Tae Zu

Who Talking


Tae Zu knows his way around a beat and that’s the truth. “Two Sides of One Half” comes across as confident. He is a man who knows his way around a rhyme and this showcases that to a tee. With “Troubled Scars” we start off soft with what appears to sound like a classical musical. The piano guides you into something that comes off as serene, and then Tae Zu comes in, but not hard. The beat has a light feel to it. Then with “Who Do You” things take a turn down R&B avenue. We’re back on the hip hop trail with “Point’em Out.” This one really sets the tone for someone who knows the facts of the craft and can do it justice. It has the strongest delivery as well. Closing this one out is “Slicker Guy.” Here Tae Zu gives us his all with a cool beat. He spits the lyrics out in a way that’s easy to follow but dosed in swag. If you’re a fan of artists like Nas, check out Tae Zu today.

Desert Heat magazine Las Cruces, NM

Tae Zu has been featured on Desert Heat before with tracks that exhibit underground flavor that is representative of the Southwest. DefTonesAndBeautifulSmellz is his latest offering that mixes a sepia/black and white visual produced by David Corral with production that is dark, enchanting, melodic and apropos for Tae Zu’s lyrical style. The producer MOK1 samples what sounds like some ethereal new age throaty vocals, which repeats often and creates a religious or sermon like tone to what Tae Zu rhymes about. The writing focuses on lyrical versatility and proficiency while proving that his art is more complex than that of his naysayers and the dense field of artists he competes with. The adaptation of the artist is highlighted with new sounds, new writing and a new direction. If the project that this video comes from is similar the quality will not come into question. Catch his upcoming album titled P.L.A.N.


In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Tae Zu, an independent hip hop artist and producer hailing from El Paso, Texas. The performer has a new single out, ‘Def Tones And Beautiful Smellz,’ and it was released with an accompanying music video as well. Thus, let’s delve into it and discern whether or not this entry in Tae Zu’s catalog is one you’ll want in your indie music collection!

I’ve said this before on the Independent Spotlight, but it bears repeating - I get an immense amount of hip hop across my desk, and the vast majority of that is a sea of monotony and derivative styles. It’s arguably the hardest music community to break out of because of this. There is a lot of noise. Fortunately, Tae Zu has a sound that’s not only fairly unique, but versatile, too.

The entirety of ‘Def Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ is centralized around a vocal sample that’s repeated within the main beat. It’s a compelling production, and it does well to separate Tae Zu from his counterparts churning out Garageband presets. Lyrically, ‘Def Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ is quite strong; it’s an anthem of self-determination and drive that manages to not stray into cliche territory.

‘Deft Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ was released with a music video as well, and surprisingly, it’s an excellent video. (We’ll embed it above.) It’s well shot, the black and white is color corrected beautifully, and it far surpasses most indie music videos that get sent to the Independent Spotlight. It’s well worth a watch.

‘Deft Tones And Beautiful Smellz’ is available on all major digital music platforms now, and it’s an early insight into Tae Zu’s album ‘P.L.A.N.’ due out February 23. He’s also planning to announce a tour next month, so keep tabs on his social media below. If this single is indicative of the quality of the rest of the album, it's going to be a record worth spinning.

Desert Heat magazine Las Cruses, NM

Tae Zu’s Complex Retaliation starts out with a solid instrumental like “All We Got”, off Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book. Complex Retaliation is reminiscent of Sadat X and similar rappers active in Queens during the late 90s.

The lyrics are competent with strong images present throughout the album. The track “Brake” features some R&B style singing. The track has a nice melody that a lot of hip-hop albums do not explore enough. Yet, it falls short of feeling complete because it feels like the energy of an EP rather than an LP.

My favorite tracks are “Here We Go” and “Death Grip”. “Death Grip” has solid bars that involve complex internal rhyme allowing the lyrical versatility Of Tae Zu to show. An interesting aspect of this album is that the cadence varies from slow and even tracks to punchy and energetic ones.

The album overall has the momentum a good project requires, but leaves me wanting more. It showcases his skill as a lyricist but leaves me imagining what else could be done lyrically by an artist such as Tae Zu.

Complex Retaliation is a project that shows improvement and the evolution of Tae Zu since the last album Desert heat reviewed. The tracks seem much more carefully put together. The greatest criticism I have towards this album is that the production becomes stale and hinders Tae Zu’s energy. If Tae Zu corrects this error, he could be presenting something that is larger than his region and he could breakout into larger markets.

