A.Tone Da Priest
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A.Tone Da Priest

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | INDIE

Atlanta, Georgia, United States | INDIE
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"A.Tone Da Priest “The Address EP”"

Marco Antonio Restrepo, better known in the music world as A.Tone Da Priest, has a
lot to say. His songs are packed to the brim with verses about life, pain, joy, and rap, and
endless onslaught of wise words and well-crafted flows. Where some rappers are content
to ride a hook throughout their tunes, only throwing together thoughtful lyrics as a last
resort, A.Tone puts the words first, making sure to make the most of every second he
spends on the microphone. His songs, like the production behind them, are dense and
lush, with never a wasted moment or a lingering note. It makes for an intense listen, and a
bit of a draining one, but on his latest, The Address EP, it makes his tracks worth paying
attention to.

Album opener “Watch Me” kicks things off with a heavy thumping beat that gels nicely
with lightly reverbed and doubled vocals. The lyrics themselves are solid as well; they
delve into vocabulary beyond the generic, even if the subject matter isn’t particularly
profound. The song’s weakness isn’t in its bars, but in its cadence, where A. Tone
occasionally sounds too much like he’s struggling to keep the verses aligned with the
beat. As he hits each punctuating syllable a bit harder than the downbeats, it gives each
verse a sort of halting, up and down feel that interrupts the track and distracts from the
overall song.

Luckily, the EP’s first track is the only song on the album to really suffer from that sort
of lyrical stutter step. The second track, “Sinful,” smoothes out more as A. Tone explores
important and heavy topics like drugs and crime: “These urges tryna get me to do all
evil deeds/For money honies, drugs, guns and an abundance of this greed.” It’s heavier
subject matter than the album’s first track, but it comes of easier, as if A.Tone believes it
a bit more.

The beats on The Address EP are great, full of bombast and bass. Songs like “They Know
That” and “Sinful” have the sort of booming epic sound that would sound at home in
a krump danceoff or an arena stage. Over the top of those beats, particularly on “They
Know That,” A. Tone adds multi-track vocal verses that create a sort of hip hop wall of
sound effect. It’s so thick it’s almost disorienting at times, but it’s immersive rather than
distracting. With so much to focus on – and verses that seem to surround the listener –
it’s easy to lose yourself in these songs. It may not be the easily-digestible pop rap that
you’ll find on Top 40 radio, but it’s the sort of sonic feeling that musicians can use to
develop a cult following.

The album’s final track, “You Party,” strikes a similar vibe, although – like the title
would suggest – the song has a more joyous and uplifting feel. It’s a real banger, lilting
and saccharine sweet. “You Party” is a soundtrack to a life spent out on the town; “You
say you party, we say its life,” sings the hook. “You plan a weekend, but see we do this
every single night.” This is the type of song that plays in the background when you open

the door to your limo and enter the club in slow motion.

The album isn’t without its flaws; in addition to a disjointed flow at times, A.Tone’s
lyrics are sometimes lost amid the thick production. “Wild N Cray,” a song by
collaborator 1Up, seems like a speedbump in the middle of an album that is very
thematically different. The production sometimes sounds too heavy to let the lyrics really
shine. All told, though, The Address EP is an enjoyable record from an artist who is still
relatively new in the game. His commitment to lyrical density and depth pushes his music
forward, backed by big beats that can stand up to a high volume of verses. The Address
doesn’t seem like an entirely finished product, but it’s a good move in the right direction,
and hints at the potential for better things to come from A.Tone Da Priest.

Review by Chris Barth
Rating: 3 stars (out of 5) - Chris Barth


Discography

Mixtapes:
• A.m.P. Presents Still A Rapper Pt. 1 (2007)
• DJ CEO Presents Lyrical Attack Vol. 2 (2009)
• Just An Exercise… (2009)
• DJ CEO Presents Lyrical Attack Vol. 3 (2009)
• A.m.P. Presents Dream State (2010)
• DJ CEO Presents Lyrical Attack Vol. 5 (2010)
• DJ Kaze Presents The Showcase 101 (2010)
• A.m.P. Presents Greatest of the Latest (2010)
• DJ Smoke Presents The Showcase 105 (2010)
• DJ Kaze Presents The Showcase 109 (2010)
• A.m.P. Presents 16 (2010)
• A.m.P. Presents G.A. State of Mind (2011)

Albums:
• The Verbal Architect And B-Luv – Fantastically Classic (2010)
• A.Tone Da Priest – The Address EP (2011)
• A.Tone Da Priest – Stand By My Words (2011)

Songs w/ Radio Airplay:
• A.Tone Da Priest – Get Up & Go
• A.Tone Da Priest – Sinful
• A.Tone Da Priest – You Party (feat. Zeuz)
• A.Tone Da Priest – Directions (feat. Sonia Emore)

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Bio

Marco Antonio Restrepo (born October 22, 1989), better known by his stage name A.Tone Da Priest, is an American rapper from Atlanta, GA. Marco was born to Nigerian and Panamanian parents. He began his career in 2007 as an artist and producer when he was discovered by The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. With their assistance he was put on as an intern at Hot Beats Recording Studios in Atlanta where he would eventually teach himself how to engineer and begin to compile vast amounts of musical material. Also in the process, he was able to meet and work with some of the most prominent names in the music industry such as Lil Wayne, Bone Thugs, Drake, Mya, to Young Jeezy in addition to several other executives and celebrities. This provided an excellent environment for A.Tone to humble himself, refining his crafts underneath the watching eye and scrutiny of the music industry, also enabling him to develop a mind for the business side of the industry which many artists have overlooked in the midst of all the glamour and fame.

Born in Marietta, Marco moved to several other parts of Atlanta, Georgia throughout his childhood and teen years, due to his parents being separated and constantly relocating. These moves and lack of a sense of stability profoundly affected him, as he became much more independent and reluctant to open up to many, only truly expressing his mind through music. From a young age, Marco was exposed to several types of music by his father who had a record collection ranging from salsa, funk, and Motown amongst other things. This spiked his interest in music immensely. From a very young age Marco was known to learn all the words to songs and perform along to them aloud every time his favorite artist would come on. He would mimic the likes of Jackie Wilson, The Marcels, Stevie Wonder, along with anything and everything on popular radio exuding a confidence and excitement in his showings which would make all around him pay attention. In his teen years, beginning to develop his own taste, he would obtain an unyielding passion for hip hop and punk rock. A.Tone to this date cites Eazy-E, Outkast, 2Pac, Big L, T.I., Nirvana, Linkin Park and Sum41 as his biggest musical influences.

A.Tone Da Priest has made several mix tape appearances since stepping into music in 2007, many of which he himself hosted under the DJ moniker A.m.P., which is a childhood nickname of his. Officially he has released one EP titled “The Address EP”, which was released in 2011 underneath his independent entertainment company Farsyde Entertainment. A.Tone’s style has been described as an “endless onslaught of wise words and well-crafted flows” by journalist Chris Barth. A.Tone has a large internet following as well boasting of a million plus views on numerous videos of his music on YouTube, thousands of downloads, and ten million plus hits on Google. He is currently enrolled at Georgia State University seeking his bachelor’s degree in Marketing.