Tom Hardy can spit some pretty mean bars.
Hardy, who would have been around 22 at the time, is credited with writing and performing the lyrics on the 18-track compilation.
He raps over “The Godfather” theme tune on the fourth track, “Wiser.” He also semi-predicts his future acting career with the line “I wanna be on the TV, so people can see me” on “People Like To Boogie.”
Ed Tracy (aka Eddie Too Tall) ― who is now a British Academy Film Award-winning television writer ― wrote and produced the music. According to the mixtape’s listing, the pair made the tape “in a bedroom in 1999” but it was “never really finished.”
Tracy said he decided to release the album this month because Hardy had recently reminded him about it.
“Tom asked me whether I still had the album kicking about in the loft. Lo and behold, here it is in all its rawness, just as it sounded then,” he told Complex.
“[Hardy will] be pleased with the reception it’s had today,” he added. “We always said we’d do a Vegas tour as a joke. Maybe if this album generates enough love then we can coax Tom onstage.”
The mixtape appears to have gone over well with fans on Reddit:
Perhaps it shouldn’t come as such a surprise, considering Hardy once had a recording deal. He revealed in 2011 that at age 15 he signed with someone who had managed the Fugees.
Ultimately, though, his dreams of hip-hop stardom didn’t work out.
“Because I come from a nice middle-class neighborhood it was a very hard sell,” Hardy told the BBC. “And I wasn’t very good!”
The mixtape may prove otherwise. Could a future collaboration be out of the question?