Last month, Gangstagrass members Rench and T.O.N.E-z attended the Creative Arts Emmys for their nomination in the Best Original Song for a Television Show Category. The song, “Long Hard Times to Come” was written as the theme for the show Justified on FX. The song captured the public’s attention immediately, with fans from across the world trying to find the track and its creators. While the theme for Showtime’s Nurse Jackie took home the win, this marked a historic moment for both the Emmys and the Hip Hop/Rap music genre with T.O.N.E-z getting the nod as the first rapper ever nominated in this category. Now, T.O.N.E-z is set to launch his solo career in a way he has never done before. T.O.N.E-z While gaining mainstream attention as the co-writer of the Emmy Award nominated song, T.O.N.E-z, formerly “Style,” was an established musician before his work with Gangstagrass. In the early 90's, he was signed with Select Records, which produced such artists as Chubb Rock, and his first release was entitled “In Tone We Trust.” T.O.N.E-z went on to sell thousands of mixtapes, and starred alongside Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia.” His brothers are Special K, formerly of the Treacherous Three, and T La Rock. Now he can add the Emmy nomination to his impressive list of accomplishments. With an EP on the way next month and a full CD to follow within the next few months, T.O.N.E-z is set to expand his career from the underground and into the limelight. This move inspired the titles of his releases, the first one being “The Lime Light: The Warm Up EP” and the second being “The Lime Light”. While both discs have will hit the masses via International distribution, T.O.N.E-z stays true to his roots with songs that convey rhythmic power and lyrical depth. Lightning On the Strings, Thunder On the Mic” is the second Gangstagrass album. Available now through most online retailers, it features T.O.N.E-z on the majority of the tracks. Both Hip Hop and Bluegrass fans have taken to this seemingly impossible musical combination. The next track to hit the airwaves is T.O.N.E-z’s personal favorite and opening track on the disc, “That’s Right I’m Good.” You can learn more about T.O.N.E-z and Gangstagrass by visiting Tonezworld and www.gangstagrass.com.
Who is T.O.N.E-z? Perhaps you've heard the name before, or by the previous alias Style (or Tony Tone not to be confused with any of the other people to go by that name). T.O.N.E-z signed with Select Records (a powerhouse in the early 90s, featuring acts such as Chubb Rock, Kid N' Play and M.O.P.: for a list of releases go here). His first release .. Records was entitled "In Tone We Trust". He also released two singles, "The ssassinator" (click to view the video on Youtube) and "What a Brother Know". br />After parting was with Select he dropped the Style alias they had given him and started going by T.O.N.E, which eventually morphed into T.O.N.E-z. Over the years he sold thousands of mixtapes, and worked on several releases including a project with Myzery and a full length solo album "The One No-One Expected". His exploits are too numerous to detail, but this interview with the Cavalier Daily will fill in some of the gaps: T.O.N.E. talks influences, goals, lessons learned. A good exclamation point leading up to T.O.N.E-z affiliation with Rydas Records would be his Mannequins / State of Hip Hop video.
Pedigree If you've already checked out the mixtape and clicked the links you have probably seen the family connections that T.O.N.E-z has. The brother of both Special K formerly of the Treacherous Three and T La Rock both hip-hop legends in their own right. Special K's group (which featured Kool Mo Dee) was signed to Sugar Hill Records and T La Rock had what some consider to be the first Def Jam release, It's Yours. (To read a 1996 New York Times article about T La Rock (which details the T.O.N.E-z/Style and Special K family connection in the tenth paragraph go here. ) Needless to say T.O.N.E-z roots lie in the origins of hip-hop and he and his family has had a profound impact on hip-hop.