“I make music for fathers taking care of their kids and women handling their business”
“Imma be your favorite artist, favorite father and favorite human being because I’m me and there’s only one me,” Louis ‘MC Tres’ Erby III said.
The 30-year-old father of 8-year-old Louis Erby IV, nicknamed “Q,” wears the title of modern Renaissance man well. The many hats he confidently dons contribute to the man and artist he is today.
“I’ve never been one to create a fantasy world. Fantasy is what people want, but reality is what people need because it’s more relatable,” Erby said. “I make music for fathers taking care of their kids and women handling their business.”
Erby attended Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph from 2008-2013, and where he became ‘MC Tres’. The second part of his stage name comes from being the third person to keep the family tradition alive — as inLouis Erby III.
While at MoWest, Erby immersed himself in the college town’s party scene, not only hosting events but also performing his music.
“I wrote and recorded my first mixtape titled “Pregame” during spring break of my freshman year,” Erby said. “After that, I teamed up with one of the local DJs in St. Joe and we collaborated around town hosting various shows and events. The more I was on the mic, the more I fell in love with music and was able to hone my stage presence.”
In2013 Erby earned his bachelor's degree in public relations and welcomed his son Q into the world. He and Q’s mother met while at MoWest. She was a native of Kansas City, Missouri, so he decided to stay there for the first few years of his son’slife.
Erby returned to St. Louis with his son in 2017 to advance his music career and become a full-time father.
“I’ve always known that with my purpose, I have to be intentional,” he said. “With every decision I make I always do it keeping my son in mind.”
After contracting COVID-19 last year, Erby had to quarantine himself for two weeks, making it necessary to leave Q in the care of his mother.
“It made me understand the consequences of your actions are grander than what you actually think they are,” Erby said. “I was ripping and running. COVID had to slow me down.”
Since the pandemic started, many artists no longer have the luxury of performing live, and that has challenged themto become more creative.
As a result,Erby has dropped numerous projects and music including, “The 3 Mixtape Vol. 3,” the Threestyle Thursday series where hereleased freestyles rapping over different beats. He released hislatest project, “Late Night Flights,” in November and collaborated with Swoop Transportation, a local rideshare company, by providing free private rides for guests to hear the EP ahead of its release.
He also rebranded and sold-out merchandise from his apparel line, DoYou Clothing Co. (doyoucrew.com)
“My team and I call the pandemic the “plandemic,” because once it started to slow everything down in March we took a look around and went back to the drawing board on how to push out content and still remain relevant,” Erby said.
“I took my time putting out quality everything, not allowing the internet to rush me. I did everything at my own pace.”
Erby’s advice for other Black fathers in St. Louis interested in pursuing rap: always clock in for yourself outside of your job and parenting.
“Put that time to the side for you,” Erby said. “The more consistent and present you are, the more opportunities will come your way, which shows you’re moving in the right direction.
A 2008 graduate of Kirkwood High School, Erby has opened for Jack Harlow, Ella Mai and EarthGang. He also sold-out shows in St. Louis and St. Joseph. He won the 2020 SLUM Fest Video of the Year Award for his single “I Told You.”
In addition, he had an opportunity to tour the United States and abroad, where audiences often knew the lyrics to his songs.
“I can do anything,” Erby said. “Nothing or nobody can stop me, I’m my only competition.”
For more information about Erby, visit https://www.mctres.net/.