Rene Francisco Sotomayor, better known by the stage name T-Bone, is a conscious/inspirational Christian rapper. His father is Nicaraguan and his mother is Salvadoran. His name came from being called 'Bones' as a youngster because he was very skinny. The 'T' was "added to give the name a little slang edge."
According to published interview, he started rapping at the age of seven at parties and in rap battles. He was close to getting a gangsta rap record but, after changing his life, he opened for a noted rock group at that time which led him to getting signed to his first inspirational record deal that very night.
His first three albums: Redeemed Hoodlum in 1991, Tha Life of a Hoodlum in 1993 and Tha Hoodlum's Testimony in 1995 were released on the independent Metro One record label. All three albums were characterized by being gangsta rap albums, which was rare in the inspirational music scene at the time.
In 1997, he released History of a Hoodlum, a three-disc compilation set of the hits from his first three albums released on the Diamante record label.
After a brief hiatus, T-Bone released his fourth album, and first on the Flicker Records music label, Tha Last Street Preacha, in 2000, to critical acclaim. Tha Last Street Preacha was nominated for the Rock Gospel Album Grammy Award. and saw T-Bone break into the Christian Contemporary Music market. It was the first rap album to debut at No. 7 on the Christian Contemporary Music charts.
2002 saw an increased exposure of T-Bone to both Christian and mainstream markets with the release of his fifth album, titled Gospelalphamegafunkyboogiediscomusic. The album was characterised by the guest appearance of hip-hop legend KRS-One on the title track - returning the favour of the controversial guest spot T-Bone had made on KRS-One's Spiritual Minded album earlier in the year.
2005 saw the release of his most controversial, and successful, album to date: Bone-A-Fide. Bone-A-Fide's album cover controversially featured T-Bone in an image evoking Che Guevara, leading to concerns that he was promoting communist ideologies—charges he denied. Adding to the controversy were collaborations with two major secular rappers: Mack 10 and Chino XL.
Bone-A-Fide was his first album not to be produced by long-time collaborator Chase Dante and, perhaps deliberately, saw T-Bone move away from the previous West Coast sound of his earlier albums to a smoother, more East Coast sound. Also, in 2005, he was featured as Jairus in the rock opera !Hero, along with Michael Tait of Tait and dc Talk, Rebecca St. James, and Mark Stuart of Audio Adrenaline.
Bone-Appetit!, a greatest hits album titled, was released on September 25, 2007.
T-Bone stars in the film "The Rally" co-starring Kenneth Copeland. It was out in late 2009-2010.
T-Bone's first major film role was in 2003, playing the role of Briggs, a rapping prisoner in the comedy-romance motion picture The Fighting Temptations, which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Beyoncé Knowles. In the film, T-Bone performs the song "To Da River" with secular artists Lil' Zane and Montell Jordan.
T-Bone also co-starred in the 2004 Paramount/MTV film All You've Got which starred Ciara and Adrienne Bailon of The Cheetah Girls.
His other movies include Carman and Stephen Yake's "R.I.O.T." and starred in "Black Rose" in 2003.
He appeared in the 2013 film I'm in Love with a Church Girl.
Real Videos (TBN)-T Bone has been the host of Real Videos since 1997.
TX 10 (JC-TV)-T-Bone has been the host since 2006.
Hype & Glory (Gospel Music Channel)
Hispanic College Quiz (NBC)-T-Bone was a co host.
Tha Life of a Hoodlum
Tha Hoodlum's Testimony
History of a Hoodlum
Tha Last Street Preacha
The Boneyard Box Set (Compilation album)
Bone Appétit: Servin' Up tha Hits (Compilation album)
Pa' mi Dios y pa' mi gente
Canzion Group LP
Appeared in the rock opera !Hero both on the recording and touring show.
