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New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Alternative


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"Glutton [EP] Review - 9/10 Stars"

Tonedeff :: Glutton :: QN5 Music
as reviewed by Zach 'Goose' Gase

[Glutton] Tonedeff is one of the most talent rappers of the past 10-15 years. Yes this is a very bold statement especially when the average hip hop head has probably never heard of the New York-based emcee. Tonedeff only has one full-length effort to his name (2005's phenomenal "Archetype"), but since 1997 he has released a few EPs, a group album with Extended Famm, and several other projects. Despite his many skill sets, Tone’s career hasn't really jumped off in the way that one would expect, but he shoulders some of the blame for this. In addition to his admittedly slow writing process, he has spent most of his time and efforts pushing his label QN5 and promoting his fellow talented acts such as the CunninLynguists, Pack FM, Mr. SOS and Substantial. But finally last year Tone announced he's going to focus more on himself, and he announced a slew of releases including his long-awaited sophomore album "Polymer."

But last week we didn't receive that project, instead we got a confusing 5-track EP titled "Glutton." If I had one problem with Tone's debut LP, it’s that he tried to do too much on one album. The result, while excellent, was an album that lacked cohesion. With "Polymer" he seems to be focusing on correcting this by combing 4 EPs, all which represent a different style of music, that will piece together for an LP.

"Polymer will consist of 4 separate EPs. Each EP presents a different face or 'molecule' of Tonedeff. Each EP will be denoted by the Polymer icon located on each cover, with a new molecule filled-in for each release. EP's 1 through 3 will be released digitally, with the fourth exclusively available on the final assembled version of the physical collector's edition of Polymer. All music on the project has been produced synthetically to follow along the idea of an actual Polymer's synthetic structure."

With "Glutton" Tone gives fans a very electronic sound, with traces of dubstep and house sprinkled in. Back in 2008, he briefly displayed this style on the "Love Lockdown"-inspired "Warden." With "Glutton" he's mastered putting his own personal twist on EDM. The NumberNin6-produced title track is a full-fledged dubstep track, but with some masterful lyricism, ultra-quick flows and complex rhyme schemes. At around the 3-minute mark, the song has a great breakdown with a sensational melody on the bridge. No matter how electronic the instrumental is, Tone is able to breathe a sense of life into every track with his beautifully layered harmonies. While his production is great (he does three of the five cuts himself) and his singing top-notch, his true talent – rapping – is second to none. Very few emcees can piece together as many rhyming syllables as Tonedeff – only person that really comes to mind in early-era Eminem (as well as Mathers' better moments on "Relapse").

"He was a Casanova...
not really - But his talent sold him
He was crass, but his passion drove up on the curb
When he rapped, it showed - and ladies certainly had to know him
He was trapped in the past and sewn up in a pattern
Holding to his oldest habits as a grown up
To creep, creep, When he was alone he was prone
Just to peep peep, any bit porn he could hold
As a pre-teen, he begins to hoard what is shown
Then extreme scenes, become a resort of his own
As the weeks keep coming, and seeds reap nothing
But the hunger for the hunt of the cheap deed
Brother here would cheat cheat, any single chance that he'd get
His insecurities surpassed the regrets
Yes, it seems there was a deep need for fantasy to match what he'd get
But he couldn't connect and like it was passenger-sex
And since reality, would have him upset, he vowed to keep clean
If he found a sweet thing, he's positive he'd have to reset
'Yo, I'll never cheat again if I tie the knot'
He put a ring on a woman, with a mind to stop
Now every piece of ass that he met with an eye on his cock
He felt like he was passing a test, When denying their shot
But when the times - they got hard - He resigned and dropped guard
And now he lives alone and pays the price for the 'pop'"

Thematically, "Glutton" is buried in sex, drugs, and every other hedonistic lifestyle one could imagine. Content-wise this EP reminds me a lot of The Weeknd and even Danny Brown's last album. The first three tracks get increasingly more dark and depraved until it bottoms out on the aptly-titled "Filthy (XXX)," which features a chorus so dirty, it would make Jenna Jameson blush. But he closes the EP with lighter moments like "Never," which tells the stories of three people whose lives fall apart due to their gluttony, and the EP's finest track "Sunrise," which -

"Jon Pareles at the 2006 Lollapalooza Festival"

"Day 2 of Lollapalooza started with some noontime adrenaline: the hyperspeed rapping of Tonedeff and the frenetic teenage punk of Be Your Own Pet. Tonedeff got his spot by winning a contest. He's actually a perennial contest winner, and it's easy to hear why: he's a virtuoso who raps faster than the disclaimer in a car-leasing radio commercial, fully earning the boasts in a song called "Velocity."

