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Tom Hardy's Rap Mixtape from 1999 Is Actually Kind of Fire

Before he was in 'Dunkirk,' he was Tommy No 1... and a resurfaced, unfinished demo tape shows that he was pretty good at rapping.

Phil Witmer

Phil Witmer

Cover artwork for Falling on Your Arse in 1999, Tom Hardy on the left.

Tom Hardy is one the few prominent white men who seems to be impermeable. He literally saved puppies the other day, what more can you ask? His past is uncheckered, as well, as the only possibly offensive thing he did was getting signed as a rapper in the 90s. In a BBC interview from 2011, Hardy says that he "wasn't very good" at rapping but that he recorded "loads" of material. Those songs have never been heard... *Behind the Music voice* until now.

A tape credited to "Tommy No 1 and Eddie Too Tall" surfaced on Bandcamp earlier in January. A Reddit account that appears to belong to British writer and director Edward Tracy (the eponymous Eddie Too Tall) posted it to the r/hiphopheads subreddit on January 18. The tape, entitled Falling on Your Arse in 1999, is made up of unreleased, lo-fi hip-hop tracks that Tracy produced with Hardy rapping on top. Folks, I both hate and love to be the bringer of this news, but the Tom Hardy rap tape is... very good. Listen below via an uploaded YouTube video:

The beats are pure late 90s backpacker gold, vinyl-dusted samples of jazz and movie soundtracks (including The Godfather, natch) mixed with scratched-in dialogue. As for "Tommy No 1," he's not only impressive in his flow, but that famously mealy-mouthed Bane/Mad Max timbre makes for a great rap voice, even when he's putting on theatrical Cockney accents. Who knows what would have happened if Hardy had decided to keep going as an MC, but this collection presents a fascinating alternate reality and no, I'm not talking about Inception. Listen and possibly vibe the fuck out to Falling on Your Arse in 1999 above.

Phil is on Twitter.