Master P, Juicy J, and LeBron James. At some point in my life, these guys have helped a gangsta get through some stuff lol, by either listening to their albums, watching their movies, or in the case of LeBron James, watching him make it to the finals each year.

Tell us about your passions

I’m passionate about a lot of things like of course my music, learning, the black culture, hip hop, love, sports and genuinely helping people. I would like to see more positivity in the world among all people. I’m passionate about all these things because in some way or another these things have helped me get through some type of tough situation that I was going through like for example learning, I had to educate myself to change myself first. Without learning about myself and my culture, I truly believe I would be locked up right now or dead. Love is another thing that I’m passionate about because I consider myself heartless so I try to give as much love as I can to people who need it the most because I know what it feels like to be heartless or brokenhearted.

What else is happening next in your world?

Well, I’m working on this Black Gangsta 2 album set to be released later on this year and I’m also helping the artists on my label with their albums and mixtapes. I’m also getting myself in shape to tour later on this year or by next year plus I’m writing my first book titled “The Street Codes”. I also plan to help direct a film in my old neighborhood called “7 Mile Hit Squad” which I want to release shortly.



Thanks for an awesome interview, Sir Gangsta. T



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