Tommy Cash

TOMM¥ €A$H (usually known in print as Tommy Cash; real name Tomas Tammemets) is a rapper from Estonia—or rather, as his official Facebook describes him, a “real professional rap superstar” singing “post-Soviet rap.” Though he has an Estonian and Russian background and speaks both languages, he raps mostly in English, but this hasn’t stopped him from becoming one of Estonia’s most popular contemporary musicians.

Cash was born in 1991 in Estonia and grew up in a Russian neighborhood in Tallinn. He went to art school and has a background in dance, and grew up listening to Eminem, who was one of his inspirations. He first began performing publicly in 2012. His first clip, “Guez Whoz Back,” appeared in 2013 and quickly became a huge hit in Estonia. His first album, EUROZ DOLLAZ YENIZ, appeared in 2014 and is widely available, including on iTunes. He’s toured all over Europe and the former Soviet states, and has a sort of weird cult following in Estonia and surrounding regions. He’s also collaborated with other artists, including the Russian group Little Big—he’s in their webseries American Russians.

According to a Vice article from a few years ago (which has a lot of stereotypical and judgmental things to say about Estonia, but at least gives interesting background on Cash), “If you come across Tommy online, the first thing you’ll probably think is: where on earth is this guy from. That astonishment will quickly turn into a nicotine-like addiction as you find yourself craving more and more from his otherworldly music, cinematic visuals and arresting style.”

The Moscow club 16 Tonns describes him as “the new hero of web punk, a living image of the fashionable Tumblr-blogs … His creativity is practically indescribable—he does what no one else does.”

 

One of Cash’s most famous songs, “Euroz Dollaz Yeniz”:

 

And just to prove that he speaks Estonian, an interview with Tipikas TV:

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.