Dayton, Ohio‘s notorious poet, Tripp Fontane, released an EP titled “Live at Native Tongues“.
The album is a live recording from an open mic night hosted at the Pelican Room in Columbus, Ohio. Its’ bold, thought-provoking and humorous content are being recognized across all streaming platforms.
This EP captures the unique vibe Tripp had with his audience as he rhymes over typical quiet topics like; slavery, growing up, abuse, drugs, raising our children and more.
In a recent interview with USIC, Tripp Fontane mentions, “95% of what I write, I’ve gone through first hand. I’m from the Desoto Bass, in Dayton and my mom moved to Xenia. So I dealt with two different types of bull$&*# regardless of which parent I was going to see. But I love the authenticity, I love my city so much. It’s a huge influence on what I do, and why I do it.”
Tripp Fontane, in his most authentic work, has meaning in every piece on the EP but, “The title of the first track is not that deep,” he says.
“[The first track] is called “Reintroducing Tripp Fontane” because [the host] that night, introduced me and then went into a list of announcements. When he says, “Give it up one more time for Tripp Fontane,” I had been standing on stage for like three minutes while he went through announcements.”
Mixing errors and mistakes are on this album and could have been fixed easily by editing and recording in a studio, but Tripp had a vision for it. He wanted to give his listeners something real.
Tripp calls this EP, “Honest, raw and fun. As serious as it gets I don’t take myself too seriously in it. It’s an actual sit-down conversation with me, Greg Long.”
Q and A with Tripp Fontane
When did you begin spoken-word?
I actually started doing spoken-word because nobody was listening to my music. In 2008, musically at the time T.I, Jeezy, Gucci- my music didn’t sound like that. There was an open mic that NAACP put on and I slid to that. I thought, “Bruh, I’m about to just do one of my songs without the music.” They loved it. I had people I handed my cd’s to say “Bruh, I didn’t know you could do that!” and I was like, “I literally gave you my CD!” People started calling me a poet after that, and then opportunities started coming after that, and I just ran with it.
Where do you turn to for reassurance and support?
I would say art. Man, I definitely got my homies around me, but for the most part I’m an internal processor. Early on, I didn’t have nobody to talk to so I’m used to not talking to anyone. Writing it down or playing it out, but at the end of the day I’m either calling on God or art.
What are your most memorable moments on stage?
The Bienale is an art festival [in Cuba}. There’s never been American poets in that festival- ever. I still haven’t processed it all the way, to be honest, it sounds weird to say that “I made history” it’s one of the most humbling experiences, as well as confirming. My circumstance doesn’t really match the things that I’ve accomplished.
Tripp Fontane mentions his most memorable moments have happened off stage.
I freestyled with Doug E. Fresh in his house. A whole lot of things went wrong for that to happen. What was a 15 minute job, turned into an hour job and he ended up giving us a walkthrough of his crib. My guy Marshall was like, “See if you can rap for him,” and I was like “No, I’m not about to fanboy in this mans crib. But if you put me on blast at the right time, I got you.” And without breathing Marshall said, “Bet. AYO Doug E. We got one of the artists from the campaign here that can freestyle!” Doug E. Fresh said, “I’m going to start, then you come in and I’m going to follow you!”
Tripp Fontane upcoming events and specials
Native Tongues Open Mic Nights
Where: Big Room Bar | 1036 S. Front St. Columbus, OH 43206
When: Every third Wednesday of the month (Sept. 18) | 7 P.M.
TEDx Columbus – Ted Talk
Where: Davidson Theater | 77 S. High St. downtown, Columbus | 3rd Floor
When: Nov. 15