From Big Daddy Kane, Whodini, the Fat Boys, Biz Markie, and U.T.F.O. to Lil' Kim, Jay-Z, the Junior M.A.F.I.A., Hurricane G, and the late Christopher Wallace, aka the Notorious B.I.G. or Biggie Smalls, a long list of rappers has represented Brooklyn over the years -- and in the 2000s, Tah Phrum Duh Bush emerged as one of Brooklyn's articulate hip-hop representatives. The "Bush" that Tah is referring to in his stage name is the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, where he grew up. Other Brooklyn rappers have represented Bedford-Stuyvesant, East New York, Coney Island, Canarsie, or Red Hook, but Tah's stomping ground has been Flatbush (which is also where Lana Moorer, aka MC Lyte, grew up), and Tah brings a recognizably northeastern flow to the table. Tah would never be mistaken for a West Coast or Southern rapper; his rhyming is very much a product of his Northeastern Corridor upbringing, and the East Coast MCs who come to mind when Tah is rapping range from Q-Tip (of A Tribe Called Quest fame) and De La Soul to the Roots. Tah has some of Quest and De La Soul's humor and quirkiness, but he also has some of KRS-One's philosophical approach at times (without being as overtly sociopolitical). Tah's song "Life and Death Dichotomy," for example, is philosophical, contemplative, and thought-provoking in a way that brings to mind KRS' reflections.
And while some of the Northeastern Corridor rappers who have emerged in the '90s or 2000s have been influenced by West Coast and Southern gangsta rap (Staten Island's Wu-Tang Clan and Queens' Mobb Deep are among the hardcore rappers who brought gangsta rap to New York City in the '90s), Tah has favored an alternative rap aesthetic rather than a thug life/gangsta aesthetic -- which is not to say that his music is not edgy. Tah's rhymes are definitely edgy, and he can be sexually explicit at times ("Lay That Pipe" is one of Tah's more sex-minded rhymes). Tah, a skillful freestyler, knows his way around a battle rhyme, but when he wages verbal warfare on a sucker MC, it isn't about thuggery, but rather is a form of musical sportsmanship (which is where Big Daddy Kane, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, Kool Moe Dee, and many other East Coast rappers of the '80s were coming from when they unleashed their battle rhymes back in the day). In 2006, Tah released his debut album, Sunshine or Pure Shade, on his own Push in the Bush Records label. ~ Alex Henderson