Twenty-six-year-old Oakland rapper Tree Thomas is a testament to doing multiple things with one's life. After graduating from Portland State University in 2012, the six-foot-eight MC moved to Malta, a small island nation off the coast of Italy, to play basketball for its national team. For two years he balled professionally, before moving back stateside to pursue a career as a rapper. (Although, he penned his debut mixtape, 2013's Peach Street, while in Malta. Talk about multi-tasking!)
He followed Peach Street with a self-titled EP released last year, and today he drops his newest project, the EP Your Eyes, premiered here on SF Weekly. Over glitchy, synth-driven beats produced by Jay Ant of The Heartbreak Gang, Thomas spits acerbic witticisms in his characteristic laidback flow.
[jump] When I heard the EP, my first impression was that the deep-voiced rapper sounded uncannily similar in pace and flow to South Central rapper Dom Kennedy. As it turns out, Kennedy is one of Thomas' influences, which also includes Drake, Lil Wayne, Andre 3000, and Wiz Khalifa.
The six-track release, which features artists Iamsu! and Kevin Gates (who also made appearances in his 2015 EP), is broad in scope, but Thomas was able to pinpoint the motivations that inspired the EP.
“I wanted to the project to relax you and take you back to an experience only your eyes could remember,” he says. “I wanted to go back when you first stared into someone's eyes and experienced an extreme or memorable emotion.”