Above Average HipHop

The Metal Shop Vlogs

Desert Heat magazine Las Cruces, NM

The boastful, unapologetic and hostile MC known as Tae Zu releases his latest album P.L.A.N. Those fiending for that East Coast styled gritty lyricism will instantly become fans of the El Paso native. Check out my 3 favorite tracks on the album: “Roll With Me” “Mood Change” and “O No”. The El Paso artist is making moves with shows in Arizona, New Mexico, and West Texas. His catalog is expanding faster than most other artists in the region. Check out P.L.A.N. available on Spotify and Apple Music






There is a welcoming quality when unveiling the newest contribution from El Paso Hip Hop Artist Tae Zu.


This is just one reason 2017 will be a year to remember for the Sun City's eclectic and transformative musical accomplishments.











Darkness coming for your soul.



This is the mantra, matter of factly sang along a chopped up piano sample.


Audio slices aesthetically include a pop that almost serves as a metronome. It's clearly on purpose, and if it wasn't it doesn't matter. This overture serves as an omen. A tell tale sign of things to come.






Piano samples seem to be a common theme here, and the production is thematic. The album as a whole has a cohesion so many albums seem to lack. It's apparent this was a well thought out release, and not just a collection of songs put on a record and packaged to sell.


I'm reminded of battle rap supremacy comparable to Canibus' “2000BC” in a more minimalist fashion.


The vocals are modestly mixed, not straying too far from classic Hip Hop standard. This is a good choice for the album as a whole, here we have a solid album that can be played without skipping around. A Hip Hop head's bread and butter so to speak.





The pacing is also great on this album. Post production on any album is a delicate process. A process which includes the flow of the final track listing. It could figuratively “make or break” an album. On this aspect the choices were a home run, and further stack the deck.


Rap Flow is characterized by smooth bars which complement the production. Not a one trick pony, Tae Zu reveals a variety of deliveries appropriate for each segment.


This is demonstrated on track 4; “Deftonesandbeautifulsmellz”


The beginning of the track suggests a rhythm pattern, which is never fulfilled, but instead switches on a counter rhythm. Musical surprises like this are appealing to the ear when done right, and this is a great example.


There are also great singing arrangements scattered throughout.


I was able to ask Tae Zu a few questions.





Do you handle all the responsibilities for production on the record?


I have to keep a tight schedule. What I normally do is mark times in the day where I focus on music. While other times it's just time for me to relax and let my mind go free. That way my creative process is always flowing. I also schedule days for writing, studying music production, and recording throughout the week to help me organize and keep at a steady pace.


Is there a concept for the album as a whole?


Well to start off P.L.A.N. is part of a series of love stories that explain Tae Zu's progression as an entity, not just an artist. Starting with the first project, I came out with two sides of one half. “P.L.A.N.” itself is an acronym.


P- meaning patience, L- meaning life, A- meaning awareness, and N- meaning Nexus.

With all of these words making up plan it shows a part of aggression towards moving forward through obstacles and any opponents that may come through to try to stop the progression.


Patience- to be able to do things at the right time throughout the process of growth for myself as an entity, and as an artist.


Life- for the meaning of never stopping, or waiting to do anything. Just do it without hesitation and just do it without resistance of self-doubt or doubt from others.


Awareness- because throughout a process of learning you have to be aware of all details whether they be good or bad whether you make mistakes or you are triumphant you have to be aware of everything in order to move forward.


Nexus- for understanding that everything has a purpose. Everything is a part of the whole. If I decide to move forward in my own Universe it will happen because I choose to make it so and to be honest it's part of my spiritual studies that I kind of put little things in like the word nexus to teach others that we are all one in the same and we are all in control of our own destiny.


Is there a narrative? Message?


The message on plan is... well there's a couple of messages actually. That for one, I won't stop LOL. I mean I know everybody has that certain message coming from a hip hop artist such as myself I know others do the same but also I guess to tell people that they don't have to be really killed by others in order to move forward. Just relax. If they test you, react. If they don't test you don't react, or react. Reaction is needed if that makes sense, but at the same time everyone goes through things and that shouldn't stop you either. Just keep moving forward, then do dope music or whatever it is you do.


What DAW do you use for audio production?


Well the program that I use is FL Studio. I love this program for a couple of reasons. For one, I'm kind of biased. It was the first program I ever used and would try to use for music production. It is easy to use and adaptable to almost anything you can think of.






Do you have any formal music theory training?


