Q&A: Mission Details How He Found His Tru Talk Tony Confidence
Sacramento rapper Mission has made his name through authenticity and heartfelt storytelling. He balances his thoughtful side represented through his artist name Mission on projects like his landmark album "Less is More" with using his Tru Talk Tony persona to spit game and show his competitive side.
Mission is a big basketball fan and if you follow him on Twitter, you'll get game analysis, color commentary and more, especially as we are in the heat of the NBA Playoffs. Hoops actually had an impact on Mission's music as an opportunity to work with the Sacramento Kings helped boost his confidence to become the artist he is today.
With "Tru Talk Tony 4" dropping soon, we sat down with Mission to discuss his music, his involvement in the community and how he's continued to grow a platform.
How have you built a brand through "Tru Talk Tony" and why was now a good time to drop volume four for you?
"Tru Talk Tony" is just pretty much a group of double singles that I do. I've done three of them so far. This has been the fourth installment. It's really just like an alter ego and I just turned it into a double single instead of just dropping two singles. I just put a name behind it.
Actually, the first "Tru Talk Tony" has done the best out of all of them. I was actually just looking at how well one of the songs on here was doing. I was dropping music through all this year. And then I was dropping singles and I was like you know what? I think right now is the best time to drop "Tru Talk Tony 4" because I knew people wanted it. And it was like kind of a great way to keep the series going. Since I'm dropping music anyway, and I have so many songs, I didn't want to keep spreading it out too long because I'm getting ready to drop another project. But I wanted to give them another "Tru Talk Tony" before I build into that other project,
Listening through the new one and past installments, "Tru Talk Tony" is your opportunity to make things more maybe braggadocious?
That's exactly what it is. Mission is not a different artist, he's just like listening, he's more thought out. This album mode is more songs with you know, with meanings behind. Whereas Tru Talk Tony's kind of to just get stuff off my chest, airing it out. It's braggadocious, but it's still in the context to who I am as a person. It's my morals and standards and stuff like that.
Yeah, that foundation of faith, but being able to flex a lil. That makes sense! I know you've worked with BrvndonP a lot and he's on the new project. What makes you guys work so well together?
It's just a chemistry that we have. And it's just like it's been since day one has been evident. That's actually the other project that I'm talking about. We're doing "Barely Finished 3." So we've done two already and this is kind of our way of getting people warmed up so we dropped "Trophy Gvng" that featured me and then we're dropping "Who's That" as part of "Tru Talk Tony 4.". And then we're going to give them "Barely Finished 3.". But me and Brandon just have had chemistry since day one. It's like it's unexplainable. There's a couple of videos where we actually were doing the same movements in the video at the same time and not even know it. So it's weird. It's like a dynamic duo.
What is the message behind "Who's That?" You bring multiple layers to that question in this song.
"Who's That?" is a song about knowing who you are and being confident in it. People sometimes take that the wrong way. Confident people are mistaken for cocky or arrogant, but it's really just knowing who you are. And I wrote the song with this in mind about not going into worlds whether they're small or big. So, big rooms, I'm not going to shrink to accommodate or, in a small room, I'm not going to act bigger than what I am because I know who I am. It's just about having a confidence in yourself. And being confident in who God made you to be in.
It's not cocky. It's just like, self-confidence. Was there a specific time in your life or event or moment that the lightbulb finally clicked on for you? And then you were able to take ownership of that?
Yeah, actually, it had been I will say about three years ago when I had the opportunity to write for the Sacramento Kings. I was writing a theme song for them and I was nervous because I was going in here with all these executives and these, you know, big people in suits, and I'm just in there in jeans and a T shirt. I'm looking comfortable. I'm looking how I looked as though this is dope to me. But, I went in there, and just kind of before I was kind of nervous. I was like, "Maybe I should wear a suit." And then someone's just like, "No, I'm gonna go in there and I'm gonna be myself. I'm here for a reason." You know, I'm here because I'm able to do what they're asking me to do. So I don't need to shrink or I don't need to be false humble. I can go in there and be confident in who I am. Not oversell myself, but you know what I need to get done and I played it and they accepted the song. And ever since then, I was like, you know, I can do anything.
