Italian-American Trenton NJ rap luminary whose career as a rapper was overshadowed by his skills and fame as a producer. Produced many obscure NJ records, before signing to 4th & Bway around 1990 for his own album, then forming Crusaders For Real Hip-Hop in 1991, and even later producing abstract hip hop tracks for the UK Grand Central label. Later in his career founded the Cha-Ching Records label, re-releasing Philly random rap compilations and several of his own productions, as well as a retrospective of his own work. Was killed in an automotive accident in Hamilton NJ, where he lived, at the age of 42 on 4. April 2009.
“Weighing in at 16 stone of Italian American heritage Tony Depula a.k.a Tony D is a man who has left an indelible mark across the history of the hip-hop beat, wrestling his way round some classic LPs from Poor Righteous Teachers (acting as producer on classics like Shaqila) – to his own Pound for Pound release on Grand Central. Tony has always kept his productions tight and full. The hard drums and bass generated courtesy of his EMU SP1200 drum machine have been laced with some classic raps courtesy of YZ, Lo-key and some amazing vocals from Veba and Spikey T. Tony caught the hip-hop bug in 1985 travelling up to the Bronx from his Trenton, New Jersey base and buying drum machines from a producer who had moved on to drug dealing. It was not long before Tony was making classic beats some which were subsequently robbed by the likes of Naughty by Nature and Heavy d; all cases which were settled out of court.
Responsible for Grand Central’s first release and first artist solo album, (Pound For Pound back in 1997)he hooked up with Grand Central when Mark stumbled across Tony D’s Central J. Parlay EP’in a N.Y. basement.” -from Grand Central’s website
Me And My Girl
He’s The Boss
Watch Them Go
Down In The Ghetto
I Have Been Here Before
Peep The Move