Anthony Malone AKA The Real TSpoon has come a long way from thuggin’ in the North West to droppin’ heat on a global scale. With six singles and two projects dropped in the last year alone, there’s no telling where this guy will go in 2020. We recently sat down to talk about his latest project—‘Big Spoon Vol. 2’—and the release of “Major Way,” featuring Peezy. Check out our conversation below:
- I appreciate the way your sound harkens back to the golden age of hip-hop, but it maintains that modern production quality we’ve come to expect from artists in your field. What can you tell us about your influences and where your sound comes from?
I have so many different influences as far as my sound goes. I’m just inspired by dope artists and dope music. I came up listening to Mac Dre, Mob Figaz, No Limit, G-Unit, JAY-Z, Tupac, Snoop… The list goes on. Me being from the Northwest—Portland to be exact—I just feel like I give the people a different perspective over classic/modern west coast production.
- Awesome, I can definitely hear that. You’ve had a prolific output this year, releasing new singles and videos in every quarter. What motivates you to push content at this pace?
With so many artists putting out music, consistent content is the only way to stay relevant. If you aren’t looking crazy or doing wild things outside of music to get noticed, you have to put out quality music at a rapid pace. I’m a workaholic, so it’s just another day at the office for me. I enjoy making music and sharing it with the world. I want to be known for the music over the nonsense; that’s my personal motivation.
- That’s beautiful, and certainly unique in this day and age. Now, I wanted to touch on your upbringing a little bit. What was it like coming up in Portland, Oregon?
My upbringing was like any inner city black kid, I would say. My pops was in and out of prison; my mom had personal issues with addiction… prison, also. I was back-and-forth with my mom and grandparents until high school, and then I was only with my grandparents. My childhood wasn’t the best but, by far, wasn’t the worst. My grandparents kept me grounded and stable and were great for me. I had an older brother who I looked up to—who was out here thuggin’—and I wanted to follow in his footsteps; him and my older cousins. ‘Round middle school, I just began getting into [some] mischievous things, like smoking and chasing girls. By high school, I was full-fledge thuggin’ with my homies: chasin’ girls, smokin’, drinkin’, fighting and shit like that. Portland wasn’t “Portlandia” back then. That’s what I think people’s biggest misconception of my city is. That there isn’t black people or […] the same struggles and situations as bigger cities. I’m sure it isn’t on such a large scale, but it’s the same everywhere you go—even worse because it’s so small. Nine times outta ten you know the people you have problems with and will [be guaranteed to] see them again, because you operate in such a small radius. (laughs)
- Wow, I never thought of it that way. On that note, have you been able to spend time in any of hip-hop’s capital cities? Anywhere from NYC to LA? If so, tell us about those experiences and what it’s like navigating foreign territory…
I’ve been to all of hip hop’s capitol cities. I’ve been in New York; LA; the ATL. Yeah, it’s dope to see how things work in those big hub cities and markets. There aren’t any labels or any real music companies in my city to help further your career. Everything in those places are right at your finger tips, so that’s dope. I feel like with my grind, in those places, I would have been on or made it [even sooner]. There are more people who listen to and are just more culturally involved with music.
- I noticed that No Jumper premiered some of your recent tracks, such as “Thug in your Life” (prod. by Koast), “M.U.D.” featuring Desto Dubb, and “Money is a Must” featuring 03 Greedo. How were you able to secure the Adam22 connection?
No Jumper has been a big help with me gaining more of a following. It’s a really big platform right now. I have slowly built a team of behind-the-scenes help who get me on the bigger blogs. I won’t give up my team’s name but they have relationships with a lot of influencers and bloggers, and they get me looks—good looks!
- And what about these other big features you’ve landed; Problem, Greedo, Famous Dex, etc. What was it like working with them?
Big features are dope but can also be headaches. Some of the artist are cool and respect my craft, while others are strictly in it for the bag (laughs). I mean, I’m not mad at any of them but rappers are divas. If a person is taking their craft and yours seriously enough to invest money into a feature, I feel it should be treated with the utmost respect and gratitude. I guess rappers don’t feel that way though, because a lot of them are divas and be on bullshit; I will say that. Not all are, but a majority are—straight up. Destodubb was super cool, opened his home and helped out a lot with the video shoot. I have the utmost respect for him. Iamsu was very cool; came and knocked out his verse and was respectful and professional. Famous Dex was solid; Larry June was solid; and so was 03 Greedo and Peezy. Everyone else whatever.
- Okay, I appreciate the honesty. That’s important. Now, let’s discuss your ‘Big Spoon’ series. You just put out Volume 2. What are the major differences between the new one and Volume 1?
The differences between Volume 1 and 2 of the ‘Big Spoon’ series, to me, is growth. I personally feel I’ve just gotten better since One. I wanted to make a different tape, but keep the vibe. I’m more melodic on Volume 2 and I wanted to open up more about my life and really bring the fans into my world more on this one.
- And I saw you went on iHeartRadio to promote it, as well. Any take-aways from your time there?
I went to iHeart for a podcast called Hip Hop Junkies. It was a super dope interview and experience. It’s always dope informing the world on my music and story.
- How has the reception been with your new single, “Major Way”?
“Major Way” has been getting really good reviews. With Peezy currently in prison it was big for his fans to hear him on some dope production to keep them fed until he returns. My fans love hearing me next to bigger artists so I can showcase my skills and let people know I can talk my shit with the best of them. YouTube comments usually rip artists to pieces, but this one has honestly had about 90% good comments and 10% bad, so I’m blessed and thankful for that. The single is doing great in my eyes.
- I really like how you get creative with your artwork, too. The watch with the spinning hands and the retro feel to it—those types of things really make you stand out in an industry rife with “status quo” material. What’s your process like, between you and your graphic designers?
I have a super dope motion graphic designer. He works with a bunch of artists right now and he consistently kills cover art with new material. Nothing he does looks the same and he literally is booked up. Shout out Kyle at LifeLikeGraphics (@LLGFX). I usually let him hear the song and let him do his thang. Comes back dope every time.
- Absolutely. It fits well with the single, aesthetically, sonically—everything. Congrats to you and the whole team on that one, seriously. I’ve been bumping that in my car and it’s major vibes. Do you have any plans for ‘Big Spoon Vol. 3’? Or do you think your next project will go a different route?
I already have a few EPs done. So, my next few will go a different route, for sure. I don’t want to over-do it with a Volume 3, unless that’s what the fans want. I feel it has turned into a classic series for me and I don’t want to tarnish it. Volume 3 would have to kill both one and two! I’m open to it, but as of right now though, I’m moving forward on a different note.
- Okay, I feel it. You gotta let it breathe before you come back with more heat, that’s respectable. Well, thank you for sitting down with me. This has been a fruitful conversation. Now, before we get outta here, where can One West readers find you online?
I go by @therealtspoon on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and SoundCloud.
And then it’s “T.$poon” spelled with a dollar sign on YouTube and all digital streaming platforms: Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music.