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Tonio: From Da Top Talks Investments On New Single “Suicide”

March 28, 2011
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Tonio: From Da Top has one of the best and strangest names in Baltimore hip-hop, and is also an alumnus of the same label, Da Bloc Inc., that helped launch the careers of Los and Skarr Akbar. But Tonio’s greatest asset is his own music, which has a hard-edged East Coast sound but a playful approach to hooks and wordplay that you usually get more from southern rappers these days. In 2009, he dropped the great single “U Mad?!?” and won the “Under the Radar” category at the Baltimore Crown Awards, and in 2010 he hit the local mixtape circuit hard enough that he deserves to be on your radar if he isn’t already.

2011 looks like it’s gonna be a busy year for Tonio, with his new label Crown Jewelz Entertainment gearing up to release a mixtape, Top Paper, later this month and an official album, The Grey Area, in the summer. The first taste of all that new material is Top Paper‘s street single “Suicide,” which comes off a little generic at first with its synth-driven Southern-flavored production, but shines thanks to a catchy chorus and Tonio’s unique way with words. It’s not so much that his vocabulary is anything next-level but that his word choice veers just enough to the left of other rappers such that he’s constantly coming up with memorable lines: “I got that pedigree/ That last purchase I made ain’t gon’ do nothin’ but build equity/ You tryin’ to buy Prada, I’m tryin’ to build property/ You need to step your game up, obviously.”

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