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Music

Revisiting Tom Hardy's secret '90s rap album

@TylerGolsen

What was your most embarrassing moment? Was it something that still burns in your memory, forever branded on you like it was laid there by a traumatic cattle prod? Did it happen when you were or kid, or were you old enough to realise just how humiliating the event was? Did it involve the awkward firsts that we all go through, or was it something you worked hard to perfect, only to watch it crumble before your eyes? There’s nothing worse than believing you were really good at something, only for the reality of life to tell you otherwise.

In completely unrelated news: Tom Hardy‘s rap career. Or maybe it should be Tom Hardy’s “rap” “career”. For those who haven’t browsed his Wikipedia page in a while, Hardy’s initial career beginnings involved a meteoric rise and an equally swift fall from grace. After winning a modelling contract in the late 1990s, Hardy turned to acting and landed roles in Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down on Steven Speilberg’s Band of Brothers miniseries.

But things took a turn following his appearance as one of the main villains in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis. The film received a negative reception, and Hardy would struggle to find quality roles after its failure. He struggled with addiction problems during this time, and it wouldn’t be until 2008’s Bronson that Hardy would be able to turn around his professional fortunes.

Perhaps Hardy should have looked to his other possible career path in the trying time – enter hip hop. In 1999, he created a mixtape with friend Edward Tracy composed on astoundingly ’90s production, quasi-hardcore lyrics, and an astounding lack of self-awareness.

The weirdest thing about the mixtape is that… it doesn’t actually sound all that bad. Maybe there are some shades of Arrested Development or some other cheesy ’90s hip hop group, but it’s nothing that’s worth hanging your head in shame. I just think it’s the cognitive dissonance between what you’re hearing and knowing that it’s Tom Hardy that makes it such a bizarre listen.

Is it good? Is it shit? Is it at all notable outside of the fact that Tom Hardy is rapping on it. You decide! Check out the mixtape down below.