Durham rapper Toon combines intricate detail in lyricism with a sharp delivery. Playing shows anywhere from downtown city bars to Duke University theaters, he’s sidled up alongside several young hip-hop ascendants. In an area and a time where the pickings are slim for inventive new local rap, Toon has risen to the challenge to bring you what you need alongside Kooley High, King Mez, Lazarus and a promising new crop.
Originally born in Baltimore, Md., Toon had a rough start, was the witness to his mother’s abusive relationship and subsequent divorce. He soon moved to North Carolina with her, but the history he has accumulated seems to be the driving forces behind his relentless show schedule and forceful writing.
While attending the Durham School of the Arts, Toon met his current collaborator, The Real Laww. As with 2011’s The King’s Khrysis, which paired Raleigh rapper King Mez with producer Khrysis, the two have created a balance for one another, making them a duo worth beholding. On the single “Hulk Smash,” Toon picks out exactly what is wrong with the rap game today, spitting lines like, “Just because we can’t understand you doesn’t make you creative” and “There’s role models down the street but they’re scared to teach.” Galvanized by the past but driven toward the future, Toon unites a bold performance with a meaningful backstory. —James Hatfield
01. My Class
02. Live It Up
04. Falling Up ft. Nina Luv (prod by. Top Dollar P)
05. Rollin Stone
06. Rookie of Year
07. Mad at Me
08. Lying To Me ft. The Real Laww (prod by. Sundown of Act Proof)
09. Stop my Shine ft. Little Prometheus
10. My Signnature
11. Be Famous ft. The Real Laww
Release Date: 09.05.12
Formats: Digital Album