Get up close, personal with rapper Gaven Busby

Gaven Busby's album cover. Art work done by Ceno Pant.
Gaven Busby’s album cover. Art work done by Ceno Pant.

By Chisom Ukoha

staff writer



Coppell’s Gaven Busby, who goes by the rapper name Tommy Li, has been rapping since the seventh grade. Expecting the arrival of his mixtape in December, Busby transferred from Coppell High School to Victory Place @ Coppell and enrolled in Turning Point in order to focus on his budding career.


Q: Why are you attending Victory Place?

A: I wanted to get a head start. I am trying to go to The Art Institute of Houston, and I am actually really close to finishing school now. In a few weeks I am going to be done and I will be able to start my actual career. Turning Point is a great place because you move at your own speed. So if you’re really ambitious it goes really fast.


Q: Why did you start rapping?

A: I was just playing around with my friends, making beats on our chests and on the table. Eventually some of my friends enjoyed what they were hearing so I assumed other people might like it too, so I kept going and improving.


Q: How is your rapping going so far?

A: It’s actually been great. It started off slow. Freshman year was a great year, but people were starting to move away from me since I wasn’t putting out my best work . I started putting more time in the studio and working harder and now my popularity is starting to grow.


Q: Who is your rapping role model?

A: When I rap I like to put a lot of different sounds together. Dom Kennedy, Currency and Big Rick.


Q: How long does it take you to come up with a song?

A: Lots of it is actually pretty easy because I am a creative type guy. It takes me about an hour to make the rap, but I will edit it for at least two weeks. The stuff I rap about is rant stuff that I live, but I paint it. That’s why I’m an artist.


Q: Do you have a group of people you are working with?

A: I am actually looking for a group. Coppell isn’t exactly the music database. We don’t have too many kids that want to pursue music, or rap for that matter.


Q: When do you expect to release your first full album?

A: I do mixtapes because albums have to be funded and I don’t have money to do that yet, but my mixtape is basically my album. And I am expecting that to come out this December, Jan. 1 the latest.


Q: When did you decide to take rapping seriously?

A: When I broke my ankle as a freshman, it kinda made it harder to play basketball so I decided to pursue rapping. Throughout rapping I have created a persona. When I am rapping I am not Gaven anymore, in my head I am Tommy Li.


Q: How did you come up with the rapper name Tommy Li?

A:  I am really into fashion and I used to wear Tommy Hilfiger a lot, so that is how I got Tommy. And the Li part was because people were telling my that my music was different and I noticed it also. I was thinking about how tactical I wanted to be, and then I saw The Karate Kid which brought in the Li.