Tommie Warren was a family man
Tommie Lee “Tom Tom’ Warren was remembered by friends and family as a solid family man, a source of light, laughter, music, love.
“I will always remember his bubbly spirit,” said his widow, Brittney Warren. They had been married for five years and have two small children. “He was the brightest light in a dark situation. There was always laughter and good vibes when he was around, and that is how he will be remembered.”
A local musician, Warren was fatally injured by a stray bullet during a shootout between two rival gangs at the end of last year outside of their home in west Philadelphia. Seven young men have been charged with murder amid 12 overall arrests.
Childhood Friend Nick Willis spoke of Warren’s humor.
“He was funny,” Willis said. “He was a character who could light up any room and find a way to make things better. He was passionate, funny, definitely uplifting and very motivating.”
Another friend, Lee Smith, had interviewed Warren on his podcast in June 2020 where they talked about violence and the breakup of the nuclear family in the African-American community. “He was a loving person more than anything else,” Smith said.
Brittney said that her husband’s passions included music, basketball and time with his family, especially their children, Liam, 6, and London, 4.
“He was a great father,” Brittney said. “One of the world’s best dads. He loved his children, and they knew they could go to daddy for everything and that daddy had all the answers. He was their whole world.”
She said that since she first became pregnant, Tommie Warren never missed a doctor’s appointment or school event.
Known as “Tom Tom,” Warren, 31, a local rapper and producer went by the name “Air Teezy.” The 2009 Philadelphia High School graduate was fatally shot by a stray bullet on Dec. 27.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 15, 2022, from Mt. Nebo M.B. Church in Philadelphia. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on Saturday at Beck Funeral Home.
In March 2021, Warren incorporated his business, AirTeezy Entertainment LLC, with the State of Mississippi.
“Watching these guys fall in love with music and the looks they give when they hear their voices for the first time really makes me wanna go harder,” Warren wrote on his Facebook page last May. “It really makes me love what I’m doing. I pray y’all make it.”
Willis met Tommie Warren in church when they were very young and grew up playing sports and music together. Willis is a singer, mostly Southern soul and R&B. He said Tom Tom produced his latest single released in November, “Searching All Over.”
“We have spent a lot of time making music together,” Willis said. “Sometime we would fall asleep in the studio.”
Any discussions of Tommie Warren all seem to come back to sports. Willis remembers playing youth basketball in the Booker T. gym. His dad Eddie Willis was their coach.
Willis and Warren were on a fast break when Warren threw Willis a behind-the-back pass. Willis caught the ball. He planted his feet, took the shot, and scored, getting a big reaction from the crowd.
“My dad took us out for showboating,” Willis said with a laugh.
Smith was about two and a half years younger than Tommie Warren, but Philadelphia is a small town, and the PHS sports teams are tight-knit, and the two have been friends for a long time.
“Tom Tom thought he was a skilled player,” Smith said. “He was light on his feet but was also a pretty big guy, so the coaches always put him on the offensive line, but he wanted to play tight end.”
Smith remembers playing quarterback in a 2008 playoff game against Mize. As Smith remembers it, “We drummed them.” Smith handed off the ball, which was then fumbled.
“Tom Tom took out one of the Mize players and picked up the ball and ran it in for a touchdown,” Smith said.
Even Brittney brings it back to a football game. She said she and her husband had been admiring each other from afar but did not really know each other. She said at an away game, she was talking to some friends and noticed him walking by when she decided to stick out her elbow and bump Tommie.
“He stopped and said, ‘You’re that girl that’s always smiling,’” Brittney said.
Warren discussed violence in Philadelphia on Smith’s podcast “The County Line: Lee Carl & Friends.” It was one of three or four times Smith had Warren on his podcast.
“He was someone that people liked to listen to,” Smith said. “He has an interesting world view and perspective, and I wanted to highlight him as a person. He was someone if you didn’t know, you needed to. His appearances on the show were some of our more popular episodes.”
During their discussion, Warren equated much of the violence to a lack of parenting.
“It’s different — I think it’s more dangerous,” Warren told Lee when asked if the violence in town was greater than when growing up.
Warren told Lee when they were growing up, all they would hear was “these babies having babies. That was a big thing at one time. All it is is these babies grew up. I think that’s where the extra violence stems from.”
Warren said people shooting and getting shot are in their teens.
Smith said that Warren correctly identified that problem and said that he thought it was “ironic” that he died the way he did.
“I hope his death serves as a wake-up call,” Smith said. “I hope his death can light the way forward. We lost a great father, husband, brother and son. He was an influential and productive member of our community that is now gone. If we are unable as a community to prevent that, then that’s a problem.”