Rapper Chris Tenney came up in the game the hard way:
He started out freestyling in bars for fun and drinks in and around his hometown of Pasadena.
But, barely a year later, he started opening for acts all around Houston, earning the nickname “Big Yogi,” not only for his easy-going style, but for the fact he once weighed almost 400 pounds.
Before he got in the rap game, Tenney was in a serious drunk driving accident, after which he needed to be transported by Life Flight to a local hospital with major injuries, including a tear in his stomach lining eventually becoming a rare type of hernia.
Due to a number of factors, including a lack of insurance for the surgery needed to repair his stomach, Tenney’s weight ballooned.
“I was really overweight,” he told a local newspaper. “Trying to perform onstage under the hot lights; I used to lose my breath.”
At his heaviest, his doctor advised him to get gastric sleeve surgery. He eventually paid for the procedure with the help of friends and family, as well as taking on extra work as a tattoo artist.
After the procedure, he tipped the scales at around 170 pounds, and he credits the weight loss with giving him more energy and a “boost in confidence,” both on stage and off.
Aside from his weight, another noteworthy aspect of Tenney’s story is his age; at 38, he is the prime example of a “late bloomer” on the Houston rap scene.
However, his intensity and creativity establish his name – and healthier image – in the game in such a short time.
“I just picked a pen up and put my emotions and parts of my history down and what I’ve been through in life,” he continued in his interview. “I’m truly blessed to have the respect and support I’ve been getting, man, it’s just been coming out of nowhere.”