Growing up in the mid 90s and gravitating heavily to the hip-hop music scene that came with that era, it was only natural that Tony Collinger, better known by his stage name Envelope, would give rapping a try. From the steps of Whetstone High School, he started getting involved in impromptu rapping sessions with friends, eventually taking the stage during the legendary hip-hop nights in the basement of Bernie’s. The more he grabbed the mic, the more positive feedback he got back from friends.
“When you go to Columbus public schools, everybody knows who everybody is that raps,” Collinger says. “It’s like its own little support network, and it’s really kind of where it all started.”
At one of the latest installments of Comfest, Envelope’s set was cut short due to another act going over, and the large crowd almost broke into a riot. This is evidence of his growing popularity in the wake of his latest album, Sharkbolt, and his reputation for an ability to appeal to any crowd. Envelope could just as easily be found playing with indie-rockers Times New Viking, as he could with Blueprint.
“Columbus is a big enough city that we can have all these different bands playing so many different kinds of music,” Collinger says. “But it’s not a big enough scene that we don’t end up making out with the same girls—we’re going to meet each other unless we’re completely introverted.”
Columbus largely influences Collinger’s music. And, similarly to most artists, his music is somewhat autobiographical. He grew up listening to Goodie Mobb rap about their time in the projects and feels it’s only right to rap about the reality of his life.
“I think there are still a lot of good stories in Columbus,” Collinger says. “I think as a city it gets undervalued and psyches itself out, but there’s a lot more there.”
For more go to www.myspace.com/enveloperaps