“Everyday (Amor),” the standout track from Puff Daddy’s new mixtape/album, MMM, boasts an all-star lineup of Jadakiss, Styles P and Pusha T, a three-the-hard-way combination reunited for the first time since collaborating on the Clipse’s steel-drum-driven “I’m Not You” 13 years ago. You might have also noticed some Jamaican flavor on the track, courtesy of one Tish Hyman. (While Puffy himself ad-libs, “Bo! Bo! Bo!” à la KRS-ONE.)
Tish’s wailing chorus “True badman no cry/ Some’ll live and some’ll die. Real man kill and don’t say/Move in silence every day, every day,” anchors the record, giving life to the fictional storyline of Money Making Mitch, Puffy’s alter ego who turns struggle into triumph.
While we don’t know whether or not Tish is Jamaican or West Indian herself, we do know she is an old soul from The Bronx, NY. Now 32, she recalls the hardships of growing up as a gay, Black woman with Puerto Ricans and Dominican in a drug-infested neighborhood of the Bronx, obstacles that have fueled her fire as she raises awareness for the poor and downtrodden people living in the shadows. In a recent interview with Hot 97 FM’s Ebro, she recalled meeting with Stephen Marley, closing the gap on her connection to Lauryn Hill. Comparisons to L-Boogie are cliché—ask Estelle or Nicki Minaj, For Tish, they make the most sense not only because Tish covered “Killing Me Softly” (remember Lauryn Hill’s version was also a cover of Roberta Flack’s original by the same name), but Tish also has the strong vocal range of Lauryn. Let’s not forget Ms. Hill’s upbringing in rough-and-tumble Newark, New Jersey wasn’t a bed of roses either.
While Tish echoes The Notorious B.I.G.’s sentiment that Bad Boys move in silence on “Everyday (Amor)” she has made her presence felt with some loosies on Soundcloud, recording with Fabolous on “You Made Me,” building towards her 2016 debut album titled, Dedicated To, while also working with Ty $ign, and writing for Alicia Keys’ next album. Tish is coming for the crown in 2016; take it from your highness.