Thi’sl has partnered with fellow St. Louis hip-hop artist Tory Starks to release Starks’s new album, 2AM, on Oct. 27.
“I believe in Tory Starks’s music and his conviction for Biblical truth,” Thi’sl said. “His perspective and music will be timely for people who want classic Christian hip hop in the sense of the ‘word’ and those who want banging beats and dope flows.”
Thi’sl, who has collaborated with hip-hop legend Scarface and Grammy Award-winning rapper Lecrae, will executive produce the project, which will feature a new sound from Starks, who previously went by the stage name Future. Starks changed his name to rebrand as he presents a new image, as well as to avoid confusion with Future from Atlanta. A concerned parent once thought they were the same artist and warned a DJ about Starks.
“You need to consider not playing his music anymore,” the parent said. “I heard he totally left the faith. He’s doing secular music; talking about girls, sex and drugs. I had to stop letting my kids listen to his music.”
Under his former name, Starks was featured on Flame’s Grammy-nominated album Our World Redeemed and Json’s albums Life on Life and City Lights. In 2013, he released his debut LP, Reunion, which featured J.R., Canon and Tony Tillman. 2AM will mark his first music under his new moniker.
“2 a.m. — whether you’re in the studio, riding or wherever you are — tends to be when you’re reflecting about the rawness of life,” Starks said. “I wanted that 2 a.m., raw edginess for the whole album.”