Anthony "Fat Tone" Watkins (April 29, 1981 – May 23, 2005) was a gangsta rapper from Kansas City, Missouri. His lyrics were largely based on his neighborhood known by those around him as "Five One", better known as 51st, a particularly rough area in midtown KC. Over the years Fat Tone was affiliated with various well-known California rappers, including guest appearances and other collaborations.
Fat Tone was born in Kansas City, Missouri and grew up on the 51st Street neighborhood in Kansas City's Middle Core. During the beginning of his career, he started off rapping with a group of people from his neighborhood and formed a group called "The OG's". With the OG's, Tone, completed a few projects but later decided to go solo. Upon going solo, Fat Tone met California rapper Killa Tay who presented his first solo album under his new moniker The Vett entitled "Only In Killa City". His first big single from this album was "It's Real" which featured Fat Tone's then friend named J-Rock who also passed some years back. Fat Tone's popularity began to soar with this album throughout the city of Kansas City. He quickly became a big hit in the town by performing at parties and doing other shows and appearances throughout the Midwest and the San Francisco Bay area. With his rising popularity also came controversy.
In 2001, shortly after his trip to California, Fat Tone was arrested and charged with double homicide in connection with a drive-by shooting that killed a pregnant woman and her unborn baby. He spent nine months in jail before the charges were dismissed. Jackson County prosecutors complained that the witnesses refused to cooperate. Subsequently, Fat Tone recorded his second solo album also presented by Killa Tay titled "The Stick Up Kid". On this album, Fat Tone rapped on the charges that he had faced and was acquitted of and made remarks critical of the Kansas City Police Department.
On October 17, 2003, Fat Tone and a group of rappers were riding home from an interview with KKFI 90.1 radio station when a black Ford F150 Pick-Up Truck pulled up aside of them and opened fire. It resulted in a rolling drive by, Charles Littlejohn who was driving, tried desperately to elude the shooting and when they successfully escaped, Fat Tone ended up being the only man in their car wounded. He was shot in the chest. His next album, "I'mma Get Cha" then was released to the streets. Unlike his other two releases, this one wasn't presented by Killa Tay, but instead it was presented by C-Bo, a rapper who he had been in affiliation with since his first release and who had been with him during the time when he was shot.
Following the release of his mixtape "Sky's The Limit", a prominent bay area rapper, Mac Dre, was murdered on Highway 71 in Kansas City. Due to the coincidental lyrics, "I flip niggas cars off the highway bridge, and the same fuckin night I call and tell they kids", suspicion was raised that Fat Tone had killed Mac Dre. The police then named Fat Tone as a person of interest in the case, though he was never formally named a suspect. Fat Tone then released his fourth mixtape titled "My Hood Betrayed Me". On this mixtape, Fat Tone plead his innocence in the murdering of Mac Dre.
On May 22, 2005, Fat Tone and his friend Jermaine "Cowboy" Akins were shot multiple times in Las Vegas. Prosecutors painted the murders of Akins and Watkins as retaliation for the November 2004 killing of Mac Dre. They claimed that San Francisco rapper Mac Minister (born Andre Dow), lured Fat Tone and Akins to their deaths with the promise of meeting Snoop to discuss a potential concert-promotion gig. The bodies of the victims were later found riddled with AK-47 bullets at a construction site outside of Las Vegas. MGM Grand security cameras documented Mac Minister leaving the hotel with two men just hours before the slaying. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on July 31, 2008.
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