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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Katrina survivor now ‘hot’ DFW rapper

Katrina+survivor+now+%E2%80%98hot%E2%80%99+DFW+rapper

By Maria Asprilla/reporter 

Lamar Thomas began rapping at age 7 and has won many competitions. He is inspired by his son, he said. Carrie Duke/The Collegian
Lamar Thomas began rapping at age 7 and has won many competitions. He is inspired by his son, he said.
Carrie Duke/The Collegian

Eight years ago, Hurricane Katrina caused more than 1,800 deaths and destroyed more than 300,000 homes. Lives were changed forever, including that of a NE Campus student.

Lamar Thomas was 15 years old and alone when the most devastating storm to ever hit the U.S. arrived in New Orleans. Water rose and rose, forcing him onto the roof of his home where he would stay for three days. Never doubting that he would survive, Thomas stopped waiting for rescuers and rescued himself.

He swam from structure to structure until he found himself at the Superdome, which this week hosts the Super Bowl but at the time held about 30,000 stranded residents. Thomas was there almost two weeks until he joined others to wait for buses.

On the Interstate 10 bridge, he boarded a bus that would bring him to Texas. The Dallas-Fort Worth area was not his selection, Thomas said, but he had no choice. Though he does miss his hometown, he has no plans to return. A radio/television/broadcast major and rapper, Thomas lamented the condition of his former home.

“New Orleans is a trap,” he said. “It will always be corrupt.”

Still, the city has left a lasting impression on Thomas in many ways, and that includes his music. He began singing gospel at Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church but was drawn to rap by age 7. The first rap song he ever wrote was inspired by a girl. And he knew that he had skill after winning talent shows at local high schools.

Thomas, who began going by “AdoT” about four years ago, is now inspired by Tryston, his 6-year-old son, and the work of rappers such as Lupe Fiasco, Common and Talib Kweli. He honed his skills enough that he won 97.9 The Beat’s freestyle competition last year against more than 30 other rappers. He was also voted the Hottest Unsigned Artist of 2011 in DFW by 97.9.

NE RTVB instructor Adrian Neely has taught Thomas.

“There’s no class anyone can take to say this is how you become successful in music,” Neely said.

He said Thomas works hard to promote himself using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

“He’s a smart guy,” he said. “You don’t have to worry about teaching him how social media works. He’s real hip in that aspect.”

Thomas uses the video editing skills that he’s gained at TCC to post dozens of videos on YouTube. He also uses his RTVB lessons to enhance his website, theycallmeadot.com.

Constantly writing music, he has released several mix tapes and released his first full album Sept. 19. Mr. Right can be found on iTunes, Amazon, MySpace Music and many more sites. AdoT’s talent was on display at the Dallas Music Festival in 2012 and Austin’s SXSW in 2011. He continues to perform in clubs around Dallas and Fort Worth.

“What defines me as a artist has to be my work ethic,” he said.

As if juggling school, music and fatherhood is not enough, Thomas also works on campus for student activities and will represent TCC at the Black, Brown and College Bound conference this March. At 23, he does it all wholeheartedly.

“My only regret is not having started college earlier,” he said.

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