Heavily influenced by the revolutionary tone of the 1960’s activists and music, Tree of Lyfe aka T.R.E.E., quickly gravitated to music and the arts. Tree was raised outside of Metro Detroit in the relatively small city of Inkster. It was here he became motivated to change his surroundings after being exposed to social and racial injustice in the struggling neighborhood.
"Ink town" primarily occupied by “African-Americans” where civil rights and political activist Malcolm X once lived, was an inspiration to Tree. At 16, he was accepted into Washtenaw Community College to study graphic design illustration. Eager to explore other areas of art and design, he found a new love in the world of fashion. In that same year, he started his first business, “Definition Clothing” with a childhood friend. This business gave him the confidence to make a move to Los Angeles at 19 to attend F.I.D.M.
Tree arrived in Los Angeles and attended the Fashion Institute of Design and merchandising for a degree in Apparel Manufacturing. It was only his second week on the west coast when he was invited to a party and after freestyling with members of Three-Six Mafia. They insisted he think about taking music more seriously. This sparked greater interest in the music world. From there, he would go on to meet many people involved in the industry while living in Oakwood Apartments.
After graduating FIDM, life intensified quickly. He and his partner gave up on Definition and he eventually found himself homeless, living in his Ford Escort Downtown LA. Keeping his resolve to not give up, he stayed, and eventually landed a job at Walt Disney Studios. Life appeared to finally take a positive turn. After receiving news of an apartment approval after 7 months, he called his mother to share the good news. Not 30 seconds after hanging up, a semi-truck in front of him slammed on the breaks abruptly. Bad breaks prevented a complete stop and he slammed into the back of the truck. Although the semi had minimal damage, his car/temporary home was totaled. He called a friend who came and helped diffuse the situation and then invited him to stay in his pool-house recording studio until his apartment was ready.
Living in a studio put him around many musicians where he recognized musical talent wasn't something to take for granted. It was there he began to understand the power of music, words, and how much they influenced him. Tree finally began recording full songs, writing songs in 16 bar format with hooks, which was a welcoming challenge as he was accustomed to just freestyling. The idea of a music career seemed very attainable and exciting at this point.
Being driven by the creative minds around him, he wrote, recorded, and released 2 mixtape projects on his own, titled “The Progression” and “The Progression II”. With the creative vibes flowing, his interest in art and fashion was resurrected, and “Brilliance Stays Driven” was born. Brilliance was meant to serve as a collective for creatives, revolutionary thought and awareness, and ultimately became his lifestyle. Following the knowledge of giants such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, and Huey P. Newton, he knew that mis-education was the result of mental and spiritual slavery.
The year 2014 brought about a change of heart toward the Rap world. With changes within the culture and its direction, he felt his love for hip-hop and entertainment begin to fade. Reminiscent of the early Rock and Roll phenomenon popularized by Chuck Berry, Hip-Hop went Pop and became a tool for the establishment it once rebelled against.
It was time to shift the focus from trying to pull together a team. It became time to stop looking for a way out and become the way out. It was time to introduce a new thought process with a new genre for the world, "Soul-Hop for the Hip Soul". It was then that Tree found his place.
On 8-11-2016 Tree released his first mixtape "The Growth" which is available for download here: https://treeoflyfe.bandcamp.com/album/the-growth He is also currently working on a Soul-Hop for the Hip-Soul EP entitled "The Other Side of Paradise".