Because speed-rapping demands a torrent of words, he has some original twists on the standard hip-hop boasts, competitive put-downs, sex talk and political jibes. He also has so many variations of rhythm and tone that his songs are enjoyable even without a rewind button to find out what they meant.

But as one song complained, Tonedeff has yet to release his first major-label CD, and that may be because he's at the opposite end of hip-hop fashion: slow, laconic Southern hip-hop rules radio playlists. He took his revenge with what he pointedly called "the Mike Jones game," named after the Houston rapper. He demonstrated "how to make a hit record": a name, a profanity, some dance moves and a thudding beat. At least he knows what he's up against." - The New York Times

"Archetype Review @ 75 Words or Less"

Hip-hop takes me out of my comfort zone. As an unabashed rock fan, only the occasional hip-hop album will demand my attention. Even fewer inspire me to write about them. Archetype does. The beats and arrangements are full of life; not needlessly busy, yet not stark or cold. Paired with a vocal flow that would make your favorite MC jealous, Tonedeff’s missive is virtually flawless from front to back. Not as avant as the backpackers nor as elementary as Billboard’s Hot 100, Archetype is a fitting title. - 75 Words or Less

"Archetype Album Review: 4/5 STARS"

With one of the best flows in hip hop, Tondeff puts out a well-rounded debut.

July 08, 2005 – It’s a testament to the loyalty of an artist’s fan base when a debut – years in the making – can still generate a good deal of hype. Granted, Tonedeff had his hand in numerous other projects along the way (both inside and outside of his QN5 label) including guest roles on Cunninlynguists material and work with the politically volatile Immortal Technique. After prolonged anticipation swirling around the first full-length from the Queens-based emcee, 2005 finally saw Tone unveil his musical blueprint – his Archetype.

But if he really wants to be a prototype for the hip hop world to build on, I’m afraid other emcees have a lot of work cut out for them. Tone’s versatility has few parallels, from “Let’s Go” to an sullenly revealing look into his love/hate relationship for hip hop on “Masochist.”

Besides Tone himself, a select few other producers offer beats with varying degrees of success, the best of which coming from fellow QN5 mate Kno on “Loyal.” Tone delves into the hurt of friendships betrayed over a slow progression of tones and drum kicks, complete with a helium-laced chorus like those heard all over Kno’s work with Cunninlynguists.

But the true pinnacle of Tone’s debut comes on the beautifully mellow “Porcelain,” a look into unrequited young love spit with pinpoint precision: “7 years of frustration then hit her ears with abrasion/ As I laced her with my tale of lust, tears and anticipation, her reaction was a face of fakeness.”

Archetype is an engaging trip from start to finish, but don’t get too comfortable or else Tone’s rapid-fire style makes it easy to miss out on his high-caliber lyricism. His flow is truly one of a kind, though, covering up for the occasional musical misstep. -

"Bar Code - Line Of The Month"

"I'm coming off of the cuff, leaving your girl with a pearl bracelet" - The Source Magazine

"MTV Hip-Hop Week"

Featured performer along with Wordsworth, PackFM & Mecca for MTV's "Hip-Hop Week" commercial spots.

