Hi-Tone-2017-billboard-1548-1505755327
Billboard

Watch West Coast Rapper Hi-Tone Deliver A Timely Message In "The Voice"

"I believe every artist is a spokesperson…"

Despite the fundamental role that Puerto Ricans and other Afro-Caribbean people played in hip-hop’s creation, Latinos are more often than not left out of the dialogue that explores the very origin of rap music. Yet Big Pun, N.O.R.E., B-Real, Pitbull, Immortal Technique, Fabolous and Juelz Santana, among so many others before them, are emblematic of a hip-hop narrative regularly in need of careful unpacking.

Today’s cadre of U.S.-Latino rappers – Kap G, Snow tha Product, Emilio Rojas and Princess Nokia, Nitty Scott, Bodega Bamz and Joell Ortiz, for instance – continues to carry the torch. Enter Tony “Hi-Tone” Valenzuela, a Chicano MC (and professional tattooist) hailing from California, poised to establish himself as a leading voice in contemporary rap for Mexican-Americans.

It’s been an arduous grind for Hi-Tone, 33, who dropped his first project, TFC, Vol. 1: Top of the Food Chain, in 2010. The tattoo aficionado has since released a series of other independent collections, delivered a searing freestyle on Sway in the Morning, earned the respect of industry titans such as No I.D. and built three successful businesses. Top of the Food Chain is his burgeoning clothing line. Papi’s Barbershop is a staple in his home base of Covina, California. And Hi-Tone’s TFC Music Group releases his music and is partnering with EMPIRE for the debut of his proper introduction to the game, Price of Admission.

Price of Admission’s lead audiovisual, "The Voice" (premiering exclusively on Billboard) is a high-energy, lyrical chin-check that examines Hi-Tone’s current status in the rap game.

It also delves into how people have been prejudiced against him as a Mexican rapper, and calls into question faux MCs while blasting our current president’s bigotry and deplorable policies.

"With everything that's going on in the world right now, I couldn't help but think we all have a voice and we can't be scared to use it. They can hold us back, box us in or push us away but they can never take our words from us,” Hi-Tone says of the song. “I believe every artist is a spokesperson for a group of people, and we hold a responsibility to them to represent how they feel. Now you're either going to love me or hate me, there's no in between. But stop looking at my skin color and start listening to my words because I am the voice.”

Get acquainted with Billboard's newest Artist on the Rise:

Name: Tony “Hi-Tone” Valenzuela

Age: 33

Major accomplishment: Earning co-signs from industry titans such as No I.D. (JAY-Z’s 4:44 producer) and delivering a searing freestyle on Sway Calloway’s renowned radio show, Sway in the Morning.

Recommended song: "All Down" featuring Tory Lanez

What’s next: After releasing a string of independent projects, Hi-Tone is gearing up for a much anticipated debut album, Price of Admission, set to be released on Dec. 15 via EMPIRE.

This article originally appeared on Billboard

From the Web

More on Vibe

Solange Is Feelin' Herself In Short-But-Sweet 'Binz' Music Video

Solange is having a grand ol' time just dancing to her own song "Binz" from her newly-released album When I Get Home.

The short-but-sweet music video was released on Mar. 11, and features the Houston native twerking to herself all throughout her house while the standout track plays. She shot the video on her computer over a period of time, evident by her changing wardrobe throughout the less-than-two-minute visual. The end result is something we didn't know we wanted, but we're glad that we have it.

When I Get Home was released to kick off Women's History Month (Mar. 1). Visuals to accompany the announcement of the album's arrival were teased on the website Black Planet, and the album itself is billed as an "exploration of origin."

"...How much of ourselves do we bring with us versus leave behind in our evolution,” a rep for the musician said in a statement. “The artist returned to Third Ward Houston to answer this.” She recently thanked fans on social media for their support, writing "wow thank yalllll ! the smile ! the joy! my heart!!! i seeee y’all. the luv."

Solange will be performing at various festivals this year to support the album, such as Coachella, Primavera Sound Festival and Lovebox.

yooo can’t tell y’all how much the luv on the project meansss this my shiiit i feel goood 🌹wow thank yalllll ! the smile ! the joy! my heart!!! i seeee y’all. the luv❤️ the text 🖤the smiles on the street it feel gooood 🖤🌹🖤🌹🖤🌹🖤🌹❤️🌹🖤🌹

— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) March 11, 2019

Continue Reading

2 Chainz Hosts Swanky Jazz Club In "Rule The World" Video With Ariana Grande

2 Chainz and Ariana Grande do it real big for their "Rule The World" video.

The Sebastian Sdaigui-directed clip takes place "somewhere in L.A." while the new dynamic duo takes a tricked out Jazz hall by storm. Grande opens the picture coated in a feather jacket as she sings, "Top down on the Dawn like I'm used to it (Yeah)/ Prayin' you make it home like I'm used to it/Prayin' you make it home, I got used to it." 

As 2 Chainz and the 25-year-old pop artist stand upon a stage decorated with vintage microphones and musicians, liquor flows through the crowd as club-goers dance along to the collaborative track.

"Rule The World" is from Chainz's newest album Rap or Go to the League, which is the rapper's fifth studio album. The 41-year-old emcee recently put rumors of ill-feeling between himself and Grande to rest after many accused the singer of stealing his pink trap house and "Spend It" cadence for the "7 Rings" video.

Fell in luv with a real one that’s a dedication ... RULE THE WORLD 🌍 ..video is out now .. https://t.co/i7gdx6qD0z @ArianaGrande pic.twitter.com/gg6JvVI5dU

— Tity Boi (2 Chainz) (@2chainz) March 11, 2019

Check out 2 Chainz and Ariana Grande's "Rule The World" video above.

Continue Reading

KC Ruskii Details His Journey From Homeless To "Hood Rich" In New Visual

Upon meeting the young rap machine KC Ruskii, one will determine that he's a survivor. It's the way he automatically embraces good energy and how open and honest he is about his blessings in life. "I was homeless, sleeping where I could," said the Midwest native, now southern transplant. "My music speaks on it," he told me. But the first couple of tracks he debuted for me were turn up records, so I didn't make the connection to his hardships right away. Around the third or fourth track he played me, "Hood Rich," pops up and I immediately felt the vibe and said, "This is the one the people need to hear, early." The youngin' took the advice as the video is here.

What makes this song special is the way the verses explain the pain that he endured during his hardtimes. The video is the exclamation point on the message that so many young kids go through. Just the opening sequence where his friend's Mom yells about not having the fund, food or patience to deal with another mouth to feed. That talk that needs to happen between the homies when you have to kick him out, after helping as much as they can, is so real for those that have been and are in that position...both sides.

Watch the video, feel his flow and be on the look out for more from this budding artist. Check his previous single with QC's Lil Baby below.

View this post on Instagram

I’m fin come hard too!! Video out now on @worldstar 🐻💯 Go fw the kidd 🙌🏾

A post shared by Skii✨ (@kc_ruskii) on Sep 27, 2018 at 7:05pm PDT

Continue Reading

Top Stories