EXCLUSIVE: Atlanta’s Troyman performs live after appearing on T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow”

Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.
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Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.

Migos, Lil Nas X, Gunna, Lil Baby and 21 Savage is just a sampling of the Atlanta rappers who have kept the city's hip-hop dominance intact. As one of the "final four" of Netflix's breakout rap competition show, "Rhythm + Flow," hosted by Atlanta rap statesman T.I., Chance the Rapper and Cardi B (also wife of Migos rapper Offset), Troyman, who is cool and charismatic with a strong resemblance to actor Lakeith Stanfield (of Atlanta fame), is ready to join them.

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Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.

Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.
Caption
Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.

Until the Oakland native moved to Atlanta with his family at age 13, becoming a rapper wasn’t foremost on his mind. “I didn’t really start rapping until I made it to Atlanta,” Troyman, who attended Central Gwinnett High School, shared via phone. “I had been around my stepfather [who] was a rapper [once signed to Tupac’s label as a member of Street Thugs] in California. So I would do a lot of things with him when he would go to the studio.”

By 16, Troyman, born Troy Earvin Curry, got serious. So serious that he even made it to New York City to compete on BET’s “106 & Park” Wild Out Wednesday, which he won his very first time up. Over the years, he began to refine his sound, which he says he partly owes to “the bounce of the Bay Area.” Before leaving Oakland, Bay Area pioneers Too Short, E-40 and Tupac (who got his start with Digital Underground and spent a lot of time in Atlanta) were among his favorite rappers. Merging that sensibility with what he was hearing in Atlanta greatly contributed to his sound today.

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“When I moved to Atlanta, the South was stepping into its name and its notoriety, so people like Dem Franchize Boyz (most well-known for their 2004 hit “White Tee”) and T.I., a lot of different Southern artists, were making their way up the ranks too. I kind of have the perfect blend of just being able to tell what California likes, what the West Coast likes, and what the South likes. I found myself constantly finding my sound and kind of shaping it in the middle to appeal to both coasts and to all ears in-between.”

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Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.

Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.
Caption
Troyman, Atlanta rapper and final-four contestant of T.I.’s “Rhythm + Flow,” steps to the stage tonight at Vinyl - Center Stage. Contributed.

Like many young people, Troyman tried college by attending Full Sail University until it became too much financially. After leaving college, he poured himself into his craft, teaching himself a lot about producing his own music. On the heels of his mother’s unexpected and tragic death to a drug overdose, he released A.P.R.I.L. (A Period of Infinite Life) himself in 2017.

Making the difficult decision, as her next of kin, to take his mother off life support has emboldened him. “I feel like life presented my hardest decision first” he explained. “I don’t feel like any obstacle that’s placed in front of me will be too difficult to overcome, especially at this point.”

In the final rounds of "Rhythm + Flow," Troyman, who has three younger brothers, shared the pain of losing his mother, even encouraging fellow Atlanta-based rapper Londynn B to reconnect with hers. "I'm very proud of how open I've been about that, especially with me displaying it in the show," he explained. "I feel like I've connected with a lot of people. A lot of people throughout the world, a lot of different fans, have reached out to me."

This month he is releasing the single, "Blessings," featuring Londynn B, with whom he has remained close friends. "I'm like her big brother, so we bounce ideas off each other. We constantly give each other advice," he explained. "I definitely got a good friend in Londynn B. I can assure you that."
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Troyman, who made the biggest impression with his original songs "Streetlight" and "Again" on the show, hits Centerstage Friday, Nov. 15, for his first Atlanta performance since "Rhythm + Flow" ended October 23. Representing his Bay Area and Atlanta sides to the fullest, he is on the bill with Rexx Life Raj, a former standout Boise State football player from Berkeley, California who chose music over pursuing the NFL. Troyman promises that "Rhythm + Flow" fans will witness what they saw on TV.
WATCH: Troyman Brings the Energy with Streetlight | Rhythm + Flow | Netflix

“I am going to give these people exactly what they know they’re going to enjoy and appreciate. It’s pretty much just 20 minutes of pure fun, going over some songs that people will love and they know and some other songs,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”


Rexx Life Raj with Troyman and Saleka

Vinyl - Center Stage

1374 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta. 404-885-1365, freshtix.com/events/rexx-life-raj.

Nov. 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. Show starts at 8 p.m.