As for music theory training that would be wide open. I can't say I do, and I can't say that I don't but I studied as an apprentice to the man that taught me how to do everything I do.


If you consider schooling then no I've never been to school for this, but I was in an apprenticeship for about six years studying mixing, mastering, vocal training, and correct sound production making sure that people don't blow up their eardrums LOL.


Tell us about your history in battle rap.


Battle rapping was the first thing that I got into the norm, actually going from party to party battling people and becoming kind of known back then. As I went under another name besides the name that I had now. Battling was fun, it helped me hone my skills as a writer more than anything, but I wanted to do more than just battle rap I wanted to make music.


Hip has so many different styles and subgenres, is there a specific sound you're trying to meet or are you pushing the envelope into something different all together?


I want to be different. I don't want to be sounding like anyone else. What I'm trying to do is make music that sounds like Tae Zu. I understand sometimes you can take a liking to an artist that you may look up to and incorporate that to get somewhere you want to go. My ideal motive is to become myself. Be myself.


When I was listening to “Dead Space” and a few other tracks, I caught a kind of vibe I hadn't had since listening to the Hip Hop duo “Binary Star”. You seem to be more than one Emcee, with more than one Voice. Is this a conscious aesthetic?


That's the first time I've gotten that LOL. I would say that I am able to change the mood in the song at will for myself. I never sound the same, which I think is an ability of mine because to be honest I see a lot or hear a lot of artists with tracks that completely sound the same. I'd rather have a person take a journey with me instead of being repetitive. Sometimes I like to act in my lyrics, or act out my lyrics. So maybe you get a funny voice, or maybe you get a serious voice, or maybe you get a sad voice but this is 100% me.


Name your three favorite Producers.


Damn thats a hard decision I probably would have to go with Black Milk, Sknot Knows, Nujabes


Your live performances are mixed between local and out of town shows. Some would say your schedule is more of an active tour mode. Not really being a part of a consistent line up, like some other artists in a continuous scene. Is this part of a strategy, or preference?


Well there's many reasons to that and the most important reason is to just expand. I like to have a personal experience with people in town and out of town and sometimes you can't have a personal experience out of town when you're stuck at home. So I like to meet the fans instead of just staying in one city, but it doesn't mean that I don't like being in the city. El Paso has a beautiful music community that I can see flourishing and becoming a lot better than it is now.


Yeah, there are some things that are preventing that from happening. Yet it's not stopping me from being here it's just I see myself always moving. So going to different cities, meeting different people, networking that way online/offline I don't know I just like being.. I like constantly moving.....



When you go out of town, do you Rep El Paso?


Oh hell yeah, always rep El Paso! El Paso is part of my name. God of the desert, and the biggest Desert in the United States, or Desert City at least LOL. But I still feel there's nothing like El Paso, and I'll rep that until, shit whenever and forever.




All in all, P.L.A.N definitely deserves a listen, and maybe a permanent place in your Local Hip Hop rotation.



Desert Heat magazine



January 20, 2018


Rudy Facio



Tae Zu, Founder of FUNKY FAT ELEPHANT PRODUCTIONS, keeps his prolific streak with another offering of eccentric beats and pensive rhymes.


Dante Greene uses “Tae Zu” as just one of his monikers.


In the tightly diversified field of entertainment media an Artist typically “wears more than one hat”. This is especially true in the Indie/Underground ranks.


As a beat-maker, Tae Zu represents himself as Mok1.


On this next progression of tracks Mok1 takes most production credits. Although, the tracks produced by other collaborators fall right into the sound design on this Six-Track EP.




Tae Zu's newest offering is much of the battle driven lyricism we've come to expect, but the delivery style is consistently fresh. In moments chant like back-vocals harmonize with hard raps and the whole record is a fun listen. Free from the monotony of battle only rappers.



On “Yasuke” we follow Tae Zu as he bypasses and systematically assassinates people who have big mouths but make no forward progress themselves.

The song is characterized by KILL BILLesqe themes. Katanas, Beheadings. Tae Zu is as accurate and deadly as O Ren Ishii. with a cautionary tale pointing out; Those who don't move, die.


Tae commenting “..wise enough to see every step stuck..” and heading to the chorus, “Every time I pass, dudes talking. Can't keep they mouth shut, stuck where they walking. Soon as I spark in, they know they be the target..”


More great work can be found on “T&W” Where a pitch shifting sample is repeated rhythmically throughout. Vocals are steadfast and are a perfect compliment to the almost neurotic soundscape.


At any rate, this is a great addition to Tae Zu's ever expanding repertoire.


URGE915 is anticipating a new Music Video coming soon. Till then, check out “EXTEND: reloadTHE HIGHER DIMENSION” for yourself.


Tae Zu Is The New South West Ghod

Tae Zu Is The New South West Ghod

El Paso TX artist Tae Zu comes back with some heat only the F.F.E. (Funky Fat Elephant) crew can come with. The time is here and the new Ghodz are in with that rawnest hip hop has been producing from the the “underground”. A 360 artist, as his motto, producing mostly if not all of his past an present works and work with his F.F.E. team you can say 360 is a fact. But dont take the Texas Rapper/Producer lightly, with a slyle they say outside the box of the normal hip hop most are use to. Give a fresh breath of air to the already rare group of artist to stand out in todays hip hop. RIDE WITH ME the latest form irresistible Tae Zu brings in a smooth Melody played by bells in a natural sway you can’t help but to nod to. Accompanied by heavy snare, deep bass, and rythmic dum patters that only lock in the song as you injoy the wave of the instrumental. Toped off by slick word that seem to fit in just the right spot making the song an alround balanced piece. Visuals shot and edited by David Corral Productions make the music even more irresistible guaranteeing you wanting to watch more than once. Clear video and crisp scenes only make the experience even better every time.

HipHop Forum

El Paso’s Own Tae Zu Talks Upcoming Projects & More

Tae Zu, originally from El Paso, Texas is an up and coming artist taking the music scene by storm with his wild style, high energy, and lyricism. Tune in as he chops it up about Hip Hop, his progression as an artist, and his forthcoming anticipated album “GR” (Ghod Rage). 

MJ: You’ve been heavily influenced by all genres of music especially Jazz, Classical, and Funk. At the age of 12 you were drawn to Hip Hop.  What was it about Hip Hop that pulled you in and fostered the start of a career at age 18?

Tae Zu: It would have to be the way Hip Hop can incorporate all different styles of music and the way that Hip Hop is so easy to adapt to its surroundings. I was drawn from listening to Busta Rhymes, Elzhi, Tech Nine, Slick Rick, Nappy Roots, and just a lot of different artists.

MJ: As you have matured as an artist how has your music also progressed?

Tae Zu: Being able to just go with the flow and sticking to being me is mostly the key for my progression, plus I’m very picky about my work. Sometimes a little too much but I also try not to do the same things I did on every project before. Also by mastering things I already know and new things I come across that help me in my career.

MJ: You continue to share stages and mics with some of Hip Hop’s greatest such as King Magnetic, Calico Agents, and Satire. Talk about one of your first experiences early on in your career performing alongside a major artist.  What were some thoughts and emotions that were taking over?

Tae Zu: Its dope to me, I get excited every time. I never really get scared, but nervous in a good way. So in some sense I’ve had some of my best performances early on. As an artist regardless who I’m performing with its my way of showing respect for being on the same stage by giving it my all.

MJ: Based on your music catalog it is fair to say that besides being an extremely talented artist, you are also unique, creative, and versatile. For those that might not be too familiar with Tae Zu, talk a little bit about your music and what it offers to fans and listeners across the world

Tae Zu: I try to be as unique as much as possible. You’ll always find me throwing in some knowledge, wisdom, bars, mixed with groove, bounce, and personal experiences.

MJ: I’m very curios of a couple of things with every interview.  Such as, who is in your personal playlist?  What is the history behind your artist name?  What are some places on your tour list?

Tae Zu: As fore my playlist I have quite a few people I listen to like Thelonious Monk, Tech N9ne, Ces Cru, Theroy of a Dead Man, Erica Badu and that’s just to name a few. As for my name it wasn’t always Tae Zu, I did have other names early on in my career. But Zae Tu is an example of my progressions as a person.  The main reason being it’s the letters in the name that are assigned a word each and all anyone has to do is go through my music and you’ll find the meaning. I made it a little hard for everyone with this acronym.

MJ: There is plenty of hype out right now for your forthcoming album “GR” (Ghod Rade). Without giving too much away, give us some inside scoop on the solo project, from creation to production to message.

Tae Zu: this project I’m pushing myself to do some things and try out newer styles, beats, and having some home town producers and beat makers on it as well. When a person listens to the album they’ll get a wide range of emotion with variations of different types of music not just Hip Hop, but at the same time we’ll have a Hip Hop playing field.