VIDEO: - MTV Networks

"#1 Independant Pick (12" Single)"

“Ridiculous” 12” named #1 single's pick by Dan Greenpeace (July 01)
- Hip Hop Connection (UK)

""Spanish Song" #1 Bobbito Pick"

"Spanish Song" #1 Pick Hit by Bobbito Garcia (June 01)
- The Fader

"Featured Artist"

24HourMC 'License To Spit' - Featured Artist (Sep 00)
- XXL Magazine

"Hookt MC Battle Champion"

Hookt MC Battle Champion (Aug 00)
- Hookt Battle (NYC)

"Braggin Rites Champion"

March 2000 - Braggin Rites MC Battle (NYC)

""Hyphen" [ep] 4/5 Stars"

Hyphen - "Transplanted from Miami and now residing in NYC comes Tonedeff. His quick wit is second only to his even faster delivery. From freestyles to massive collabs, there's a never a dull moment when he is on the mic." Score: 4/5
- BPM Culture, Meddafore (Dec 01) - BPM CULTURE

"4.5/5 Stars for 12" Single"

"Tonedeff is hands down the most entertaining new emcee on the market, largely due to his "ridiculous" flow and charisma." Score: 4.5/5 // -, Justice (July 01) -





Hyphen (QN5 Music/Yosumi, 2001)
Happy Fuck You Songs (QN5 Music/Freshchest, 2002) (with Extended Famm)
Underscore (QN5 Music/Freshchest, 2003)
Archetype (QN5 Music/Freshchest, 2005)
Polymer (QN5 Music, 2013)
Hyperrealism (Quintic, 2013) (as Peter Anthony Red)
Chico & the Man (QN5 Music, TBA) (with Kno)


The Monotone EP (QN5 Music, 1997)
The Projectionist (Quintic, 2012) (as Peter Anthony Red)
Glutton (QN5 Music, 2013) (Polymer EP 1 of 4)


Cold. Killed. Collected. (2005-2010) (QN5 Music, 2011)
No One Cares-Ground Original 3 (2001)


Released: 2000
Label: Tru Criminal Records
B-Side: "Head's Up"

Released: 2005
Label: QN5 Music/Freshchest
B-Side: "Disappointed"

Released: 2011
Label: QN5 Music


2000: Braggin Rites MC Battle Champion
2000: Hookt (aka Da Cypha) Battle Champion
2001: The Source Unsigned Hype Battle Finalist
2006: Lollapalooza's Last Band Standing Winner



He’s won a string of distinguished battles, though he’s far from just a battle rapper. He’s garnered a rep for his signature, rapid-fire delivery, yet he’s considerably more than just a fast rapper. He sings and produces-though not quite a singer nor producer-and is the founder of QN5 Music, though you wouldn’t just call him a label head. He’s the artist you can’t quite categorize.

Perhaps most impressive is that he does all of these things, and well. With a background as colorful as his talents, Tonedeff grew up in Chicago, IL, before moving to Miami, FL, for the remainder of his adolescence. While it was in Miami that he began recording and performing, it wasn’t until relocating to Queens, NY at 21 that the well-traveled emcee really began making noise. He won a string of battles, including the Braggin’ Rites MC Battle and NYC’s notorious Da Cypha battles, to name a few. At the same time, he built a name for himself by opening for esteemed acts such as the Common, Royce Da 5’9, Blackalicious, Beatnuts, Brand Nubian and Rahzel.

Where most up-and-comers hit a stalemate, however, Tonedeff had only just begun. After forming the independent label QN5 Music in 2000, he released a series of work including the enhanced Hyphen EP, Happy F*ck You Songs with Extended F@mm (along with PackFM, Substantial, and Session), the now-infamous “Clear ‘Em Out” 12” single with KRS-One, and countless guest spots for artists such as Masta Ace, DJ JS-1, CunninLynguists and Immortal Technique. 2003 saw him grace the pages of The Source Magazine, MTV airwaves in a commercial for Hip Hop Week and the release of his Underscore EP. In 2005, Tonedeff released his critically acclaimed Archetype album which further cemented his place as one of Hip Hop’s truly daring boundary pushers and visionaries. Fresh off the QN5 Spring Cleaning National Tour in In 2006, he took the grand prize in Lollapalooza’s Last Band Standing competition, beating out over 2,000 bands of all genres from all over the world.

Combining beauty, talent and artistic innovation, Tonedeff shatters the mold of conventional hip-hop, bringing it to levels that others only speak of. Influenced by a diverse range of artists – Common, Fresh Prince, Enya, Tori Amos and Bjork, for example-his own style is reflective of such, a melting pot of styles and sounds. Following the QN5 mantra of “the New Hip-Hop,” the multi-talented artist breathes new life into a dwindling art form, taking the reigns in the pursuit of new ideals as the originator, the new standard, the archetype.