PHILADELPHIA, PA – For most people, the number 13 is an unlucky number. It’s something to be avoided at all costs. In fact, there are some people around the world who have a legitimate fear of the number.
Not so for budding Philadelphia-based musician Tez – AKA The Lucky 13. In his opinion, 13 is the perfect number for so many reasons – not the least of which because it serves as a metaphor for his life and his reputation as an artist.
“I know that the number is supposed to be an unlucky number, and by embracing it as something lucky I become something of an oxymoron,” he said. “But that fits me perfectly. I never thought I’d be a rapper when I was growing up in North Philly in an impoverished neighborhood. Unlike a lot of people from that life, I took a different route out. I went to school to pursue higher education at Howard University. I work hard every day and do what it takes to make my dreams come true – and anyone can do that if they put their mind to it and put in the work. I’m opposite of the stereotype you think of for people from that walk of life, and my name is a nod to that.”
His journey from a youth growing up on the streets of Philly to his current success as a musician is something he chronicles on a new single entitled “Circa 90,” which was just released Jan. 20. He said it’s a bit of a “dark track” that he hopes spurs a rebirth of how hip-hop rap artists used to speak on records in the 1990s.
“It starts out like a re-introduction of who I am as an artist,” he said. “I’m speaking on being in a different place and being a different artist. It also goes on to specifically speak on different things I’ve been through. The title refers to the year I was born. It signifies the beginning of my journey as a human and a musician.”
Tez said the single is indicative of the kind of music he creates – filled with metaphors and wordplay in a style that is upbeat but very conscientious. He said he’s been compared to the likes of Lupe Fiaso and Drake, and he takes pride in his ability to use his education as a foundation for creating thought-provoking lyrics in an artistic way through the medium of hip-hop.
“I like the symbolism and metaphors and double entendres,” he said. “I like the wordplay. I pride myself in doing that well. When you listen to the verses and hooks from my work, you’ll always get that symbolism.”
“Circa 90” is the first single off a project that Tez said he hopes to release by May – a full album that, you guessed it, will feature 13 individual songs that all tie together to highlight who he is as an artist and what he hopes to bring to the world of hip-hop.
Fans can purchase “Circa 90” on iTunes or Spotify, and can follow Tez on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @tez_thelucky13.