Tin$ley Talk


YungLife tings! Cora Clutch on the Henny. Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Jordan Rodrigues

Sound changes as an artist grows into his own style.

This week I got to sit and talk with Reed “Tinsley” Holderman.

“Tinsley” is one of the front-runners for putting out consistent quality music in Chico. He puts on for his city in most of his music, using creative word play that will make you think “OHHHHH” a few seconds after the bar runs through your brain.
His latest album, “Half Past Five,” features other Chico artists and producers. Currently, Tinsley is working on dropping his next album, “The Gallery.” I expect to hear a variety of different sounds and new flows coming from the artist because the growth in each drop is apparent.

How did you get your artist name?
“Tinsley” is my middle name. When I first started rapping, I went by “TinMan,” then when I was 16 my older homie asked where I got “TinMan” from. I told him from my middle name, which he thought sounded dope and a lot more original. So I’ve kept it since then.

Favorite artist besides yourself?
“Mac Dre,” his style was like no other, music and fashion wise. He had this whole aura about him that nobody will ever be able to duplicate.

‘Tupac’ or ‘Biggie?’ Why?
“Biggie,” all day. I just f— with “Biggie,” he was all about having a good time and flexin’. I still like “Pac’s” s—. He was on some meaningful vibes and story telling, which is very dope and I enjoy but if I have to choose from listening to something that makes me want to party or something that makes me want to dissect the lyrics, I’m going to go with having a good time, every time. “Biggie’s” wordplay was way better too, and that’s what I enjoy when listening to an artist, metaphors and punchlines.

Are you strictly a rapper, or can you see yourself doing a collaboration with different genres of music?

I hate telling people I’m a rapper, because I’m not. I’m an artist that knows how to rap. I like all types of music, so my interests in different genres are very high. I like to experiment doing different things, except singing, I can’t hit a note if it was right in front of me and I had a bazooka. But I like to experiment with different kinds of beats, if I feel like I can do something to it, then I do.

Why do you rap?
I rap because it’s in me, I can sit there and come up with lines or hooks when I’m doing something that doesn’t even relate to music. I have dreams where I rap, then I’ll wake up and write them down and they don’t just rhyme, they make sense and are dope. I couldn’t imagine life without music, that sh*t is a part of my everyday life and I can honestly say it saved me many times.

How do you feel about the mainstream sound right now?
I’m not a huge fan of the mainstream artists right now, but I’m a fan that the new age is doing them, that’s all that matters. Stay true to yourself and do what you think is dope. They don’t care what the old heads think, and you have to respect that. But I like the beats, the hard hitter, 808’s, that grimy but party sound is what I love. So the beats right now are killing it, just wish it was different rappers on them.

YungLife is the label/ lifestyle that Tinsley created in high school. Still rockin with it to this day! YL Photo credit: Jordan Rodrigues

Where do you see yourself musically/ as a creative, five years from now?

Five years from now? I have no idea with music. I’m currently going to school to become a teacher for kids that get expelled and try to help them earn their way back into the school district. So that’s my main focus for now, but I will forever work on music as a hobby and my passion. So wherever my music is in five years is where it’s at and I’m more than fine with that. I do my music for me, it just so happens that people f— with it.

Describe your music in 3 words.
Better. Every. Listen.

If you could collaborate with anyone famous, up and coming, or underground who would it be?
Business aspect, I have to say Drake, I’m a fan of him already but whatever he touches hits charts and creates a buzz. But just for personal, it would have to be E-40. He’s a legend, and his metaphors and wordplay is ridiculous, he always drops game and has stayed relevant for decades.


“I’m just a big white boy trying to live life to the fullest and have a great time while dropping knowledge. So if you can relate to that, give my music a listen.”

Jordan Rodrigues can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_arts on Twitter.