I like to catch a, ” tenet to Toliver’s method, though it’s undeniably his unique vocal inflection that makes the rapper stand out. I was just fucking with every DJ in the city, no matter who or what, making sure I was in their Serato.”. And now a couple of those records are going on Heaven or Hell.”. After his self-imposed hiatus, the public’s first taste of Toliver’s Wonda-Dean braintrust was “No Idea,” an end-of-the-night, club-closing anthem that sounds like it was made for a speakeasy on Neptune. “I remember I was in the locker room one day after school, sitting down, headphones in, listening to Overly Dedicated. Don Toliver impresses on his introductory effort that includes looks from Travis Scott, Offset, Quavo, Sheck Wes, and Kaash Paige. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. In one Houstock video, young Don Toliver and YungJosh perform a stand-out track, “Play Me,” at Warehouse Live, then a staple venue of the city’s underground rap circuit. Then, in May, after teasing the music at live shows for nearly a year, the two finally dropped their Playa Familia mixtape. Backwoods are broken down and family-style Chinese filters in. “ I was in the Cactus Jack studio… and I was recording, so I got that whiff of that and we … The crowd was suffocating in the pit area, moshing—or rather, as Scott calls it—with bodies flying into each other at the rate of scrap metal from an exploded bomb. Watch below. Work-life balance feels like a breached contract these days, but Toliver seems to be managing just fine. Them melodies is it.”. They’re just as quick to veto an outfit that doesn’t suit him as they are to tell him he just wasn’t cut out for the NBA as he bricks multiple attempts at the store’s pop-a-shot basketball hoop. At the time, he was still just shy of his first car, so he was a big supporter of public transportation. On the album, he is as pensive as he is instinctual. This is a story of duality, in substance and in exercise, for the Gemini artist, who straddles an inclination toward seclusion and emerging rap fame. While Travis Scott was ascending, Don Toliver looked up to his hometown hero and mulled a switch from rapping to singing. He did all this without making much of a peep. Toliver directs his friend Bizzy’s overzealous son to grab his cardigan for a photo, and he’s off. In an interview with Complex, Don Toliver broadly described the album and compared it to his first official project, Donny Womack:. . Don Toliver is a Warner Music artist. The shit that makes me happy: recording. When I ask if they ever made it to a house-turned-club called AvantGarden, a weeknight haven for Houston’s black 20-somethings, Toliver flashes a huge grin and starts clapping. She’s picking out a soundtrack for our 20-minute class: Don Toliver, TiaCorine, and NAV. Toliver ended up on the song after their label, APG, offered Taylor old records by Toliver. On a grey Tuesday in early March, unknowingly the last days before life as we know it would completely morph in the wake of COVID-19, Don Toliver is rapping along to Drake and Future’s “Life is Good” in the car. They discuss what the night might entail as game plans and invitations are finalized. In the winter of 2017, Don Toliver released solo songs “I Gotta” and “Diva,” which began to gain traction. I was losing money because I had to stay in the club all night and I couldn’t work the way I had been working. With the emergence of his own musical talent, Toliver spent most of his days in trap spots, listening to Gucci Mane and Bankroll Fresh while hustling for profit. Inside Space Village’s Orbit Cafe, we sit above a floor that’s made entirely of LED screens projecting cosmic visualizations while a young woman twists Toliver’s locs and we drink smoothies made by Travis Scott’s very sweet aunt Deborah. I lost a lot, but, then again, I gained so much, because I focused on me more. “The music has done so much for me, how could I not wanna stay locked in?” he says. Copyright © 2021 Interview Magazine. “He doesn’t know I be having fun, though.” He smiles, shifting his attention to the round-the-block line for Ellen’s Stardust Diner in Times Square. And then I would stop in a little bar and DJ from one to two. But sitting at Jue Lan Club for dinner before his listening party, he’s blending in. Instead of shouting “My life a movie!” for an hour, which anyone driving a McLaren is certainly within their right to do, the usually tight-lipped Toliver approached his afternoon with Complex in another way. At 16, Toliver recorded his first song, “Bitch I’m in the Building.” Canvassing the scene like a politician, Toliver hit open mics, art shows, and strip clubs, seeing what worked. Look 3: Stussy plaid, Archive Ralph Lauren Polo cargos, cotton Citizens white T-shirt, Jordan