That's a big deal. That's definitely a landmark thing to be able to say you did. What's that like for you being an artist from Sacramento? Obviously California has such a rich musical history, but what's maybe the community like for you, or what do you bring to your artistry being from Sacramento?
I kid you not, I was just talking about this. I was looking at my Spotify numbers because I'm planning on touring soon. And so I just ran analytics and honestly, in Sacramento, I don't have a lot. I have fan bases in Dallas. Atlanta, more is outside of my own home city. So it's weird being here because in the city, there's a lot of room for growth. And that just kind of makes me more hungry as well. Okay, what can I do to touch the people right here in my city? Because the people outside of the cities getting it, you know, like I said, Dallas. Dallas is my number one city and then goes Chicago, Houston, L.A. Then like Sacramento is 17th on the list.
That's good that you see there's an opportunity for growth. I'm sure it's had its frustrating moments, but have you ever considered moving? I know some artists do move to L.A. or Atlanta, where the opportunities are.
It has, it just takes a lot for me to up and move. My family's here. My wife and I are getting ready to buy a house. I just built a studio here for the youth in the community that they're able to use. So I don't think I'm called to leave. But you know, I do think sometimes if it would be any different if I was in a different city?
I know that's important to feel that sense of purpose where you are. Tell me about the studio you just built for the youth, that's really cool.
Yeah, so what it is, there was a space available. I didn't know that this is what was gonna be the outcome. I just started seeing the vision for it. God gave me a vision for it. And then I had to raise $30,000 to build it. So we raised the money fairly quickly and now we're running it Monday through Friday. And users are able to come in, learn about audio recording or learn about visual arts, all for free, at no expense and they're able to use top notch equipment. It was just amazing. I was like this is my way of giving back to the community. Because I know when I first started doing hip-hop music, I didn't have a lot of resources. I didn't have anywhere to record, just basic stuff. I didn't know how to get my stuff on any type of streaming platform or anything like that. And there were people helping me out along the way. So the heart behind it is like, Hey, man, if you're a youth out there and you got any type of talent, and you want to just try it out, you don't know, they're able to come here and explore.
I know that last year's "Less is More" was a landmark project for you. And how have you even grown from that?
"Less is More" was a place of, you know, accepting what I have. I'm saying I'm being okay with the cards that I was dealt with. And I wanted to showcase that and just say, "Hey, I don't have it all together. But what I do have I'm gonna put something together with it. And I don't have a lot, but what I do have I'm gonna make it work. I'm gonna make ends meet. I'm gonna stretch it out." And now from that, it's showing me that what you do have. You do have the support of your fans, you do have the support of your family. So now it's just like, you just got to own it and then go with it. And so that's why I've been dropping music so heavy, is because I want people to notice like, just because I dropped the album, don't mean I'm gonna take two years off. I'm going to keep my foot on the gas because I'm not where I want to be.
Yeah, that makes sense for sure. And how have you seen your platform grow through those moments after the release of "Less is More" and after?
It was weird. I felt like it was a huge first response. And then it kind of like mellowed out. And then when I felt like I was kind of plateauing, it started to surge again. And it was because people were digesting the music that I was making. It's like I like to make timeless music. I like to make music that people can listen to lessons more five years from now, you still get the same feeling from, you maybe get something different. So I realized that, you know, it's not that people aren't listening. They're just digesting it at their own pace. And with that, I started to see that my fan base has been growing a lot more as of recent. I just hit 100,000 monthly subscribers on Spotify, which I was excited about because I was stuck at like 70k for a while. Even when I dropped the project, I think I got up to like 80k and then just recently you know, it's been going up and up and up. And then I finally hit over the 200k thresholds. So I'm just like, man, I haven't even dropped "Barely Finished 3" yet. So I'm excited for things to keep going.
"Tru Talk Tony Four" releases May 20th. Pre-save it here.