2016: "Volare" featuring Marcos Witt
2007: "Name Droppin'"
2005: "Can I Live" (Produced by Kenn Michael for CODEKRAFT)
2001: "Ride Wit' Me" (Produced by King Tech for Bolo Entertainment)
1996: "Throwing Out tha Wicked" (Produced by Bill Boyde)
1992: "Lyrical Assassin" (Produced by Dough Green)
I'm in Love with a Church Girl (RGM Films LLC)
All You've Got (Paramount Pictures/ MTV Films)
The Fighting Temptations (Paramount Pictures/ MTV Films)
R.I.O.T. (Steven Yake Productions)
Black Rose (Short)
Performer at 2004 GMA Gospel Music's Dove Awards (UPN, PAX)
Featured performer at the 2003 MovieGuide Awards
Featured performer/Presenter at the 2003 Arpa Awards (Telemundo/Univision)
Presenter at 2001 Stellar Awards
Featured performer at the 2000 ALMA Awards with Kirk Franklin
Television appearances include "E!", "Live at the Apollo", "MTV's "The Cut" and "From the Church to the Charts", "LA TV", "Urban Latino", "Despierta America" (Univision), "Entertainment News" (Telemundo), "Entertainment News" (MGM Latin American Network), and "Keeping it Real" (Soundtrack Channel)
Awards and nominations
2001 Tha Last Street Preacha - Best Rock Gospel Album
2007 Category: Best Rap/Rock Gospel Album of the year: Bone-a-fide!
2008 Category: Best Gospel Performance: "With Long Life" with Israel Houghton
Visionary Award Nominations
2009 Category: Hip Hop/Rap Performer of the Year
"Alabemos" by Marcos Witt ( Sigues Siendo Dios )
"With Long Life" Israel & New Breed
"Lonely Man" Audio Arenaline (Lift)
“We're a Band” Audio Adrenaline (Live from Hawaii)
“A Few Good Men” Mack 10
“You Can't Win” Chino XL
“1,2,3 Praise!” Virtue
“Joy” Feat. Joi of Brownstone
“The Slam” tobyMac
"The Slam [d Dubb Remix]" tobyMac
“Rubber House” Rachael Lampa
"With Long Life" Israel & New Breed
“To Da River” featuring Lil' Zane and Montell Jordan (from The Fighting Temptations)
"I'm Thankful" by Yolanda Adams (from the album Believe)
"With long life" by Israel Houghton and New Breed
"Te Amo," by Israel and New Breed
"I Can't Schleep" by J.C. Crew
“To Da River,” featuring Montell Jordan and Lil' Zane from “The Fighting Temptations Soundtrack”
“Raised in Harlem,” featuring Michael Tait for !Hero
“The Struggle Continues,” featuring KRS-ONE for Spiritual Minded
“I'm Thankful,” featuring Yolanda Adams for Believe
“Lonely Man,” featuring Audio Adrenaline for Lift
“My Story” and “ God is Exalted,” featuring Carman for R.I.O.T.
“Little Jackie” and “What a Fool I've Been,” featuring Crystal Lewis for Fearless
“King of My Life,” featuring Natalie LaRue for Soul Lift
“Wrapped Up,” featuring Dawkins and Dawkins for Focus
“Sooner or Later,” featuring Freedom of Soul for The 2 nd Coming
“Watcha gonna do,” featuring JC and the Boyz for Chill 4 A While
“I Can't Sleep,” featuring JC Crew for Serious Bizness
"With Long Life," Featuring Israel and New Breed for A Deeper Level
"Te Amo," featuring Israel and New Breed Jesus At The Center
"Alabemos," featuring Marcos Witt (Album : Sigues Siendo Dios )
Dwayne “Muffla” Simon (Run DMC, LL Cool J, King Tee)
Chase (Dr. Dre, Az Yet, Rakeem, KRS-ONE, Mista Grimm)
David Bannister (Carman, Cee-Cee Winans, Jaci Velasquez)
Lifetime music sales exceed 800,000 units
Selected to do commercials on MTV for “The Cut”
Did 4 Commercials on MTV with Beyonce and Mike Epps for “The Fighting Temptations”
Partnered in 2008 with the Hands & Feet Project, started by Christian band Audio Adrenaline, to build churches and an orphanage in Nicaragua. T-Bone's parents will be moving to Nicaragua to run a children's village.