Toine

Toine

"Hip-Hop was never a fad, it was always a permanent thing." - Toine

Toine is one half of the Maryland duo DTMD (Dunc & Toine MakinDollas) and is praised for his merticulous and intellectual delivery coupled with the depth of his music knowledge.

Photo courtesy of Orlando Urbina


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Q&A 

Can you remember the first Hip-Hop song you ever heard and what feelings it inspired in you?

Toine: I don’t really remember one that stood out. I grew up with it, so to distinguish a song as Hip-Hop and not Hip-Hop, I never even thought about it. I was lucky enough—or I don’t even know if I’m lucky enough—to grow up always having rap as an option. I’m not old enough to have had R&B be the main level of music for the youth. Hip-Hop was never a fad it was always a permanent thing. I remember being really young, I guess like two years old my mom had me on tape talking about “Too Legit to Quit.” And “Gin and Juice.” I was sipping lemon juice since I didn’t know what Gin was back then. Those two songs stand out in my earliest memories.

 

Who were the artists whose career and work has been a source of inspiration to you?

Toine: I’ll have to say Common from about '94 to '05…I feel like Common with his albums really grows [as an artist]…I don’t think he really made the same album twice. He’ll make an album then give a more polished feel on it in the next one…when he was Common Sense he was weird, he was sharp, extremely sharp and he was a real serious battle rap cat. He was the first rapper I really paid attention to with intellectual punchlines. He would have “I’m nicer than you, I’m this and that,” but a lot of his lines that had punch to them would be really introspective stuff that kind of made you think. When I really first started writing I was modeling myself after Common of that era.

 

What do you consider some of the most influential contributions made to Hip-Hop in the past 40 years?

Toine: Sheesh okay. I guess the invention of rapping over breaks [laughs]. If no one ever rapped over breaks whatever we have today would not exist in the same way. DJs would still be the kings and not the rappers—which I have no problem with but I feel like it should be about the music and not everything else. But just the thought of people rapping over breaks that makes Hip-Hop what it is today.

 

Where do you see Hip-Hop evolving in the next 40 years given its current direction?

Toine: I really don’t know. Hip-Hop follows the people and if the people stay on this trajectory I can see this, not ceasing to exist but…people’s appreciation for music dwindle. It’s too easy to put music out. The internet is giving people a false sense of entitlement, putting them on a pedestal that may or may not be warranted. The music industry as a whole is uh—quality control is a thing of the past. I’m not really as optimistic about the quality of the music…I hope it will be good.

 

What do you consider your generation’s great contribution to Hip-Hop?

Toine: …We’re a lot more technologically savvy. I feel we embrace more alternatives than rap. A lot of people, even Hip-Hop artists, are into more genres than rap, and even incorporate non-historically Black styles into their music now.

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