TDE’s Top Dawg Gets Street Name.

An intersection in Watts was named this past Saturday (Feb 2) in honor of Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith, music producer and founder of the independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, who was raised at the nearby Nickerson Gardens public housing complex.

Rapper Jay Rock and City Councilman Tim McOsker, whose 15th District includes Watts, joined Tiffith in speaking at the ceremony, which went down at Imperial Highway and Central Avenue naming the intersection Anthony Tiffith T.D.E. Music Square.

Saturday’s ceremony capped two days of accolades for the 49-year music mogul, following a Friday event at City Hall, when the City Council recognized Tiffith for his contributions to the music industry and Watts.

McOsker led the City Hall presentation alongside Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

“We are acknowledging this great man and this great organization, but also Watts, which is full of so many next Top Dawgs,” McOsker said. “There is so much talent and there’s so much opportunity, and we lift each other up when we come together.”

McOsker added, “Top Dawg and (Top Dawg Entertainment) is just a living example of that.”

McOsker called Nickerson Gardens a “battleground and a crucible, shaping the resilience of those who lived there and (are) leaving a mark.”

In 2004, at the age of 30, Tiffith founded Top Dawg Entertainment. In its early days, it was a space to cultivate budding talent and provide opportunities that would not have been possible without his efforts, supporters said.

Top Dawg Entertainment is home to such hip-hop heavyweights as Rock, Watts’ first Grammy winner, and the hip-hop world’s first Pulitzer Prize winner for literary excellence, Kendrick Lamar. The label also produces recordings by SZA, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q.

Last year, Top Dawg Entertainment hosted its 10th annual Christmas event. The two-day event included a star-studded concert for the community.

Harris-Dawson recalled attending one of Top Dawg Entertainment’s Christmas concerts, and encouraged everybody to attend at least once.

“Not only do TDE. artists perform, but they get the best artists in the mix at the moment to come to the project and give a free show,” Harris-Dawson said. “Everybody’s welcomed, the community embraces them.”

Rock shared how grateful he was for meeting Tiffith.

“I mean he put me in the studio and gave me an opportunity,” Rock said. “He not only did that for me, but you know, he took me like his own and raised me up to be a better man that I am today.”

“This is a big dawg,” Rock added. “You know, I’m saying, I love you. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and for the community.”

Tiffith, surrounded by family and friends in the City Hall Council Chambers, expressed his gratitude, and also a bit of surprise.

“Growing up in the project, it was tough,” he said. “You know, we went through a lot of things, but the goal was to come back, build and teach.”

“I never thought I’d be standing here in the City Council getting this intersection named after me. Never in my wildest dreams, and I appreciate it.” S: ABC7