I like to think I have a pretty good ear for music. Especially hip hop music. I grew up in a time when we experienced some of the best music lyrically made; the late 90’s and early 2000s. It’s hard to top a time when Tupac, Biggie, OutKast, Jay Z, Nas, and TI were killing it on the mainstream level. You also had your more regional powerhouses in Three 6 Mafia, Talib Kweli, No Limit, Cash Money Records, Tech N9ne, and the group I feel was far ahead of their time, PM Dawn. That era of rap was everything.  I say all that to say; I have a thing for lyrically driven music. Enter Tori WhoDat. 

          She probably doesn’t remember but I first met Tori back in 2014. She was on stage at The New Daisy opening for some artist I can’t remember. My first thought was, “Who the hell is this little girl and why is she on stage?” Suddenly she spit a few lines and I was hooked. Not only was Tori wild as hell, she was lyrically gifted. They say never judge a book by its cover, right? Well, I did and ended up looking dumb. 

          Over the years, I’ve watched that skinny, wild kid jumping all over the stage grow into a skinny, focused and composed artist. The transformation is very evident. Most rappers get in their niche and never venture out, but Tori WhoDat has totally elevated herself musically and professionally. I last saw her not opening, but headlining at HiTone with Lil Wyte and Frayser Boy. Pretty good company to be involved with with based on their success and longevity. Honestly, I’m honored she still even knows my name.  

          With this shoot, I wanted to capture the essence of not only Tori WhoDat, but also Tori the person. We tend to get lost in our own personas at times and Gucci Mane said don’t get lost in the sauce. So who is Tori? Honestly, she’s one of the nicest and funniest people I know. Incredibly humble and appreciative, Tori the person is awesome. Tori WhoDat is the powerful, raw lyrical beast that’s packaged behind a those mysterious eyes. I dig the balance. It’s kinda like the Light and Dark side of the Force. I also love that Tori isn’t afraid to be herself in a world that doesn’t always welcome individuality. That’s definitely a sign of maturity and self love. 

          You owe it to yourself to check out the work of Tori WhoDat. I’m awaiting her release of “The Come Up”, a playlist from music from 2014 and 2015. Search Tori WhoDat everywhere! That’s on Facebook, SoundCloud, IG, Twitter, and YouTube. You’ll find more info about upcoming projects, music and updates. Drop a comment and let me know what you think. 


Shoot details: 

Camera: Sony a7ii 

Lens: Samyung 35mm f1.4 AF

Location: Somewhere in Memphis  


Life is for Living, 

Michael B.