TMC Presents

Any fan of rap music in the Phoenix metropolitan area between 1994-2007 knew the "TMC Presents" brand when they saw it. Tyree Michael Carter,or "Ty" to those closer to him,was the one who finally put Phoenix on the Hip-Hop tour circuit, establishing himself as a national level player in the process. I moved to Phoenix from Milwaukee in 1998 and met Ty immediately. Laid-back and soft spoken, he told me he was looking for a dj for a new rap group he was managing called Know Qwestion. I agreed to join his group and would later go on to become a regular dj and host for many TMC concerts,after-parties,and in-store artist appearances. I got a chance to reminisce with Ty about the "old days" and pick his brain about a classic time in hip-hop music.  

Darrell-How did you get started?

Ty-I got started in 90-91 doing backyard keg house parties. I soon got a reputation for throwing huge illegal warehouse parties with the Phunk Junkeez. It was a crazy time because those parties always got raided. I would have to unplug the generators and get out of there because they could always trace the generators back to me. The Phunk Junkeez would still be playing "dry" instruments while yelling "F*#@ THE POLICE" while 30 cops are walking across the field with flashlights. Insane! The Junkeez and i worked a LOT of shows throughout my career.
     I then worked for Brad Loftland of Loftland Entertainment just long enough to learn the basics of the trade before i started TMC Presents in 1994. 

What was your first show?

My first official show was called Skate Phest with the Pharcyde and the Phunk Junkeez. That was january 1st 1994. That was the show that put me on the map. I worked with the Pharcyde more than any other group or artist in my 17 year career. Years later, The Plain Rap tour was the first show they did without Slimkid and Fatlip. That show was sold-out because the fans knew how timeless their music was. 

Back in 1998 you did a show with Big Pun and Xzibit. What do you remember about that show?

I did a small tour with those guys. In fact,that was the first show i did in Albuquerque,New Mexico. I chilled with Pun for 3 days. It was great but sad at the same time. To see all of that weight he gained. I remember sitting next to him on the tour bus. I was paying him and watching how heavy his breathing was. He even needed help getting dressed. It was sad.
 Xzibit on the other hand was actually from Albuquerque and this was his first homecoming show. His entire family was backstage, his parents,cousins,everybody. It was a sold-out show at the Sunshine Theatre.

What are some other artists you've worked with?

Gang Starr, Outkast, Atmosphere, Living Legends, Black Eyed Peas before Fergie, Erykah Badu, Cash Money Millionairs, Fugees, Immortal Technique, Nas, Common Sense, the Roots, Rakim, Sugarhill Gang, Prince Paul, Beatnuts, Camp Lo, Run-DMC, X-Ecutioners, Alkaholiks, Biggie, Ice Cube, Dj Swamp, De La Soul, Hieroglyphics,  too many to name.

What was it like working with the entire Hiero crew?

Actually, I worked with them as much as i worked with the Pharcyde. They alwyas brought in good numbers. Hiero is like family.

Tell me about the show with Nas.

Another sold-out show. That's the night Know Qwestion got jumped on stage. A riot broke out. I had to pay Nas in full before he would even get out of the van because of all the kaos.

What about the Biggie show?

I brought Biggie to Club Rio in 1996. That was the only time he has ever been on Phoenix soil. He died a year later. After his performance, he went out into the crowd with no bodyguard, and shook every fans hand until the building was empty. He was a nice guy.


Back in 1997, before i moved to Phoenix, you did a show with the Wu-Tang Clan and the Alkaholiks. Tell me about that show.

Yeah, that was single-handedly the craziest night of my career. It was the biggest show i've ever done,the most money i've ever made on a show, it was the best and worst night at the same time. the Wu called me at 8am that morning from San Diego to ask how long it would take to fly to Phoenix and how long it would take to drive here. I didn't hear from them again until 10 minutes before showtime. The crowd was restless because it had been 2 hours since the Liks finished their performance. I was just about to write a cancellation speech to 7500 people. I was standing outside in the back when i looked over and saw like 8 SUV's pulling up. The doors opened, huge puffs of smoke came pouring out, then out comes the Clan! I was almost forced to cancel the show.

Working with the WU was always crazy. I remember doing a Raekwon show and it was showtime but Rae was still at the hotel. The club is going crazy at this point. I called Derek,my runner, and told him to bang on Raekwon's hotel door and tell him to get his *#@! to the venue! Derek knocks on the door and Rae opens it wearing just some boxers with a blunt in his mouth and his hair half braided with some chic in the back waiting to braid the other half. "we need you on stage right now", Derek tells him. Rae replies,"i'll get there when i get there", then shuts the door.  Fans love them but they were always drama.

So what happened to TMC?

There's not a lot of good rap music or quality acts like there use to be. I'm not going to invest money on these one-hit wonders of today. I gracefully bowed out in 2007 and i haven't seen that void filled since.


  1. Super DOPE!!! I still haven't got my cash back for the Organized Konfusion/Artifacts show!!!! When are they gonna tour again together?????? All jokes aside......TMC is CRUCIAL!!! When you speak about local hip hop, TMC is very important during the "golden age" of hip hop locally!!!! Don't forget, Rhyming Wierdos..Bug a Boo , Puma, TBK - Z trip , and countless others who opened up the shows!!!! I can't thank that guy TY enough for the memories, and the chance to Dj a couple of shows(Edan was my fav!!) I was at the first show, and if he does it again..I'll be there!!.... Thx for the memories Ty and Daryl !! ONLY IN AZ!! Peace!

