Clarksville, TN, a 45 minute drive from Nashville, trades bright lights for picket fence farms, and nightlife for family-life. Surrounded by Austin Peay University & active members of the military, artist Tim Gent reflects with pride on his middle Tennessee roots.
“There’s really not much to do, singing in church and kicking it with my friends I grew up with gave me a sense of pride. We’re really all just some country boys, but since everyone’s family was so diverse, due to the military presence, it felt like my world was much bigger.”
The dichotomy of a rural setting, yet diverse community, allowed the creativity of Clarksville’s artistic community to thrive. Close confidants of Gent, Free P (produces for Isaiah Rashad) & Case Arnold (opened for Kendrick Lamar & Isaiah Rashad) would find early success that would instill a sense of motivation within Gent’s soul. Recalling his early acquaintances, Gent holds back laughter. “It’s wild man, I actually met Case through facebook. He was buzzing all over Clarksville around 2011, and I wanted to commend him for his latest release at the time. I said something along the lines of “I don’t want anything from you bro, just wanted him to listen to my track.” I really thought he was famous!”
So it goes in the South, Gent leaned heavily into his roots within the local church & would continue singing and playing drums for the congregation until his high school years. These formative years were impactful enough that Gent truly felt gospel music might be his calling. “I was determined to be working in music, long before rap. Regardless if my Hip-Hop journey took off, I was going to continue using my voice and passion for music.
And use his voice, he did. In the past several years, Tim Gent has opened for the likes of Goodie Mobb, Camron & his personal favorite, Wu Tang Clan. “That night in Louisville changed everything, man. I had some close acquaintances who were family to RZA, and unknown to me at the time, she was pushing to have me open on the 36 Chambers tour.” In October of the past year, Gent would get his shot to share the stage with Hip-Hop’s most revered group.
“After the show I got to kick it with RZA, and we rapped and talked about my aspirations and shit. It still feels like a dream.”
As life divvies out wins, Gent still hustled through a plethora of struggle. Towards the end of this past May, Gent would return from a two year hiatus in which he chose not to release music. The “comeback” EP titled, In Every Fall, swooped a yearning fan base off of their feet, and brought years of emotional introspection into a riveting 4 track project. The titled, coined by Gent’s friend & artist T Clark, symbolically represents years of successes and failures, all in which Gent was determined to “catch height,” In Every Fall.
Almost instantly after releasing the EP, Gent’s mindset to catch height manifested in a very real way. Contacted by ESPN, Gent’s latest music was set to be featured on ESPN Music’s Best of June.
While 2020 has been an undoubted shit-storm, Gent & his publishing team at RX Songs found a way to bless listeners with a cohesive project that lends itself to plenty of self-reflection. Tagging fellow Middle Tennessee talents Bryant Taylorr, Ayy Willié, Lauren McClinton, A.B. Eastwood & Sir Illington, the talented and proud Tennessean is ready to step back out into the limelight.
As our country and team at KAZI Magazine takes time to reflect on the civil injustices faced by our fellow Black Americans, we still find it imperative to bring light and hope to those sharing their artistic strengths for the betterment of society. Tim Gent’s ability to vocalize the struggles of not only himself, but many others, highlights a positive outlet for many grappling for hope in a hell-scape of systemic racism.