Terrence Boyce received his Lifetime Achievement Award from Mayor A C Wharton last Saturday at House of Mtenzi
Last Saturday, local gospel rapper Terrence “T.B.” Boyce received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Mayor A C Wharton. The award was issued by the White House in honor of Boyce’s volunteer work and his continued effort to bring a positive message to today’s youth. You might recognize Boyce as the man behind the song “Tony Allen,” a track that got airplay during last year’s Grizzlies playoff run. The gospel rapper also won Gospel Artist of the Year at the 2015 Memphis Hip-Hop Awards. I caught up with Boyce last week to find out more about this local gospel rapper on the rise.
How did you get your start as a gospel rapper?
When I was going to Craigmont, I was always passing out gospel CDs because I had already started rapping a little bit. Around 2010, I went into the military because I wanted to fight for my country, but I hurt my shoulder doing push-ups. Afterwards I had an encounter with Jesus, and he told me to go save the youth, so that’s what I did.
Who were some of the people that gave you your first opportunities to perform in public?
A lot of churches around the city would let me come and play. Also people like Mr. Del and Myron Thomas would have me perform places.
Do you mostly perform in churches around the city?
I’ve played at block parties, schools, churches, and places like the New Daisy. I’m playing live every weekend or every other weekend.
How big is the gospel rap scene in Memphis?
It’s growing pretty big. Pretty much every church wants a gospel rapper now. When I first started rapping, churches didn’t want to incorporate the rap; they were more about the singing. But every church wants a gospel rapper now.
Tell me more about the Lifetime Achievement Award you recently won.
I was going around touring from city to city and promoting my music. I met this guy at a Wal-Mart and asked him if we wanted to buy my CD. He did, and he told me to give him my information because he had friends at the White House. I didn’t believe him at first, but I gave him my email and then just brushed it off. He started emailing me and asked me for my bio and that’s when all this presidential stuff started happening. It was a Wal-Mart in Jackson, Tennessee, and the whole thing was just strange. But when the Presidential Volunteer Service started contacting me, I knew it was legit.
What kind of doors will this award open for you?
A lot more churches and schools want me to come and speak to their youth now, and I think it will bring about more chances to go on tour and play new places.
Check out Boyce in action in the video below.