Tray Chaney lives about four hours outside of Manhattan but it’s taken him about four years to hit this stage at SOB’s. The actor turned rapper is the featured act for tonight’s monthly “Faces In The Crowd” showcase, but he’s already seen his fair share of stagse since HBO’s hit series “The Wire” faded into television history. The actor once known as “Poot” has dropped over a dozen music videos with topics ranging from Fatherhood and bullying to HIV awareness. It’s a non-traditional road in an era of prescription drug laced anthems and passive aggressive social media stardom. But his dedication has taken him around the world and back, opening for his musical heroes like Bell Biv Devoe, Rakim and Big Daddy Kane.
However, the SOB’s crowd huddled up on this frigid January night probably knows none of this, so like any new artist Tray has to show and prove winning over the audience one song at a time. Once the beat drops nobody cares about Poot, they just want to know if he can move the crowd.
“They all say go out on the stage and own the stage. Have fun on the stage because you are a part of hip-hop music,” Tray says of the advice he’s received from his heroes. “Every last one of them has said that. And I’ve been told I’d never get that chance to open for them, but they see the hustler in me.”
Watch the full interview above and his performance below: