Artist Spotlight: TINO

Hip hop in 2019 has a unique style - while many artists have capitalized on what has become popular in the genre recently, there are always traces of our favorites from the past 20 to 30 years. If you’re a fan of lyricists and storytelling, look no further than Dayton’s own TINO. After listening to a few tracks, it’s easy to pick up on heavy influence from legends like Nas and J. Cole, with a sound similar to Dreamville Records artist, Bas. He also credits early Kanye West and Eminem, as well as Lupe Fiasco, Wale, Blueprint, Mac Miller, and The Roots’ Black Thought, as primary influences in the hip hop genre.

TINO has been honing his craft for the last ten years and has developed a strong following in the Dayton area. Originally from Cleveland, TINO came to Wright State in 2004 and has considered himself a Daytonian ever since.

“I was an outsider and they welcomed me in with open arms. They taught me a craft, and championed me for my love of it. I’m from Cleveland and I can never change that, but my heart is Dayton’s alone.”

You can hear the love for not only Dayton but the whole state of Ohio, on The O.H.I.O.A.N.:

I’m proud of my state, so I rep it like a statue

And if I wasn’t so dark, I’d probably get a tattoo

Of it over my heart, cause that’s where they say home is

TINO uses a number of techniques in his verses, including rapid wordplay that highlights his writing skills, as well as repetition of certain lines to demonstrate the substance of his words. He also works with a number of producers, showing us his versatility and willingness to work with peers who are also dedicated to making a name in the hip hop scene.

On No Zzzz, TINO affirms his dedication to his music career and his goal to make it to the top:

Being well rested ain’t all that it seems

I’d rather lose sleep than sight of my dreams…

Can’t find time to rest when you’re tryna be the best

In the city, in the state, in the whole Midwest

His most recent album, From Ohio With Love, released in August 2018, was a project years in the making. After experiencing a great deal of personal struggle, TINO took his time releasing it to rediscover his love for music, realizing how much it meant in his life. “From Ohio With Love was really a labor of love…it is a demonstration of my rekindled love for music and a nod to the great acts from Ohio who came before that I’d one day like to be considered among.” The album is beautifully written and clearly displays TINO’s range and attention to detail as a musician.

TINO is also a proud member of the Dayton band, Sidekick Complex, a “hip hop band with a rock vibe thrown in.” Along with band members, Paige Beller and Chris Barnett, Sidekick Complex will be hosting SIDEKIXMAS, a charity event for Dayton Children’s at Blind Bob’s on December 13th.

For fans who want to see TINO’s next performance, he will be playing this Friday, October 11th, in Yellow Springs with Rich Jones and Isicle. Make sure to check out his website - - fans can stream his music on Apple Music, Spotify, and SoundCloud, and connect with him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.