Sacramento hip-hop artist Ty’Quan Thomas fits the mold of a rap superstar. Born in 1988 in South Sacramento, Ty’Quan was raised by his mom and grandmother, and like many great rappers before him, his youth was riddled with violence, drugs, even murder. But Thomas continues to rise above the street drama and has tapped into a natural talent pool, becoming a lyrical powerhouse along the way. On his latest EP, titled De’ (featuring production from San Francisco’s Juante), Thomas is more confident than ever, his deep voice and commanding delivery pulling you in, demanding your attention. “I named the EP De’ because it was the nickname of my late cousin who was unfortunately murdered March 11, 2005,” Thomas recently told Submerge in an email. “So it’s just me paying homage to him because he’s the inspiration behind me doing music.” Thomas is celebrating the release of the EP at a show on Feb. 8, 2015, at Blue Lamp, opening for Skipper of HBK Gang. If you can’t make that show, Thomas will also be performing at Blue Lamp again on March 7 as part of The B.Y.E Takeover. He’s also got a full-length album in the works called ThugStyle that he says is going to be “real funky, very West Coast, with real life stories and tales of my life.” Stay up to date with Thomas on Twitter (@TheRealTyQuan)

    Jonathan Carabba

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