Before he was an actor starring in blockbusters such as The Dark Knight Rises and Dunkirk, Tom Hardy was an aspiring rapper.
And now, fans can take a listen to his mixtape that was unearthed nearly 20 years since Hardy, known back then as Tommy No 1, co-created it with Edward Tracy, the BAFTA-winning writer and director of the popular Fonejacker and Facejacker television shows.
The 18-track compilation, titled Falling on Your Arse in 1999, was released by Tracy (a.k.a. Eddie Too Tall) on Bandcamp on Jan. 8 with the statement: “Made in a bedroom 1999 these mixtapes were never really finished. Lyrics written and performed by Tom Hardy. Music written and produced by Ed Tracy.”
In fact, Hardy collaborated with Grammy-winning producers as well back in the day.
“I started out rapping when I was 14 or 15. Because I come from a nice middle-class neighborhood, it was a very hard sell. And I wasn’t very good!” the star told BBC Newsbeat in September 2011.
“I used to be with the guy who managed Leela James and Lauren Hill, Pras, the Fugees and all that. I worked with Warren Riker and Gordon Williams,” Hardy said.
“I’ve recorded loads of stuff but it’s never been released. I’ve got albums, man,” he continued, adding, “It’ll come out in a film one day, it’ll come out in a character somewhere.”
As for why Tracy chose to release the mixtape after shelving it for so long, he told Complex on Thursday that it was actually Hardy who reminded him of the project.
“Last year, Tom asked me whether I still had the album kicking about in the loft. Lo and behold, here it is in all its rawness, just as it sounded then,” Tracy said. “He’ll be pleased with the reception it’s had today. We always said we’d do a Vegas tour as a joke. Maybe if this album generates enough love then we can coax Tom onstage.”
The music-making duo was even approached with a recording contract.
“I think we inspired each other to make stuff. Back then we were offered a record deal on the basis of this album, but Tom’s agent said, ‘No don’t do music, do acting.’ Terrible advice! Look where he is now?!” Tracy recalled.