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Without divine interference, it is very unlikely that Christian Hip Hop fans would have ever heard of Tony Tillman. With the June 25th release of his upcoming project entitled, "The Tillman EP," the Reflection Music Group artist's music and ministry continue. Tillman enlisted the help of some of his friends this time around, and the six-track EP includes collaborations from such artists as Beckah Shae, Tedashii, Canon, Sho Baraka and more.
Tillman grew up in a single parent home in the projects of Arkansas, surrounded by gangs, drugs, crime and very little hope. With only his mom around to raise and care for him after his parents separated, he turned to the streets to teach him how to be a man. At the tender age of 12, he followed his young uncle’s footsteps and joined a gang where he quickly gained respect for fighting rival gang members, breaking into homes, committing robberies and meeting disrespect with violence.
Engulfed in the street life, his violent behavior reached new heights when his 16-year-old uncle was shot and killed. Tillman was suspended from school indefinitely for being involved in multiple altercations, and he was receiving death threats from rival gangs. Sent to live with relatives in hopes he would turn his life around, Tillman landed in various juvenile detention centers across the South. He had taken it upon himself to carry on his uncle’s legacy; he was selling and smoking weed and was arrested for armed robbery and battery. While on house arrest for attempted murder, he realized the other members of his gang had abandoned him too, as none of them came to visit. Depressed and alone, Tillman battled with thoughts of suicide, stemming from his uncle’s death and the dead-end path he had chosen.
But a chance encounter with God in the back of a police car changed everything. On the way to a courthouse one afternoon, a voice on the radio began sharing about the book of Revelation. So, while on house arrest, he began reading Revelation as God steadily worked on his heart. He distanced himself from his gang and promised a pastor that he would attend his church, where he ultimately gave his life to Christ.
"I’m amazed at the fact that God has loved me despite the person I used to be, and I hope He uses me to show others that same love,” said Tillman. “So that through my life they can believe that God is willing to do the same for them. I feel that's my mission, to show the world that hope exists for their situation."
Reflection Music Group has just released the EP's first single, "Tailored (featuring Beckah Shae)," and the music video is getting significant views. Watch the video now at http://youtu.be/AhW4itr1NJI.