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The best kept secret in music



Toronto, ON - We decided to catch up with the charismatic emcee known as Daetona to see what he’s been up to since our last interview almost three years ago. A lot has happened since Tona was last in the hot seat so it’s only right that we’re on hand to document his movements and find out where he’s headed. He has a hot new King Sampson produced single out called “Dial Tone,” which was just recently added to rotation on Flow 93.5FM and is getting steady rotation in the college circuit as well.

I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of his new album that will be dropping this quarter of 2007 and let’s just say it’s banging! Daetona is definitely bringing a unique sound to the table and his album is a testament to that. Check out my interview with Daetona below:

HHC: Daetona, welcome back to Tell us what's been going on with you… As if this is your first interview HHC since 2003?
Man where do I start though? In between that time I figured out a way to keep myself scarce but still relevant. Over saturation is whack and some cats feel the need to be posting songs everyday of the week, appearing everywhere, not knowing they’re slowly devaluing themselves. A lot has been going on, especially a lot of growth. I feel myself growing and maturing with the music today as opposed when I first started making songs. My knowledge has come from experience and my experience comes from my mistakes so I’ve been making mistakes, learning and putting my career together properly. I feel like I’m lyrically in the best shape of my life.

HHC: So you have finally finished your first CD, give the people an idea of what we should expect to hear from Daetona?
Yeah, the CD is done finally done. It took me some time to get it right, but I’m glad I took my time with it and wrapped it up because it's sounding exactly the way i wanted it too: different. The people that know or understand the music I’m trying to create, know what to expect lyrically. The sound itself is so far left, that somebody without an introspective view on music wouldn't even want to embrace this. I made sure to put together an album that didn't match or sound like anything out there; not just in Toronto but also internationally.

HHC: What made you decide to push back the release and have you set a new date?
I decided to push the release date back because I found myself in a rush to get it out during the month of October. Usually if things are coming at you too fast, then you’re in the wrong lane. I’m basically setting more realistic goals for myself. I’m no longer trying to accomplish shit in a week that would regularly take six months to do. All the little formalities surrounding it as far as promotion and distribution weren't exactly on point neither so the last thing I wanted was for my album to sit around and not get the recognition I feel it deserves. I understand it's not going to be for everyone and I don't expect everyone to feel the album but for those that do, I need to make sure I can get it in your living room without you having to search the streets for it.

HHC: How did you come up with the name The Rap Game Makeover?
Makeovers seem to be the shit now. I'm seeing how they can take somebody with decent average looks and make them look ten times more appealing as they were naturally. I'm taking the same approach with this album. I'm going to take something that I feel has got so ugly in reference to hip-hop and give it a different, more appealing look and sound.

HHC: Tell us about Dial Tone. The track is definitely different from what you normally hear and it’s HOT. What made you choose that as your first single?
Sometimes the simple ideas are the best ones. I had the idea stored away for a long time. I brought it in to my in-house production team (King Sampson) and we literally took the sounds right out of the phone. The response has been so crazy off that one joint that I decided to give it a kick push as the first single from the album. The only Canadian stereotype I’m ever going to agree with about Canadian artists is having a single on radio out with no video or product available for convenience. I've fell victim to that shit myself also but it's ok. I have to take this time to shout out all the DJ's that have been showing that track mad love. Before this I hadn’t dropped any material for about 6 months and people were already saying I was falling off. I was out to make a powerful statement with that track so I’m glad it got its point across.

HHC: Which producers have you worked with on the album?
Most of the tracks were produced by The Avenue, which is our collective movement. It consists of King Sampson, who handles most of my production. King Sampson is my favourite production squad; they’re on they way to greatness. Remember I said it. They’re not afraid to experiment with sound and we have been tight for a long time. S-Roc from Brassmunk did 1 track, Big H, Anonymous Twist did 1 track, Agile did 2 t -


Don't Holla EP - 2007
Dont' Holla EP Singles: "Dial Tone"
"Don't Holla feat. Sroc"
"Oh Sh--!"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Every MC has his/her own creative niche, which makes him/her unique and simply not easy to classify. But if one is talking about originality and versatile demonstrations, it just doesn’t get any better than Tona.

Tona (formerly Daetona) resides in Canada but is a descendent from Africa, where he acquired all of his personality traits. He went from the park benches to the stage entrance, almost instantaneously. Unlike most rappers from the “hood”, a great deal more creativity is applied to his style and rap than your typical MC. What he attempts to bring to the game is that raw authenticity that Hip-Hop was well known for, intertwined with his own personal life experiences.

The name Tona (which is short for Daetona) was created by himself, Raeshawn Nantwi and based on his very spontaneous and accelerated lifestyle, which is comparable to the Daytona 500. He applies this adrenaline rush to his style of rap. The same amount of enthusiasm represents the B-Boying theatrics before the transitioned him from breakdancing and rapping.

Tona has been rocking microphones and entertaining local residents for over 14 years. He has lit up stages at legendary Toronto venues such as; Reverb, The Guvernment, The 360, Opera House and Drake Underground, along with various other clubs and concert halls outside of Canada.
In addition, other appearances include; Rhyme Pays (CBC Hip hop Documentary) and various MC competitions, such as ImportFest.

As a youngster, Tona was also part of a very enthusiastic rap group called Young NAPPS - Young.Native.Africans.Pleasing.People.Spontaneously. They were managed by an inspired writer, P.Crucial, who wrote the lyrics for every member of the group, which consisted of five other individuals.

But being inspired by such greats as Nas and Rakim, Tona started writing his own lyrics at the age of fourteen, and since then has been continually astounding ears all over the G.T.A. Tona continues to sharpen his skills in street corner ciphers to building official studio projects and performances.

Tona’s tireless work ethic is unsurpassed as he aims to establish his own label. It will be a collective movement but also as a powerful statement to those rappers without the entrepreneurial spirit.
“Da District Entertainment” was established by CEO Tona in 2005. This moniker refers to more than the label. It is also inspired by the infamous part of Toronto he resides in, Scarborough.

“Toronto has always been Hip-Hop oriented, you can’t go anywhere in our city and not interact with it, even if you didn’t understand it. Hip-Hop is here, the music, the streets, the culture, people endorse that brand all over, but in TO especially. Hip hop in Scarborough feels like the foundation of the culture to me, it is how I treat it and also acknowledge where it originally came from, I love my city for that.”.

Tona is very passionate about Hip-Hop and how it reflects people in the city. The label is a movement to help preserve this feeling and keep it there for as long as possible. Everyone associated with the label and movement understands this and has a thorough understanding of what needs to be restored in today’s music - real music. Real people, no gimmicks nor catch phrase slogans thrown on t-shirts, just Hip hop like how it was before the corporations took it over and made it “Rap”.
Tona’s contribution to Hip-Hop and Hip-Hop in Toronto is well noted with numerous features, shows and his three critically acclaimed mixtapes beneath his belt. Poised to launch a relentless attack on the music industry in 2007, Tona has completed his first video has released the internet-only "Don't Holla". Later in ’07 will come his first full length LP, with more concerts, showcases and surprises.

Fasten your seatbelt, cause it’s gonna be a hell of a ride…