“I’m on some new shit, 2016; you wanna rap? Shit, I got about 2000 16s.”
A quick skim through some of Tone Chop’s music, it’s not surprising to hear he has a background battling back in the 90s–his flow is an artifact of the heyday of hip-hop when rappers had distinctive cadences and biting was the wackest thing anyone could do. His voice and actual appearance are quite jarring, as you wouldn’t think they were one in the same—not unlike the first time Your Old Droog revealed himself, but Tone has easily become one of my top rhymers to watch after being put onto him earlier this month. Along with his longtime partner, producer Frost Gamble, he’s blessed real heads with a solid EP, Veteran, full of dope loops and rewind worthy gems.
Frost, who currently reside north of the border in Winnipeg, Manitoba, dumbs out on the MPC with head-nodding instrumentals, like “Other Shit,” where Chop and guest Awful P trade 16s on a gritty sound bed that features a Showbiz sampled hook. Then there’s “Leave It Alone,” a tribute to the late rapper Sean Price, featuring [P’s] Duck Down label mate Ruste Juxx and Queens rapper Nobi—who we’ve written about before. My personal highlight on this record is “Step Up,” with a Mr. T sample in the hook, and an eerie vibe, Tone Chop blacks out. His slight lisp, his flow, and his bars [“If I ain’t nice, shit, a T-Rex ain’t a dinosaur”] make this song incredible.
What I like most about this EP is that it has a timeless appeal to it—it ignores everything that’s currently running the scene, and seem to make no time specific references. Much of the EP could very well have been uncovered from studio reels back in 1997 and then re-mastered. It’s solid, devoid of filler, and an exciting appetizer for their new LP planned for 2017. Worth a spot on your playlist!