While Tedashii's robust stature and delivery on the mic catch the attention of most, his gentle spirit hints at an even deeper story behind the man and the music.
Born in East Texas, Tedashii "TDot" Anderson was raised to be very family-oriented, respectful and appreciative, but embracing the latter was often difficult in light of the economic conditions his family faced. Television became an escape for him as he admits to wanting a different life, "I really wanted to get away," Tedashii recalls. He envied the Huxtable lifestyle and eloquence and desired the urbanized southern version, topped off with a candy-painted car on 26's. His ambitions would soon mirror those he stayed up watching on television and read about in books. In high school, he joined the band to play jazz, studied black history, reveled in poetry, endeavored to become a renaissance man, and even idolized Ted Kopple. Tedashii remembers being different than his peers in his vast interests, but as expected for a Texas boy, Samoan at that, he also played football. By most standards, he was a well-rounded, good person--most, but not all.
Tedashii was given a wake-up call in college after being confronted by a student who overheard him using profanity. "He told me that I was a sinner and basically shared the Gospel with me that day." Some time later, after going to a Christian event on campus and seeing hundreds of urban students authentically worship God, he received Jesus and found new life in Christ instead of Hollywood. His newfound family in Christ encouraged him to use his rapping skills, honed since being challenged to freestyle in high school, to glorify God. And while his first attempt to do so wasn't well-received, he was recognized as "different" by his peers again, but now it was because of his faith.
After being introduced to Lecrae, rooming with both him and Sho Baraka and later being featured on several tracks from Real Talk and the 116 Clique Compilation, Tedashii was exhorted to commit to ministry through music. "I wanted to do college ministry…being a part of Christian Hip Hop was never the plan," he reveals. But with encouragement from his peers, along with releasing his debut album Kingdom People and recognizing his ability to reach people with his raw, southern style, he has since needed no motivation to continue spitting the Gospel.
With Identity Crisis, Tedashiii shared his past identity struggles, the fountain of his new identity, and challenged listeners to find theirs in Christ alone. His sophomore album charted No. 2 on the Gospel Billboard chart and No. 9 on the Christian Billboard chart, solidifying the appeal of a unique artist who is unashamedly Christian and soulfully Hip Hop. Since his last release, Tedashii has blazed several tracks as a feature artist, and is gearing up to release his third album this spring. He has also been serving at The Village Church in Denton, TX and raising his son with his lovely wife.
Far from his childhood dreams, if he had things his way, being known as someone who lived and even died for Christ would be the perfect ending to his life story.