Producer TWhy was convinced he was going to die earlier this year. Instead, the beatmaker, born Tim Moore, experienced the latest of several rebirths, each of them nestling him closer to lifelong well-being.
Moore bagged a placement on the most-streamed album ever and checked off several bucket list items in the process when his work turned into the Jay-Z and DJ Paul-featured, platinum track “Talk Up” from Drake’s LP Scorpion.
But at the beginning of 2018, TWhy was hospitalized with E. coli for two weeks.
“I was praying a lot in those times. When you think you’re about to die, life changes. I don’t care what anyone says,” he lays out plainly. “I’ve changed my whole life since January. I’m 100% sober and now everything’s happening”
TWhy’s longtime idol, producer Scott Storch, offered his blessing to the “Talk Up” producer, deeming him the “Young Storch.” Judging by the local beatmaker’s skill set and the gigs he’s booking these days that certainly appears to be the case. Recently, he was tapped by 2 Chainz’ to work on his next studio album Rap or Go the League. It’s a full-circle moment for TWhy, whose first major beat placement came on the track “Flexin’ On My Baby Mama” from the rap star’s 2014 Freebase EP.
At that point, Moore had been riding the rap game roller coaster for over a decade, garnering small bites of success going back to his early days making tracks in his Pomona bedroom.
Prior to producing and running P-Town streets with some of the city’s best-known gangsters, pimps, hustlers, and emcees, TWhy played a handful of seasons as a semi-pro hockey player. One brawl left Moore with a cracked face and without the zest to continue playing the game.
Soon, he picked up a keyboard and a piano lesson book and taught himself some chords. His newfound passion put him in contact with some of the locals and he opened up a local studio steps away from one of the state’s most infamous stretches of land, Holt Boulevard.
“All the homies used to pull up and send their hoes straight form the studio. Bitches would come back smelling like dick and old bills,” he says.
“And it was dangerous as fuck, man. It was so hood because all the homies do their shit, so all the enemies would know where we were at… There was a shootout in front of the shit. Police. It was crazy.”
The spot gave TWhy his first taste of the lifestyle and put him in touch with IE legends like Sly Boogie and Suga Free. His experience assured him he could succeed in the business, but as he moved forward, TWhy saw homies perish and take on jail sentences, forcing him to take a step back from the life and recalibrate.
His biggest break to date came shortly after getting back to business. VH1 tapped Moore for a gig thanks to a local friend, and they bought “probably like a thousand beats” from him. His tracks made their way on to shows like “Deal or No Deal” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. He called the opportunity a second wind.
TWhy’s stock rose once again only to fall harder than ever before. Shortly after the TV deal and a stint on Mack 10’s Hoo-Bangin’ imprint that put him on stages rapping around the country, he found himself out of money and homeless. He says even his manager fleeced him for about $40,000.
“I lost everything, my car. Everyone went to jail. So, pretty much me and the homies were living out of hotels, just doing it,” he says. He even experienced another shootout in another studio.
“I was like fuck it,” Moore says, reliving the exhaustion of the life.
He dipped and headed up the hill to work with his friend and Grammy-winning producer Danny Boy.
“That’s when I really put shit into overdrive,” he says.
Two months into his new venture, T Why partnered with DJ Paul and helped the pioneering collective Three 6 Mafia, then known as Da Mafia 6ix, put together 2013’s 6ix Commandments project. That’s when 2 Chainz reached out, as well at Riff Raff at the height of the Codeine Castle days. Still, it was a slow build.
He spent the majority of his energy developing his own local artists under his imprint GWAP Mu$ic including Young Fingaprint and Faygo Jones, who’ve both gotten off to hot starts regionally.
Through it all, TWhy has stayed true to his sound — the sound created by his now partner and mentor DJ Paul. Their partnership has manifested into more than music for Moore; he’s learned about investments, listening, and how to carry himself as a man.
“He just a real dude,” he adds.
Moore’s loyalty to the tune that matched his aggressive behavior in his youth finally paid off.
“Everyone wanted me to change my sound. I was like, man, fuck that,” he says. “They wanted me to do some Rock N Roll shit. And I could say this and be confident with it, I was one of the first Trap producers in California.”
After locking in the aforementioned upcoming 2 Chainz placements, TWhy took a breath and slid out to the desert for a vacation with his Dad. And that’s when he got a call from Paul, including a screenshot of a text thread with Drake. The 6 God wanted them on his project. Moore cut the R&R short and headed back west to add his part to Scorpion, the biggest album of 2018.
After 16 years of toiling through the hip-hop game and the adjacent, unforgiving street life, TWhy finally hit a home run. The placement landed him a deal with Red Bull and on the lips of artists just coming around to the Trap sound that has majorly resurfaced in recent years. Moore has since been pictured in the studio with Kelly Rowland. With the recent wins, TWhy has just one thing to say to those who doubted him.
“The same shit they told me to change got me a platinum plaque, so fuck you.”
I listen to music. I write about it. I like hot sauce on my chicken.