Checking In: The Teeta Chills

Preeminent ATX rapper stays productive in downtime

“I had this doomsday scenario that would end in mass anarchy and transition into one government and global economy,” Trenton Anthony (aka The Teeta) told Kahron Spearman for our cover feature on COVID-19 in local music communities of color. “From there, I stocked up on essentials day by day, and took out a lump sum of cash just in case the banks crashed.”

Photo by David Brendan Hall

Austin Chronicle: Where are you sheltering and under what circumstances? Who else is there and how’s that going?

The Teeta: I’ve just been sheltering at home with my girlfriend since everything started. It’s been pretty chill. I’ve been recording at home and playing a lot of video games.

AC: At what point did C-19 shut down operations for you, and what went down with the ship, so to speak, both personally & professionally?

TT: It shut me down right at the beginning of March and all my plans went down the drain with it. My whole SXSW was canceled and it was scheduled to be one of my biggest to date. That also held me from any other show opportunities.

“It shut me down right at the beginning of March and all my plans went down the drain with it. My whole SXSW was canceled and it was scheduled to be one of my biggest to date.”

Personally, I can’t say that it did anything except inconvenience me, but it didn’t drastically change my personal life besides the fact that I have to be a bit more cautious and conscious of the virus.

AC: As a global culture, people employ music for every purpose imaginable, obviously spanning religion to entertainment and everything in between. What happens to communities like ours when people can no longer access it in person?

TT: I think for communities like ours you just have to embrace the digital alternative. I’ve had a hard time doing that, honestly, because I’m not inclined to livestream or tune into livestreams.

It’s just like sitting in front of your phone for an hour straight. It doesn’t give me the same feeling as a live experience. Luckily, I love the audio side of music and the recording process, so that kind of suffices for me.

AC: Everyone’s had to shift or drastically alter their work situation. What does that look like for you?

TT: Well, for one I’ve been recording at home and connecting with people online rather than traveling, networking in person, and recording in studios. I’ve been fairly productive and like the change of pace, though.

AC: What’s your soundtrack for the apocalypse and what role does music play for you as a fan and scholar of it in times of hardship?

TT: I’ve been listening to The Quarantine by me and Netherfriends, Alfredo by Freddie Gibbs, Stimulus Pack by Teddythelegacy and myself, and The Stimulus – me and Netherfriends newest album. Music is great for capturing moments in time, like when you hear a song or an album and it takes you back to your high school days. Times like now, it’s important to be able to resonate with music and art, and have some sort of escapism from time to time.

The 2021-2022 Austin Music Awards Music Poll is underway. Vote now for your favorite bands, venues, and music until January 31.

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The Teeta, Terell Jackson, The Quarantine, Netherfriends, Alfredo, Freddie Gibbs, Stimulus Pack, Teddythelegacy, The Stimulus, Checking In 2020

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