EarthTone
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EarthTone

New York City, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

New York City, NY | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Hip Hop

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I don’t know if its the use of a familiar beat or Earthtone’s attractive “regular guy” wife-beater swag depicted in the music video, but the song actually works for me….and I haven’t smoked trees in over 15 years.

Its still very refreshing that Earthtone has continued to resist the urge to switch up his style in order to get the boys to twerk their bussys in a gay club. Makes me even more curious to see what his on-stage performance will be like in September and how the gay (fem/trans/lesbian) audience will respond to him. - Nick Delmacy


EarthTone’s second track serves as the perfect introduction to his brilliant EP. Everyone knows about hip hop’s complicated relationship with homophobia. But less people, perhaps, understand the pigeonholing that goes on within the queer community. Throughout Gmale, the New Jersey rapper, real name Naquan Williams, covers it all through his personal story.

The record opens with a beat reminiscent of music 10 years its senior. I’m immediately hooked. Turnin’ 30 is a BIG opening track, waxing on the tumultuous events of his 2013. It melts straight into Fuck Is You?, which confronts homophobia in hip hop, as well as institutional racism in America. It’s probably one of the boldest hip hop tracks I’ve come across. Whether it’s fair or not, mainstream hip hop has become synonymous with luxury and hedonism, so it’s pleasing to hear something a little more… meaningful. “And why you so concerned with who I’m lovin’, dude?” from Fuck Is You? ties together so many of the messages in this EP, as well as issues many of us face as queer people. - Cassie C Graves


To Whom It May Concern is not attempting to be typical mainstream rap music, which is being mimicked to the point of over saturation by the up-and-comers and wannabe’s. I feel like EarthTone is channeling Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Black Star, Jeru The Damaja, Digable Planets, Common, The Roots and Pharaoh Monch among other artists from 20 years ago. Technically not new, it’s still refreshing to hear this type of style from a gay artist.

From East Orange NJ, EarthTone has been in the underground rap scene for years. From videos on his Youtube channel it appears EarthTone may have been a part of a group called Jersey Journal back in 2011. Now riding solo, the rapper/producer is gearing up to drop his EP GMale in July 2014. In the buildup he has released tracks titled The Sound, Fuck Is You? and the aforementioned To Whom It May Concern. - Octavius Williams


Who you sleep with should never be an issue but in the hip-hop community it’s an issue coming to the surface and one attached to the issues openly gay artists struggle with.

Frank Ocean might be considered the first openly gay rapper but no longer is he the only one. When you dive into the world of indie artists I believe you will find a long list of openly gay hip-hop artists and rappers hustling and making it happen in the music game.

In 2014, we named Brooklyn’s rising star, Controverse an openly gay wicked lyricist and one of ULM NYC’s artists to watch and it looks like 2015 won’t be any different.

The rap and hip-hop music game is not easy to break into but I admire my fellow artists who are not afraid to walk in their own truth, follow their passion, and be fearless as they change the face of hip-hop. It’s true artists like EarthTone (Naquan Williams) from East Orange, NJ who has been making society and the music industry take notice as an openly gay rapper and hip-hop artist because there is a growing market for the openly gay hip-hop, R&B singer and rapper.

The hip-hop culture is a market and industry I have little connection with but have grown to appreciate it as I uncover more and more openly gay artists. As an African-American who comes from a very liberal family I was never ashamed of being openly gay. However, I learned to distance myself form certain forms of music due the lack of acceptance in the community. Artists like EarthTone and Controverse, however, are the reasons my appreciation for hip-hop and rap music is reaching new heights that go beyond the music.

Music is a universal language but for years I could never relate to hip-hop or rap but as I dive deeper into the music of these openly gay artists I realize my lack of acceptance of the music is because of the lack of diversity within the genre. As an openly gay African-American who has always been proud to be gay and open about it, I am excited to embrace a form of music I once rejected. I couldn’t relate previously but the more and more gay hip-hop artists are out, I become more and more connected because I understand and can relate to their struggle. - Corey Wesley


Fresh from hitting the stage at New York City’s historic battlegrounds SOB’s EarthTone is victorious. The long-time producer/songwriter is full of emotions from excitement, to relief and pride after winning first place at the Faces in the Crowd Showcase on July 29th. The crowd and the judges took well to his new music and were feeling his message and flow, even though the 30-year-old East Orange, New Jersey native provides a disclaimer: he is an openly gay rapper.

But EarthTone’s appearance negates stereotypes of gay men, especially those in the spotlight. He is rugged; has a beard, dresses like a hippie, smokes blunts, and is the polar opposite of feminine. Nevertheless what he does behind closed doors has nothing do to with his lyricism and his latest EP G-Male proves just that.

I chopped it up with EarthTone and he talked about being comfy in his skin-after “coming out”, his musical journey, dealing with his mother’s death and more. - Dominique Zonyee


Discography

GMale: The EP (2014)

1. Turnin' 30
2. Fuck Is You?
3. The Sound
4. Fucking Awesome Guy (FAG)
5. Blue Collar BeefCake ft. Mac Moe
6. The Best ft. Keef
7. Bible Pages ft. S. Black

Photos

Bio

EarthTone (born Naquan Williams) is a
seasoned combo artist hailing from East Orange, NJ. From the age of six he fell
in love with the genre
and was
groomed in what most consider the "Golden Era". Though heavily
impacted by the hip hop culture, his influences range from The Eagles to Erykah
Badu
.


EarthTone grew up
writing and performing his music after his older brothers discovered his innovative
talents. A multi-faceted individual, he would go on to excel in academics and
athletics, garnering an opportunity to play NCAA Division 3 basketball for an
acclaimed liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. Four years and a bachelors
degree later, and he would go
on to attend the Institute of Audio Research in New York City where he learned
the basics of audio engineering and music production. From there he would blend
those new skills along with his given talents to become the captivating artist
he is today.


EarthTone specializes in hip hop
production, song writing, and MCing. His sound is best described as
"High-Grade Hip Hop", combing abrasive lyrics filled with 3rd listen
undertones and beats that mirror early
Kanye
and
J Dilla. A few of his favorite MCs
include:
Black Thought, Homeboy Sandman, Curren$y, Busta Rhymes, Phonte, and Styles P. What separates EarthTone's
muziq is its openly gay yet subtle
content in an ironic landscape;
The Hip Hop Arena. He has a way of bringing
you close to the thoughts of a gay hip hop head, without making you feel
uncomfortable.  Have a listen and you're
sure to be entertained and refreshingly informed.




Band Members