Issue 105

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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You have had a sold out headline tour in London, bought out several hit singles, but let's rewind the clock, how did you get into lyricism? Where I fell in love with the art of put- ting words together and words in general, I would say would be like sixth grade, I started listening to real intense lyricism and reading the dictionary and I just fell in love with putting matching syllables together and breaking down words, and double meanings. And I felt like I was good at it and I just thought it was cool because I felt like a lot of people weren't doing that. So I just grew and grew it and I really fell in love with it, so that's why it's like not a task for me, it something that I already enjoy to do. So in terms of transitioning from someone who just likes to do lyrics, using syllables and rhyming to I want to make this my life's work - when did you start to take making music more seriously? Ever since I began, ever since I recorded my first song, when I was 10, I made the deci- sion on what I was going to do for the rest of my life. I put a song on YouTube, I was kinda forced to put a song on YouTube by a friend, because at first it was just for me, it was just to make myself feel better, it wasn't for other people at first. But my friend found it and he made me put it on YouTube and the first comment that I got that some- body liked, what I loved to do so much, I was like its over this is what I am doing and no matter what it is going to happen. So how did it feel to see your lyricism get the attention of someone like Mark Wahlberg? It felt unreal, it was like confusing, cause the story is like he got my number from somebody else, he called me and I didn't even hear the voicemail until 10 days later. Because I am horrible at checking my voice- mail, and then when I picked it up I was like 'oh my god', he probably thinks that I am just like some hassle whose not going to pick up a call from Mark Wahlberg. But we ended up talking and he had us come out to his place, he is just support- ive like crazy. And it is one of those things where it doesn't sink in, it's like the same thing where you look forward to something and then you get it and you are still men- tally the same and you are like okay, 'what's next'. But it's crazy looking at his support and other peoples support in hindsight, it is just crazy. It wouldn't be so crazy if I didn't love doing this too but because this is my real passion it is like 'oh my God they love what I love to do', that's what makes it so cool. Okay, let's get on to the track 'Stay Humble & Stop Thinking'... That's an oooold song, crazy old. Now the reason I mention that song is be- cause that was my entry to Token - what inspired you to create that track? That was like the first time ever that some people were reaching out to me and they wanted to have me part of these labels or part of, just be like on the team with them and that was just kind of me just expressing my nervousness going into that, and feeling like it was too early on for me to jump into any situation like that. So I felt like most people kinda just wanted to take advantage, it was that side but then on the other side, I am growing as an artist and lot of people tell me ' stay humble, stay humble' and so it is like on one side people tell me stay humble, while not being humble. That's why everybody just loves to say it and it's like my friends don't say that me to because my friends know me and know that they don't have to say that to me cause that's who I am. But everyone else that's their way of saying, stay down there, stay humble, stay humble, but on the other side there's people trying to take advantage of me. Saying how brilliant you are... Yeah, but taking advantage of me really, it's like if I am super humble, humble in the way of like not knowing my worth too, that's the balance, cause if I am so humble that I like don't even know my worth, I am just going to be like 'wow, somebody wants to have me on their team, I am just going to go there because his probably the only one' and then I am going to get fucked! And that was really balancing the act of being humble but knowing my worth at the same time. Tell us the back story behind that unfor- gettable Sway freestyle? So the second that I heard that Sway was down to having me on the show, I made the decision that this is going to be the biggest thing of my career, like I am going to make this the biggest thing of my career. So I was just like writing so much and I originally had one verse that was like 250 bars or something like that, it was like more than double what I did, it was so incredibly long it was crazy. And I was like this is going to go crazy. But so what happened is right before I leave for New York, the night before or the afternoon before, I was told that...I thought that it was going to be like my own seg- ment, turned out it wasn't going to be own segment. That there was going to be two other dudes there and we were going to go back and forth and I was like are you serious! I can't spit 250 bars when there is two other people next to me and literally I was freaking out, it was probably one of the most anxious times I have ever been cause I had like spent all this time doing this and what am I going to do. Cause I didn't want to get an old verse, I wanted it to be new, so that night and that morning I literally ended up just moving everything, I didn't cut off stuff, I mean I cut off some parts but I rearranged it and kept my favorite parts and just put it all together. I was still memorizing as I went in, so you can see in the beginning I am like a little nervous but I still kick over a 100 lines in and it just went crazy and yeah, my career would be different if that video didn't come out. So what was it like touring with Hopsin? So at first at the US tour I was still timid around him because I didn't know the type of person he was but we did 3 tours man, together and I would say at the end of the first US tour we started to grow like a little bit of a friendship. But by the time we hit Europe we were like super tight cause we were on the tour bus together and I was always running stuff by him too, I like to show him my videos before they come out. Just to get his opinion on them and it's just one of those crazy things cause back when I was thirteen - fourteen I used to listen to Hop religiously. So how does it feel now, going out on your own headline tour? It is crazy, going out on your own is one of those things where you feel like you are never really ready for them, you just got to go into it when other people think you are ready for them. But I was ready for it, like it was crazy. Its more pressure cause more things are relying on me but it is better cause I can dictate more and everyone is there to see me and its fun man, I can really put together my set for my fans. Instead of just like okay I want to win new people over so how am I going to put this song next to that song. But it's really like I can get my creativity out and how I really want it to be constructed it's like really want I want to do creatively, I feel like I am not hindered in any way. Tell us about your latest song 'Little Boy'? 'Little Boy' was really one of the first songs where I kinda just let the energy dictate where the song went, it was less about me being so 'oh I want to construct this with a song' 'this is what I want to get out with the song', 'this is what I want to focus on', it was more like I heard a beat and I kinda just let it come out of me and it was a energy that I feel like I can't replica it and that's why I feel like this song is doing so good and that's why people are gravitating towards it. When is the album coming out? No that's coming man, building a project is actually one of my favorite things to do. People don't know it but I like I released, this is really just for me but I had a project when I was 10, I had a project when I was 13, I had a project when I was 17, like little mixtapes. But it's just been like this step, to this step, so next step I am going to get to is just going to be like, I just want it to be undeniable and I am working on it and it is going to be amazing. 2017 / ISSUE 105 33 HIP HOP & RNB " 'SO THE SECOND THAT I HEARD THAT SWAY WAS DOWN TO HAVING ME ON THE SHOW, I MADE THE DECISION THAT THIS IS GOING TO BE THEBIGGEST THING OF MY CAREER' " Believe the hype, Massachusetts rap prodigy Token is steadily carving out a permanent space in the hip hop scene. With his latest track 'Little Boy' garnering over 4 million views, this 19 year old is already receiving co signs from the likes of T -Pain, Platinum producer Clinton Sparks and Hollywood's own Mark Wahlberg. Coming off the heels of his headline tour we catch up with the rapper to talk staying humble, touring with Hopsin and his upcoming album. follow @tokenhiphop Mr Wondah | Guestlist

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