sneakers. On the other side of the coin, “Candy” is Toliver’s most pronounced confession, owing much of its sonic anatomy to fellow cosmonauts Funkadelic—Dean’s guitar channels Eddie Hazel’s solo on “Maggot Brain” while Don sings that he’s “been living a lie” and compares his sin to genocide. The OG Houston rap legend Chedda Da Connect got wind through local clubs, and signed on as his manager. The crowd was suffocating in the pit area, moshing—or rather, raging, as Scott calls it—with bodies flying into each other at the rate of scrap metal from an exploded bomb. It helped me build character. “But I feel like it was perfect. track featuring Migos’s Quavo and Offset, and “Spaceship,” the grungy, bass-kicking Sheck Wes-assisted anthem, Don proves once again he can enter other artists worlds and still leave completely under his own pretense. His old buddy Earl, for example, is in charge of throwing tonight’s party. He closes the butterfly doors and zips off westward, into the sunset. With the emergence of his own musical talent, Toliver spent most of his days in trap spots, listening to Gucci Mane and Bankroll Fresh while hustling for profit. Now I want a squad to feel brolic with. COMPLEX participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means COMPLEX gets paid commissions on purchases made through our links to retailer sites. At the time, they were tuned in to their Houston contemporaries like Trill Sammy, Dice Soho, Ugly God and Le$. Toliver got his Cutlass after graduating from high school, around the time his best friend Josh moved into an apartment on Dairy Ashford Road and bought proper studio equipment. I’m making sure I don’t lose sense of that. He did all this without making much of a peep. To date, it has been shared in over 8 million individual videos on TikTok, with many of its most popular shares clocking over a million likes. Instead, he had stacks of video games. He also linked with Mike Dean, the legendary producer responsible for helping Travis and Kanye West craft their sound, and who cut his teeth producing for Texas icons like Scarface, Selena, UGK, Z-Ro, Devin the Dude, and Big Mello. The interview has been sightly edited for clarity. Toliver knew he finally had every piece of the puzzle to take his career to the next level, including the manpower needed to push his. Where Toliver might lack in lyrical storytelling, he makes up for in melodic measure, infectious ad-libs, distorted instrumentation, and an. She tells us she had been in the restaurant business before and Travis asked her to come out of retirement to help run the cafe. We round another corner and pull into the alley behind Space Village, blasting Fat Pat’s “Ghetto Dreams,” the title track from the late rapper’s 1998 debut album. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group. With that momentum to build off of, Toliver and Josh then saved up enough money to make a trip back to New York in the fall. Interview: Chase B Talks Latest Single “Cafeteria” + Upcoming Project w/ Don Toliver. The first points of that game were scored by the Rockets’ famously clutch shooter, Robert Horry, laying the groundwork for Toliver to sing, “Sad story/if I had to shoot ’em bet it’s Robert Horry,” 16 years later, on the opening title track from Heaven or Hell. Atlantic Records came calling in 2018, around the same time Travis Scott caught wind of Toliver’s music. Plug me outta the Matrix.”, “And that’s when you go into the studio.”, With Toliver’s locs twisted proper, and our smoothies finished, he turns to his friends and makes another decree: “We finna turn this bitch into Avant [Garden] tonight! “Travis liked ‘Can’t Say,’ so he jumped on that. According to an interview with the Fader , he is a Houston-area rapper who caught the attention of Travis. On the album, he is as pensive as he is instinctual. As is the case with most artists, his parents’ own musical preferences influenced his current style. Born Caleb Zackery Toliver, Don was born and raised in southwest Alief, Houston. There was a reason Bongo played so much Swishahouse in his home: He’d actually made a handful of appearances on Da Mista Masta, a 2000 album from Swishahouse artist Archie Lee. “I recorded about 10 records,” he remembers. “About two weeks ago, I scooped [my father] up and took him to the studio,” he recounts. From Alief, he’d pop on his headphones and ride across the sprawling Southern metropolis. It was during this time that Toliver secured a deal with Atlantic Records, but he still wasn’t slowing down. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group. 43. It wasn’t glamorous. “Nothin’ but 93!” Don Toliver shouts as he fuels up his white McLaren, smiling from under a pink bucket hat. 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