Rapper, public speaker, podcast host, and founding member of Reach Records' 116 Movement, Tedashii's special sauce lies in his distinctive style and ability to transfer pain and struggle into poignant music. Nicknamed TDot, the Texas-born and raised emcee has captivated fans with his energetic sound and booming voice for nearly two decades. While many come into their faith through trial and testimony, Tedashii's next chapter begins with a long hard look in the mirror and with humility that comes from being honest about what he sees and feels.
His new EP, This Time Around 2, is the outcome of deep self-reflection, a new beginning, and a call to his listeners to witness the transformation that is available on the other side if you're willing to do the work and surrender yourself to God.
In advance of This Time Around 2, Tedashii has released several singles including: "Mirror Talk," "OBJ," "Lights In The City," a song featured on the Summer 21 Soundtrack presented by Reach Records and “Respect My Team" featuring label mates, Lecrae and Trip Lee. The song marks the first time that he, Lecrae, and Trip Lee have recorded together since "Nothing I Can't Do," released on his 2014 album, Below Paradise.
As soon as the beat drops on the first song, "Mirror Talk," things get personal. "Mirror Talk is a very confessional song. It's honest, vulnerable, transformative, and reflects some very personal struggles that I've navigated through," shares Tedashii. "In the first verse of "Mirror Talk," I talk about my struggles with mental health, self-esteem, identity, and even the fear of not fitting in. "I grew up in East Texas with a Black mom and discovered that I was biracial at the age of 9, and my biological father is Samoan. Until that point, I thought I was adopted because I didn't look like anyone on my mother's side of the family, and sometimes, I felt like I didn't fit it. But, when I met my father's side of the family, I finally discovered people who looked like me!" Hence, his lyrics in "Mirror Talk," "The only thing slim about me–my disguise, yelling 'Unashamed' all while ashamed of my size," speak to insecurities he had with his physical features and physique. The second verse talks about his experience as a Black Man in the world at large and the conclusions he's come to trying to navigate through white Christian spaces."
A poised and self-confident Tedashii reintroduces himself with style, flair, and presence on the second song, "OBJ." He channels his iconic vocal tone through an experimental rap performance. He triumphantly announces, "I'm back, and like OBJ, despite everything I've gone through to get here, I'm better than ever!" The song is named after NFL receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and celebrates his NFL journey moving from team to team and ultimately winning a Super Bowl championship. In the opening verse of "OBJ," Tedashii raps, "T-Dot got his groove back/fast-track like that H-O-V, I'm looking back where you at?" The record is a stylistic triumph for the emcee whose recent commercial success found him #1 on the Billboard Christian AC and CHR charts with his 2019 single "Gotta Live" ft. Jordan Feliz.
The heartfelt lyrics on the "Respect My Team" speak to the brotherhood between Tedashii, Lecrae, and Trip Lee that launched the 116 Movement and the Romans 1:16 verse which is at the core of Reach Records' mantra and mission. In the music video for “Respect My Team,” the three icons go deep undercover and into character. "I'm super excited to record new music with Trip Lee and Lecrae. We've been friends and label mates for nearly two decades; they're some of my favorite artists. So, to create new music together and then perform those songs on tour is super exciting!"
The faux comedic action music video for “Respect My Team,” casts Tedashii, Lecrae, and Trip Lee, as Blaxploitation era detectives taking down villains. "Some of my favorite films growing up were Kung-Fu flicks," shares Tedashii. "When I was a kid, I watched Kung-Fu theater every Saturday! I watched everything from Bruce Lee to The Heroic Trio and was a superfan of Jim Kelly, and Chuck Norris. I was such a huge fan of karate flicks that I started taking martial arts as a kid, so many of the moves you see me doing in the video come from my childhood. I still watch Kung Fu flicks to this day!"
In between recording the new music, TDot launched a new podcast called The Dash. "The goal of The Dash is to hold a mirror up to myself and invite guests on to have a real conversation about the reflections we see in our mirrors and how we're living out our dash. We're all created with unique gifts connected to our life purpose. Our conversations will explore the journey we're on, the things we've learned, and even what we're changing to become reflections of God," shares Tedashii.
He's also formed a nonprofit foundation, The Chase Foundation, in honor of his one-year-old son, Chase, who passed away in 2012. "After the sudden death of my son, Chase, I was dealing with panic attacks every week and had bouts of anxiety and depression. I started self-medicating, drinking, and isolating myself for safety and ended up in a self-degrading cycle. I was clinically depressed, and after years of self-analysis, therapy, prayer, and time alone with God, I am finally ready to show my scars, despite their ugliness," he explains. "The loss and pain will always be there, but I'm feeling healthy again. Through The Chase Foundation, I hope to walk with young people the same way I walked with Chase had he still been with us. The Chase Foundation will also help connect parents who have lost a child with resources to assist them as they grieve."
With new music on the horizon, producing and hosting the podcast, and even forming a nonprofit, Tedashii brings his life and lessons learned into all he is creating. “This time around 2 is a culmination of hard- earned wisdom! I talk about what I have lived and not what I've learned from reading. As a result, I have a renewed sense of awareness and am constantly working on loving myself and pushing forward through insecurities," he says. "My renewed vision for this music is to show people the risk of trusting God with the things we go through. But, it's worth it, and if you can hope, you can eventually heal.
About Tedashii Anderson
Tedashii Lavoy Anderson is an artist, public speaker, podcast/radio host, and founding member of Reach Records' 116 Movement. Born in East Texas, he has lived throughout The Lone Star state and currently lives in Atlanta, GA. His name, Tedashii, is a Japanese name that means faithful, righteous, and true. He has released five albums: Never Fold, Below Paradise, Blacklight, Identity Crisis, Kingdom People, and one EP, This Time Around, on Reach Records. Below Paradise debuted at No. 17 on the coveted Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart. Blacklight debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart and No. 8 on the iTunes overall album chart. Identity Crisis charted No. 2 on the Gospel Billboard chart and No. 9 on the Christian Billboard chart. His hit track "Dum Dum" was featured on the Fox TV Series So You Think You Can Dance, and he has performed on the top-selling 2016 Winter Jam Spectacular Tour. He won "Best Lyric" presenter at the 2016 K-LOVE Awards and performed "Jumped Out The Whip" at the 2015 GMA Dove Awards. He featured on Lecrae's GRAMMY award-winning album Gravity and has over 631K cumulative followers on social media.
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