There are people working to put Fort Collins on the map for hip-hop, and it sounds like we’re in good hands.
Second year Colorado State University student Tyler Hubert, soon to be legally Titamus Hubert, loves fashion and music. After performing 11 shows in the past year, one of which he performed with Skippa Da Flippa, a Migos affiliate, and another in which he headlined at The Downtown Artery, it is clear that Hubert’s passion to create is earning him a reputation in the Fort Collins hip-hop community.
The come up, though, was not easy.
During the beginnings of his childhood, Hubert bared a speech impediment that caused him not to speak for several years and undergo speech therapy. This, combined with a fashion sense that had not yet developed, according to Hubert, caused the now fashion major to succumbed to bullying during his elementary and middle school years. He began to utilize spoken word poetry as an outlet, and when high school rolled around, Hubert found himself making friends and creating a foundation for his passions.
“In high school, I was speaking better, so I started putting beats behind my spoken word poetry and started dressing better,” Hubert said. “I got to this point where I was going to prove my old self wrong, so I started focusing on rap music, which is heavily lyrical, and fashion.”
Academically, Hubert is working towards a degree to become a stylist in the realm of merchandising in which he will style artists for music videos, something he possesses experience in, and style “high-value” people. Musically, Titamus just finished his album, Visions of Love, which premiered on Oct. 20, a before his headlining performance at The Artery.
Sophomore journalism major Max Arellano is another Fort Collins rapper under the name Mystic I. Arellano is coming up on his fifth year of making music, and according to Hubert, musically collaborating with Arellano freshmen year when the two artists lived in Newsom helped drive him to pursue music even further.
“Visions of Love is passionate,” Arellano said, “I think his sound and beat selection is different from the other sounds I have heard recently. He has bars, and that is what separates him.”
The album includes a 12 tracks heavily centered in the theme of love, what love means, and how it is interpreted. Hubert described his album as lo-fi hip-hop, with a lot of acoustic elements, and it is a piece of work more catered to listening to through headphones than speakers and one that you would not necessarily listen to around people.
“It is more of a by yourself, in your room kinda music,” Hubert said. “Visions of Love is a concept album. It goes through the different stages of a persons mind, at least in my mind…The majority of the songs are personal, like you want to just listen to the lyrics kind of songs.”
The album does include what Hubert describes as “Show Songs,” or songs that he would feel comfortable playing in a live show that he believes would get a good crowd response. Songs off the album that fall under this category include “L.O.V.E.,” “Vibe With You” and “Liquor and Lean (Outro).” Hubert labels these songs as as show songs due to their pace and recognizable chorus, and rightfully so, because during his Artery performance Hubert found that many of the 200-plus people who attended were able to sing and rap along to songs from his album. Instances like this, that show the scope of his album’s impact, are surreal for Hubert.
“When the album first went live for pre-order, it was one of the craziest feelings I have ever had,” Hubert said. “I was on my apple music and just searched up my name, and it said, ’12 song album, would you like to preorder?’ and I was like ‘Yes, I would. This is amazing, this is such a cool feeling.”
But even with the success, Hubert refuses to let his accomplishments make him stagnant.
“Especially when you have 200-plus people singing along to your songs, it is super easy to be like, ‘This is it,'” Hubert said. “But, if you think this is it, you will be contempt and you will feel okay with what you are putting out, and I feel like you should never be like, ‘This is all I need.’ That just brings people to not work hard.”
Despite the intention of giving himself a break, Hubert found himself working on a new project the day after “Visions of Love” was released.
“He keeps me inspired to keep making music,” Arellano said. “His work ethic is crazy. He just works hard to get the things he wants.”
The new project is called the “I Love To Watch EP” and caters to the trap culture of Fort Collins. Hubert recognizes that Colorado, and especially Fort Collins is not typically a place someone would associate with hip-hop culture, but he said he has personally noticed a community of incredible respect towards hip-hop and hip-hop culture.
“How I talk about it with my team, at least when we are kind of feeling low, is that Fort Collins loves rap, maybe EDM a little bit more, but rap is huge,” Hubert said. “But, they do not have anyone to represent them. There is no big Colorado rapper or Fort Collins rapper. Colorado is just due for someone to represent them, and with how Colorado treats rap music, it could be the next hub.”
Hubert is not the only one who thinks this way, either. Dawson Canby, another Fort Collins rapper, and the rest of his group, Supa Squidds, opened for Hubert on the night of his Artery performance.
“We have not really collaborated yet, but we both want to see each other do well, and see the vision in each other’s music,” Canby said. “I think we both have the same vision of putting Colorado on the map for its good music scene.”
According to the rappers, it is only a matter of time.
“The water is boiling,” said Hubert. “The top is about to pop off.”
Collegian reporter Miranda Moses can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @mirandasrad.