  2. Thanks homie. I appreciate the love.

  3. Seeing these old flyers brings back so many GREAT memories.....from watching you work "Behind the Scenes" putting the show the night of the show and working with the artists!

    The Wu-Tang show was CRAZY because I remember that after all that drama you went thru they showed up without Method Man.
    I remember the show at Club Rio with Biggie and Naughty by Nature too it was DOPE and the artists were so down to earth and cool.
    One of my best memories was chill'n with you all day when you had Westside Connection playing. We drove Cube, Mac-10 and Dub C around in a big van you rented and we took them to some clothing stores and the stores hooked them up with free gear.

    Lastly....the thing I would like to express most (from MY memory) is that no matter how BIG TMC got, no matter how much money you made or how many celebrities you met, worked with or became friends with .... Ty ALWAYS stayed true to his friends and to those that made it to that inner circle he always looked out for us!

  4. Ty, you were always a trend center and I always appreciated the love you gave me and my son (DJ Yeah) when you brought out the X-ecutioners and had him open for them. I was always wondering what happen to you and I'm glad Darryl did this. I hope all is well with you Fam! - Akshen

  5. I remember going to the skate fest when I was in high school!! Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde was my favorite album and it was my first time seeing them live! Plus I remember Russel Ramirez had a booth there and I bought some vinyl from him because I wanted to become a DJ at the time. Shot out to Tyree Carter for bringing so much dope Hip Hop to Az back in the 90s! Thank you my man! Also big ups to Darrell D for the super fresh blog!

  6. Whoa, some old names in there.. crazy! "Black Eyed Peas before Fergie" Dude.. Atban Klann (Grass Roots) was fucking amazing back in the day, I remember seeing flyers at Sidewalk Surfer back then. Good memories.

  7. I was at that outkast show at electric ballroom!

  8. Ahh man that just took me down so many roads of memory..glad to be there during all of it my mang..TMC!

  9. Nice ty gave us real shows never ever got disappointed by a T.M.C. event always money well spent as well as working with ty as well you gave us 17 yrs of great shows wish you would start again az needs ya.

  10. I miss Swell, the TMC concerts, and the entire movement from the 90s! Thanks Russel Ramirez Tyree Carter & everyone else who made things so dope out here for all of us back then. Nothing has come even close to what we all had back then ever since!

  11. Ty was that guy...

  12. It was slot fun times. I felt it was our a great time in Hip Hop and TMC (Ty , peabody and Darrel d) filled that void. Happy that TMC was an outlet for my artist that I was promoting also. Came in handy... Lol. Much love to y'all. Marc Daze young

  13. "TMC Presents" all day!!!!!

  14. This is a seriously dope blog! Brought back some amazing memories. Thanks for posting! .....Robot

  15. Great article Darrell, TMC deserves his props. What a time it was to be doing our thing...the golden era is well named

  16. Talk about a ride down memory lane! Beautiful

    1. IKR...days of our lives! Those were the days and nights! Mad Love for all of our friends we made the best memories with. Love our times together and never forget them!

    2. IKR...days of our lives! Those were the days and nights! Mad Love for all of our friends we made the best memories with. Love our times together and never forget them!

  17. ‎Steven Wayne ParksFebruary 20, 2016 at 2:13 AM

    It's so strange being back and ain't NO hip hop on the regular... I'd sure love to feel that again. Some Duck down, The Roots, NAS, BIGGIE OMG and the countless numbers of others... that energy from those days.... Hell I'd give anything to have those experiences all over again....These new cats are garbage, and they'd have to pay me to go to any of that crap & the SP in me would burn them for that loot and not go, for trying to bribe me to go to that trash rap crap show... Young or LIl anybody....

  18. TMC definitely gave me some of my best memories!

    I met ALOT of hip hop artists because of your entrepreneurial spirit. I looked up to you, Tommy and Chuck Moore for starting and running your own businesses ..... watching you guys is what inspired me to have my own business.

  19. Tyree Michael CarterFebruary 20, 2016 at 2:16 AM

    These words mean a lot to me man. TMC definately gave a lot people great memories BUT it means so much more TO ME that all my true friends were right there front and center all the way thru it!! Love & respect!!

  20. You've always been a hustler Ty!
    Even back in your days when you worked at Dillards!
    Yup....I took it WAY back

  21. Ty, you'll never know how much you meant to my career & success. When i went home, I bought a club, which had another location with it... & I used everything I learned from you, and KQ.... Booking major acts, learning how to roll in the circles...etc. We'll see each other one day and chat bro... You were in a real sense, a role model, and an icon. Take it for what it's worth my friend. Throw back to the greatest era in AZ Hip Hop... salute you a true father of AZ hip Hop scene

  22. Tyree Michael CarterFebruary 20, 2016 at 2:22 AM

    Appreciate the love!!

  23. Set the Bar (all others including myself were only following his path) & filled many of my college nights with unforgettable memories. Thanks Ty

  24. Wow Ty, seeing that pic of you and Biggie gave me chills.

  25. Wow Ty, seeing that pic of you and Biggie gave me chills.