Critical Praise:
“As the public only becomes more (rightfully) skeptical of media and celebrity, there’s constant demand for artists who keep it real. Enter 1Up Tee: A fresh-faced Detroit rapper currently blowing up off a string of concept singles that get at the contradictions and unrealistic expectations of a social media-enabled society.” – Pitchfork

“1Up Tee is really a sociologist at heart. Dissecting what’s going on around him, with a scientific level of curiosity and precision, gives his music a really vibrant honesty.” – Passion of the Weiss
The Rundown:
Born and raised in Westside Detroit, 1Up Tee is a product of his environment. Unlike many born into his circumstances, however, 1Up Tee does not accept the conditions of his home and the society’s cultural expectations for granted. In his incisive anthems, the 25-year-old rapper questions conventional wisdom, pointing out contradictions in the way we live our lives, and striving to find a fairer way forward.

1Up Tee grew up playing football, rapping on the side to vent his feelings, influenced by rappers like Babyface Ray and Payroll Giovanni. When he realized that he wouldn’t go pro on the gridiron, Tee turned his attention to the booth full time. Tee wrote about the things he observed in his hometown, teaming up with close friend D Hen 1UP to release the mixtape Y.N.A. in 2022. Tee eventually turned his attention towards the anti-social behavior he witnessed all too often on social media.

1Up Tee capitalized on his hometown momentum with the single “Accountability,” released in 2022, framed as a conversation between two sides of himself–one side lamenting his lack of success so far, and the other side telling him to shape up and get to work. Tee’s momentum continued into 2023, with singles like “Spoiled Rotten” and “Double Life” leading into the Upper EP in May. Late last year, Tee’s profile began to cross out of the Great Lakes region and make waves nationwide: the catalyst was “Good Karma (Freestyle),” an examination about why bad things happen to real ones, which became a viral On The Radar performance and generated over 4 million on-demand streams. He kept the karma going with January’s “Lose Lose,” which earned attention from Pitchfork, racking up over 1.8 million streams in its first six weeks.

1Up Tee has tastemakers like Pitchfork and On The Radar giving their approval, along with social media co-signs from Meek Mill, athletes like Damian Lillard and Marshawn Lynch, and fellow Detroiters including Babyface Ray, Dej Loaf, and BabyTron. Preparing to release more singles, and an upcoming project, Tee is ready to become the next rapper to break out of the Motor City.

Stay tuned for much more.

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