MJ: Other than a music catalog under your belt, a dedicated fan base, a grounded foot, tell me what Tae Zu contributes to Hip Hop.

Tae Zu: The best thing I can say is stay true to myself and heart, but also to go outside the box without a second thought.

MJ: As we wrap up is there anything else you want the world to know about Tae Zu.

Tae Zu: Be ready for the “GR” album and be on the lookout for a surprise on the album. I’ll be starting some acting in the future and might be getting in comics to, it’s just the beginning!

MJ: Thank you for taking time out for Hip Hop Forum, we wish you much continued success!

Next Level Radio Station Dallas TX

Here is my latest, Pipe Bomb Music Review...Here is the 1st of 4(5 song) installments from Tae Zu, Desert Ghod, entitled, "Up Late"...
This project is very different from previous works from Tae Zu. This project has a very experimental but simple approach to it... From the different sounds and blends in the beats to Tae Zu doing some singing. Crazy thing is it works for me... I like the fact that he isn't afraid to try something different...
This installment kind of reminds me of Andre 3000 and his half of the SpeakerBoxx/Love Below, OutKast project...
Sometimes you have to challenge yourself with your music and just let the music take over. I believe Tae Zu, has accomplished that for himself...
If You Know, has a Neo Soul vibe and may be the most experimental of the whole project.
Like I Do, is a solid song where Tae Zu begins to bring both elements, singing and rapping together.
The next 3 songs...
O Shit
King of the Sun
Closed Curtain are extremely strong...
O Shit, is the heater on this project for me... Tae Zu, begins to hit his zone lyrically and really hits the apex with Closed Curtain, where Tae Zu's delivery and lyrics fit so well together..
This project is extremely strong for (5) songs. Very creative with regard to how it is put together. Beats are simple but unique enough to the point that you think he's discovered something new but it really isn't. Tae Zu establishes a very nice balance between beats and rhymes.
Tae Zu Desert Ghod, Up Late recieves a 4 1/2 out of a possible 5 on THE PIPE BOMB MUSIC REVIEW SCALE.
Be sure to check out and purchase this 1st installment, Up Late on the Tae Zu website, desertghodtaezu.com

EP Culture Beat

Arrogant Marketing Blog

Asking For Nothing

“Have you gotten so lazy that you’ve forgotten that every god’s life is a journey”


The Southwest is unfamiliar territory for most people in the United States. There is this feel like you are on the precipice of something, a luminal space of modernity and antiquity. The sun beats down on the people and as water is scarce and hides from the surface, the workers work without hesitation. A border separates one world from another but cultures flow in and out of this region with constant exchange. Artists here know the value of a true creative spirit and moreso than anything they have fought for their spotlight.

Up Late


Up Late

Tae Zu is an artist with an ambitious project, a four part series that is titled “Asking For Nothing”. The first part of the series is named “Up Late”, and we were honored to have an early listen. The album is reviewed below.

The album starts out with a track titled “If You Know” with what some might say an unorthodox stule considering contrmporary hip hop, the first track has a smooth vibe and funky southern sound that isn’t typical of this region. The lyrics and bass lines are solid and it makes for a good introduction.  

The second track gets a little more grimy, with east coast influential undertones, this departs from the southern sound from the first track but is marked by the indicator of a Southwest project, bilingual lyrics. The short Spanish lyrical addition connects well and identifies the artist as a native to the region. This second track titled “Like I do” highlights a lot of wordplay and experimentation with sound and tonal inflection. The background synth/strings are a highlight to the lyrical aggression, both hit with a quality syncopation, it’s funky but definitely a vibe.

The third track pushes the project into a reminiscent vibe of early 2000’s underground. One could view this is a solid and intentional craft decision or could possibly be viewed as one dimensional, that’s a subjective consideration left up to the listeners. If it’s a return of golden era qualities that one seeks this project delivers, if one would want a pop influenced project look elsewhere, this artist is not compromising and is genuinely himself. 

With the fourth track there are times the Midwest hints at influencing this project as well, but the east and south are most prominent here. The Southwest doesn’t seem to have an easy to identify trademark quality that spans the regional variance quite yet. However, this sound is a quality that is not easy to find. 

The last part of the project gives way to the forgotten art of the diss track. There is definitely a solid jab at someone in the same scene as Tae Zu going on here and it begs the question as to who it is, the diss rings a little less effective without a name but is an interesting item to consider.

Tae Zu has evolved since his earliest projects and it was a welcome and refreshing sound to hear.

Overall rating

3.75 out of 5