R&B singer/actor Tyrese Gibson has found a well spring of support among some of rap's elite with his rhyming alias Black-Ty.
Gibson, who made his debut as Black-Ty June 25 at a recent performance in Los Angeles, is humbled by the fact his rap career is being co-signed by established Mc's.
"The way I look at is the fans are important, but when you get the blessing of people that live, breathe and eat, and sleep Hip-Hop and they get behind you on what you doing, then it just gives me more confidence," Gibson told AllHipHop.com. "I'm walking with them versus trying to out do or be bigger and better or take over the West coast. I don't want them kind of pressures."
Gibson, who personally handed out his music at the recent BET Awards and other events, revealed that he approached his rap career as if he were a new artist.
"Black-Ty is broke. Black-Ty ain't s**t. Black-Ty is unestablished," Gibson explained. "I don't want to be the biggest rapper out of the West Coast. I don't want to sell the most records. I just want to contribute to the groundwork that's already been laid out and do my part."
Compton rapper the Game, Gibson's co-star in the movie Waist Deep and Battlecat are among those in Black-Ty's corner.
The acclaim comes on the heels of Gibson's first mixtape, The Best of Both Hoodz Vol. 1. featuring DJ Warrior and hosted by Big Tigger.
Although many of Gibson's peers acknowledge his singing skills, they were taken aback by his skills on the mic.
"I was pleasantly motherf**kin surprised, I must say," Wu-Tang Clansman Method Man told AllHipHop.com after hearing the mixtape. "I ain't know son could rhyme and shit, but I should've known better. He's a very talented young man and I ain't just saying this because he my homeboy and he sang at my wedding. N***as should give him a second look on this motherf**kin rap tip."
Snoop Dogg, who lent his support to the Black-Ty project by recording a track with Gibson for his forthcoming album Alter Ego, also co-signed on his fellow rhymesayer's abilities.
"He really got it cracking to the point to where it don't seem like a n***a was out of his range," Snoop said. "It seemed like something that he was naturally born to do and that's when I welcomed him to the game, being the king of the West, you know what I'm saying? He got my blessing as far as from the rap style of it, the rap side of it."
Fans can look for another shot of Black-Ty with the upcoming release of his DJ S&S-assisted mixtape Ghetto Royalty.
S&S compares Gibson's desire to excel to previous rap rookies turned fixtures Jay-Z and DMX.
"This kid got that hunger just like that. It's crazy to see him have that hunger like that because you look at him as an R&B artist," S&S said. "He wants people to understand what he's going through, but there's going to be a lot of people that doubt him."
Black-Ty's The Best of Both Hoodz is available now.
Ghetto Royalty is slated to drop the first week of August, while Alter Ego will invade stores in the late fall.