We had the honor and privilege of sitting with Chicago rapper, Tyre Hakim to talk about all things concerning his music career and one of his latest singles Last Supper. The track, produced by The Sick One and Zoemixedit, dives deep into Tyre’s experience in finding his purpose and redefining his calling. The visual, directed by Noyz, features a love interest catering to the Chicago rapper in their lavish estate. The video takes on an introspective and meditative tone as Tyre raps smoothly over the low humming beat, telling his deeply honest story fighting to become a better version of himself and cutting away at his vices.
Tyre has been expressing himself through the art form for as long as he can remember – with his mother in a church choir, his father well known as a rapper himself. With deep musical roots, becoming an artist was the path he was destined to take. At the age of 11, he began his musical journey drawing inspiration from hometown legends like Kanye West and classic R&B sounds that influence his songwriting and rapping. Tyre is beginning to make a name for himself as he climbs the ranks of hip-hop in the Midwest with his unique storytelling and wordplay.
As we posed questions regarding his start with music, his artistic journey, and his continuous commitment to his craft, he expressed a few sentiments highlighted below.
The Knockturnal: What did the beginning stages as a young artist look like for you?
Tyre: When I was younger I just wanted to be the best rapper, that’s all I wanted to be known for. I wanted to outrap industry legends, no matter who it was. As I got older and started life-ing, I started to see how music affected people and how I could really use it as a tool to help change the world. That’s when I started making a serious commitment to my artistry. I always took it seriously but at about 19 that’s when I knew I wanted to put together a team to get a few albums out and for more opportunities to be created.
The Knockturnal: Who and what inspires you? What keeps you going?
Tyre: Many people and events have influenced me to keep going. Whether it’s being at rock bottom, having children, realizing that I have a gift and skills to use. I never saw a plan B or a second option when it comes to the music. There was no other way. I rather do all things with music being at the forefront. Chris is my producer, friend, mentor, all of that. I have known him since I was 16 and he has always motivated me. We’ve had ups and downs but he never let me become complacent or get comfortable with where I am. He always continued to push me to evolve and grow. Giving up has never been an option.
The Knockturnal: Can you speak to the process of writing Last Supper? Did the visuals live up to your expectations?
Tyre: I am talking about what not too many people talk about. “Who is God?” because that has been a mystery to the world. I wanted to simplify it based on what I have been taught throughout my life on who exactly God is. I am telling stories, I am talking about life and I am really talking about “self.” We are taught that “self” is God; you can cultivate the God in you and that was my mindset behind Last Supper. I have rapped about driving around in fast cars, the girls, the money so I wanted to make something with meaning and substance, something more than just a handful of people can relate to. It was just a spiritual song to me; that’s where my mind was at the time.
The Knockturnal: What do you think sets this single apart from your earlier work?
Tyre: Back then I wasn’t very meticulous with music. Being young, I used to be very eager to get music out. Back then you just wanted to put it out for feedback but now there’s a science and a system behind everything that comes out. As far as music, I rap on a whole different level. Sometimes I don’t like to listen to my older songs cause I’ve grown so much with the pen.
The Knocturnal: The song begins with, “Follow the leader. Follow your heart. Follow your teacher.” Who fulfills those roles in your life?
Tyre: That’s a great question because that’s the basis of the song. I have a few teachers but my number one teacher, pretty much taught me everything I know, would be Louis Farrakhan, no question about it and that’s what the song was about, my leader. I would also say God because that’s the same spirit. If a man is talking in the name of God and living God, that’s what I’m following– that same essence and spirit, that same thought process, everything that that person lived for because it made me a better person. I can talk about that coming from out of the darkness, not knowing everything, being in the woods a little but then coming out of it and being guided to the light. That’s exactly what the song is about.
Follow Tyre Hakim for more on his musical journey as he continues to explore his versatility through his lyricism and storytelling! Check out his latest single Back from the Dead.