Music Q&A: Tullie the Rapper

Tullie the Rapper has one goal: Make people dance until their feet hurt, so reads his biography at tullietherapper.com.

What the bio does not mention, however, is that pop-electronic-rapper Tullie Bailey is from Clifton.

He has friends and family in Mesa County, and some appeared in a “Rosario Dawson” music video shot at a private pool in the area earlier this year.

In a recent interview, Bailey talked about his upcoming birthday bash, being a rapper from western Colorado and his favorite place to hang out in Clifton.

He turned 30 on Nov. 4, and will celebrate locally with a B-Day Bash at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at Mesa Theater and Club, 538 Main St.

It’s an all ages show, featuring, among other artists, Black Pegasus and Bad Karma Kings.

Cover is $10.

Melinda Mawdsley: When did you move away from Clifton and what made you go?

Tullie the Rapper: Grand Junction was kind of too small for me. The lifestyle is nice to visit, but I was always interested in culture that wasn’t here. I gravitated toward busier things.

Mawdsley: Grand Junction didn’t have the rap scene you were looking for?

Tullie: There’s been a live music scene here. There wasn’t really a hip-hop scene.

Mawdsley: Then where does your interest in rap come from?

Tullie: Ever since I was a very small child, I had this natural interest in rap music. I felt like the beats spoke to me. Everyone around me was into heavy metal and rock, like Nirvana. For whatever reason, it didn’t connect with me.

Mawdsley: Where did you grow up?

Tullie: I’m from a non-privileged family raised in the heart of Clifton. Clifton is not necessarily the place where people find refuge, but that neighborhood gives me the home-town feeling. The neighborhood I grew up in was 32 and D 1/2 Road.

Mawdsley: Where is your favorite place in Clifton?

Tullie: I always end up at the Clifton Rooster’s. (Fly’n Rooster’s is a restaurant at 569 32 Road.)

Mawdsley: I’m guessing you work your childhood into your music.

Tullie: I definitely work it into my music.

Mawdsley: Tell me about your music.

Tullie: With my music, I try to walk the line of sharing an experience with the fan but also what’s negative about certain life choices. I’m not a Christian rapper, and I curse in my music, but I try to walk the fine line of keeping a positive message, while letting people who don’t normally hear positive messages, get it.

Mawdsley: Other rappers know where Grand Junction is?

Tullie: (Laughing) When I first started getting into it, there was an underground movement where I could go from city to city and at least 100 kids would show up. When I started, people were like, “This is from Colorado? That’s crazy.” I play Grand Junction fairly often. It’s my third time at Mesa Theater. The best show I ever had was in Los Angeles like three or four years ago, but none of the shows are like the Grand Junction shows. I know a good number of people here. It’s not only my music, it’s our music. So many people have invested in me.


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