Tommy "Exx" Schaefer was born July 13th, 1993, to an African American mother, raised by a single parent as the white father left after birth. He was raised on the south side of Chicago but in high school moved to Oak Park, west of downtown. Standing at 6'4, Tommy Exx was a baller in high school and was your prototypical ''hip hop head'' his entire life. His describes Kanye West, Mos Def, Eminem and Biggie Smalls as his biggest influences.. He received a full ride from Northern Illinois University and attended one year there, which he describes his time there as "difficult and disappointing" due to the let down of not being able to afford his lifelong dream of attending Tulane University, which is one of the reasons he reverted to writing. Shortly after transferring to study Music Business at Colombia College in Chicago, Tommy Exx dropped out to solely focus on hip hop.