A rapper, singer, and multi-instrumentalist, Tommy Summage – who goes by Brother Tom Sos – is sharing something different in his music. Mixing street tales with stories of faith, hope, and wisdom, the rising artist is building a unique sound and appeal that is already receiving significant attention. Known for his lyrical ability and versatility, Brother Tom Sos is spreading a new point of view for Buffalo’s hip-hop scene.
On June 7th, 1979 President Jimmy Carter initiated June as Black Music Month (also known as African-American Music Month). This initiation which recognized Black American’s contribution to American Music worked doubly as not just a way to legitimize Black Music’s impact on American culture but also to give younger, rising Black artists an opportunity to share their talent. In honor of that, we here at Sneakvibing would also like to share a handful of rising Black artists that are contributing to Buffalo, NY’s music community in a major way. First up is Brother Tom Sos!
“Black music to me means expression in it’s purest form. It means freedom.” – Brother Tom Sos——————————————————————————————————————————————
Taking on his artist name after his 16-year old brother was killed in 2019, much of Brother Tom Sos’s music is in commemoration to his brother – who was his biggest fan and encouraged him to pursue rap music early. But for Brother Tom Sos, rapping was just an occasional hobby.
“Rapping in particular…I always had it. Like I was always considered top tier amongst my peers, but I always kinda kept it in my back pocket,” he explained.
Prior to his brother’s untimely death, the artist was living in New York City and working as a musician in a church, but he moved back to support his family and that reignited his passion for rapping and creating music, which early on, was a hard decision to face.
“I came to terms within myself, like at the end of the day I can’t worry about what people gonna say about me or what people gonna think like obviously there’s people that know ‘Brother Tommy’ from church and then there’s people thats’ gonna know Brother Tom Sos…as long as I keep my heart pure and I’m doing what I’m feeling what I’m supposed to do to help better this world, then that’s what it is,” mentioned Brother Tom Sos.
Releasing his first project titled #4Ant in early 2020 as an honorary project fully dedicated to his brother, the work was a blazing introduction to Brother Tom Sos’s music for many of his now dedicated listeners. The 4 – track EP not only displayed his witty wordplay, but also his artistic explorations through r&b, hip-hop, and gospel.
Dropping 2 more EPs during 2020 (Big Brother, Modus Vivendi) catapulted the rising artist into Buffalo’s limelight. In a matter of a year, the rapper has been featured on major regional platforms like Buffalo Rising, Music is Art Festival, and Creative Mornings, propagating his message of hope and strength through rap.
“The influence that music carries…it has the power to make or break one’s life. And I feel like with my music- I want it to kind of come with the big brother effect,” mentioned Brother Tom Sos.
Often referencing “the big brother effect,” Brother Tom Sos’s main goal with his music is to uplift his listeners while still relating to them. As someone who grew up in rougher parts of Buffalo, the rising lyricist wants to create a “space of motivation” for “Buffalo’s dreamers.”
Popular songs like “Buffalokids,” “Kool Wit A K” and his most recent single “Tell It All” featuring Buffalo heavyweight Benny The Butcher highlights how Brother Tom Sos intersects his experiences effortlessly with moments of introspection and hope.
The chorus for “Buffalokids” is a perfect example: “That ain’t us, that’s where we’re from…we’re just some Buffalo kids.” A reminder to his listeners that their current reality isn’t the only reality available to them.
His visuals and production value doesn’t disappoint either. With Modus Vivendi completely produced by notorious rapper Chill Ali and recent visual for Brother Tom Sos’s “Doat $treet $tory” single filmed and edited by highly regarded videographer Alexander Harold are achievements by themselves – and a sign that Brother Tom Sos is moving full speed ahead. Continuing to level up on his work and his influence, the rapper is already forming a collective of artists to spread his positive message even further.
“There’s so much talent going on and we need chance-takers,” mentioned Brother Tom Sos.
With plans to drop an EP each month starting next month, a clothing line in the works, and a single with well-known vocalist Lindsay Niccs that could drop any moment, Brother Tom Sos hopes to connect with young people through his music and honor his brother’s legacy.
“I feel like there are a million young dudes and a million young girls that think how my brother thought and if this music can get them to change their mind, my purpose is fulfilled on this earth,” Brother Tom Sos concluded.
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