Leave it to UK-based Hip Hop artist and member of the in famous Rockkillers rollerblading crew Tommy-P to reply to our interview request with an exclusive Ripstyle freestyle.
- First of all tell us where you are from and what your passions are.
OK, This is Complicated! …My Name Is Thomas Prendergast, aka Tommy-P i was born and half raised in West London,England, before moving to San Clemente, Southern California when i was 12 and living there till i was 20. Now i’ve settled back in the UK for the past few years spendin all my time outside of work writing lyrics, shreddin on my Rollerblades, or hangin out with my Girlfriend Kelly. I am also a big time West Ham United fan haha.
- if you could sum up Tommy P in 3 words what would those 3 words be?
Juke Box Hero?
- When did you start feeling the need to Rap?
I actually wrote my first rap when i was 11 baggin on some kid in my class i think? i don’t know what sparked that but there ya go? i guess goin through school here and there i’d jot a few lines down and i was alway good at creative writing assignments? but i didn’t really pick up a pen and write seriously till i was 19, just before i moved back to England. A guy we used to kick it with introduced me to the internal mic on my iMac and that was it! I figured i listened to enough quality hip-hop that if i spent enough time and effort i could come up with some cool material myself from then on i’ve just been searchin for the right beat!
- Who have been your biggest influences on your music?
I’m gonna struggle here to answer this without falling into a stereotypical black (or white) hole, so i’ll hold back on the cliche answers of a detroit MC i’ve always digged, but i am a big fan of the Rhymesayers movement, Anything with Slug on it made me listen, and i’m a huge admirer of Brother Ali. I saw that dood live when he came to London and he is just too intense for the average bear. Besides that there’s just too many to name but anythin produced by Dr. Dre or DJ Premiere is ok by me! I’ve always been into that laid back West Coast vibe, and i also enjoy that rugged east coast touch, like Sean Price and Co.
To add to that, i think that My friends are a big influence on me. Growin up kickin it at SC skatepark or takin the bus up to Newport beach to skate RSA, the relationships i built and the lifestyle i grew up with has a big influence on how i come accross on a track. i’m a laid back motherfucker!
- How do you feel about hip hop in the UK?
Shit, to tell you the truth, i’m not too big into it? That’s something i missed out on while i was goin to high school in California. I’ve tried to get into it when i got back but it’s not really my thing. Much respect to the UK scene though, but just not my bag…..baby!
- Tell us what it is like living in your city, what is the music culture there?
Man it is rough for a suburban rapper the world over, my town isn’t any different. I live just outside Birmingham right now in Tamworth. It is full of Indie Rock heads, and Club scene teeny bopper bitches, Rap to these guys is a Rihanna track with a watered down Drake verse on it. Lately though i’ve met a few people who are on my wavelength and we’re trying to Revive Hip-Hop in the local area. Good Times!
- What artists do you feel are going in the right direction right now?
I don’t know? the last guy i was sure about was Asher Roth but i was a little disappointed when his album dropped. It seems any music i’m listenin to now is going back in time instead of new releases. Just keep it Underground and there’s always someone with that New New who ain’t afraid to hold it down.
- Ripstyle being diverse and supporting a wide variety of lifestyles and venues, what do you think of the dynamic?
I think Ripstyle is something for everyone ya know? from what i’ve seen there’s always somethin new that i find out Ripstyle is involved in and i think that helps keep it fresh, and diversity keeps our world interesting.
- What is your favorite Ripstyle Shoe model?
Shit, i’m rockin the “DJ Roy Le Freak’s” at the moment, but i think the “Midtop Troopers” are definately a must, real good lookin joints. But without a doubt the new “Rockillers Sky High-Tops” are gonna be big! Coming Soon bitches!
The Trooper Mid top, great eh?
- When did you start Rolling?
’96ish. I’ve been rolling ever since.
- In Rollerblading, do you feel that it is a close knit family or is there simply too much hate?
I do feel that us Rollerbladers stick together when we need to, especially seeing as we’re outnumbered most of the time, but there are definite cliques in the rollerblading industry which keep things interesting. I wouldn’t say there’s too much hate really, because everyone is entitled to an opinion and that can be misconstrued as hate, but there’s a lot of “Style Point Bob’s” out there who aren’t willing to take their skating to the next level but think they still deserve the plaudits for their swagger and so i say – let ‘em get what’s comin to ‘em! To be honest i just wish everyone skated like Shane Skowers and Jeff Frederick. nuff said!
- Who do you think is really pushing the envelope in Rollerblading?
ARAGON. next question.
- What is it like having so many different loves and interests in life?
For me? it’s a freakin blast! i love that when i’m not at work makin my ends i can still get my kicks doing something that is absolutely free and rewarding in the form of Rapping and Skating. Days where kids are sat on facebook lookin for somethin to do or somethin to spend their money on – i’ve got the kettle on, pacin round the house jivin off the creative juices, Once they get flowin i can be entertained for hours, and you can’t beat that.
Espress your self then Express yourself people!
- What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment to date?
My girlfriend Kelly is a big part of everythin i do these days and i’m very lucky to have held on to her haha, and keeping in touch with the homies back in Cali – It’s not as easy as some people think but everytime i get off at LAX i got one of these motherfuckers pickin me up to roll down to OC! besides that i don’t know, and i don’t know if i’ll realize my accomplishments until i can look back on my choices in my life, i mean shit what is an accomplishment these days? if you’re in a third world country fighting for scraps and water then everyday above grounds a good day, and in the western world we just want a BMW or a Merc to look the part right?
- What is your definition of “being a Rock Killer”?
Doin something you love to do with 100% of what you got in you!
Not letting your homies down.
Styling like a motherfucker.
Killing Rocks in abundance.
- What is a normal day for you?
Alarm, Snooze, Alarm, Snooze, Alarm, Snooze, Alarm, Cuppa Tea, check the emails, Work at the restaurant, freestylin’ whilst Bussin Tables, Go home to see Kelly, burn her toast, grab a Guinness and watch the Football (soccer). word!
- Do you have a message in your music?
yeah- I’m a lot smarter than i look, but that ain’t sayin a lot haha.
- What are your goals for this year?
I am really wanting to get out and do some more shows, i’ve spent the last few years writing a shit load of material and recording. i’ve got a few gigs lined up at the moment that i’m looking forward to and hopefully keep the ball rolling. More imperatively, i’m trying to polish up on the finish product. My music to date has had little to no production as i’ve just had to deal with budget recording and no real production knowledge, that’s gonna change this year. I’ve just started working with a producer “Mr-eFF” who is throwing me beats right now and we’re working on producing a joint album under a collaborative name that we haven’t decided on yet haha. stay tuned for that!
- any shout outs?
no doubt – Special thanks to Mark Korte for settin this interview up and being down for the Rockillers! my Rockiller Brothers Winston Wardwell, Iain Mcleod, C-Murda, Alejoh Candelo and his comfy ass couch, Brandon Campbell for keeping me on edge at all times! My brother “Emo Crush” for being over critical when the time is right, Quinn Feldman for always bein down and supporting Rollerblading, my girlfriend Kelly for being the spice in my life, my family, Olly White, Lauren & The Wolf family PuTTY Agent , Si-Cox for skatin with my lonely ass when i got home, Mr-eFF for what we about to do! and a whole lot more that i ain’t mentioned cos you ain’t readin this anyway you lazy bastards! Word Em Up!
All photo credit for this article to: Jay Evans. Thanks a lot!