Artist Spotlight: Syracuse-born Rapper Toosii Brings New Sounds to Melodic Rap

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Growing up in Syracuse and then moving to Raleigh, North Carolina to help launch his music career, R&B/hip-hop artist Toosii has exploded drastically since bursting onto the scene. over five years ago, and now collaborates with some of the biggest stars in the industry.

Toosii said in an interview with DJ Vlad on YouTube that his “roots are in Syracuse,” but relocating was what really steered him down the right path, especially since North Carolina was already seeing an increase in number of promising artists with DaBaby, Rapsody and Cordae are starting to become big names. From Toosii’s early mixtapes to the October release of the EP “Boys Don’t Cry”, he displays new and developed skills honed over years of working in the industry.

Journey to stardom

Despite moving to Raleigh at the age of 13, the transition to fame was slow, as the 2017 mixtape “Why Not Now” and 2019 release “Who Dat” were just openings for the rapper’s discography. . The mixtapes may not have garnered much interest in a national setting, but puts him in a good place among up-and-coming artists in the Carolinas.

Toosii’s first release of 2020, “Platinum Heart”, featured several songs such as “Love Cycle” and “Truth Be Told” which really boosted the rapper’s credibility, generating buzz from the southern rap scene and major tracks. intriguing music.

“Love Cycle” quickly caught the interest of Summer Walker, one of R&B’s biggest talents. Walker then hopped on a remix of the track, which made it a Billboard hit, Toosii’s most successful single to date, and his number one song on Apple Music.

Although it took him just over three years to gain traction, Toosii had finally started generating mainstream noise after his “Love Cycle” remix featuring Walker and other tracks such as “Sapiosexual” and “Poetic Bread”.

The unique, raspy voice that Toosii uses in his songs is a new sound in melodic rap, and it’s one of the main reasons fans of the subgenre started listening to what he had to offer. The 2020 album “Poetic Pain” only pushed him higher on the charts.

“Poetic Pain,” is still his highest-charting Billboard album, debuting at number 17 on the Billboard Hot 200, and impressively only has two feature films – Walker and Chicago rapper Lil Durk, another face of the industry known for its sometimes sad, melodic tracks.

Post “Poetic Pain”

Following the widespread success of “Poetic Pain,” the May 2021 release of “Thank You For Believing” bolstered Toosii’s resume and garnered interest from more of the industry’s biggest artists – plus those that focused strictly on R&B or melodic rap.

Collaborations with DaBaby and Key Glock have shed light on the project, and his “spin music” track with Fivio Foreign on the deluxe edition sees Toosii experimenting with Fivio’s quintessential New York drill sound he has perfected.

Toosii plays around with different sounds on “Thank You For Believing” while following the classic, melodic tracks that first made him popular.

As he continued to secure tour dates, performances at major festivals, and saw the debut of “Thank You For Believing” at #25 on the Billboard Hot 200, Toosii was also named to the Student List of Year 1 of XXL magazine 2021Artist Spotlight: Syracuse-born rapper Toosii brings new sounds to melodic rap. He joined the likes of Pooh Shiesty, 42 Dugg and others on the list, cementing himself as a mainstream artist at this point.

Since his last album, Toosii released two EPs last year: “Pretty Girls Love Toosii”, released in December 2021, with R&B giant Jacquees, and “Boys Don’t Cry”, which was just released on October 7. 2022. .

“Boys Don’t Cry” created immediate buzz, debuting at number ten on the Apple Music charts and number one on the Apple Music R&B/Soul charts. The extended six-track all-solo set sees the same combination of rap and melodic sad songs that fans have come to love, and gives them a taste of what the future holds.

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Toosii has developed a deep catalog since his debut, but several songs have stuck with R&B listeners more than others thanks to his eccentric ear for instrumentals and samples and the pain in his voice as he sings about past experiences with heartbreak. .

“Heart cold”, one of the first singles before the deluxe release of “Thank You For Believing”, is a prime example of a heartbreaking song. One of the lyrics says “my heart is cold, yes, but that’s because I put someone else above me”.

The track also includes a background sample, chanting “I don’t wanna keep guessing, cause guessing is pointless.” The simple, relatable lyrics and heartbreak-surrounding samples explain why songs like “heart cold” have become chart-toppers in R&B and how Toosii has exploded over the years.

On his latest EP, the final track “Love Is…” shows a vulnerable side of Toosii as he delves deep into the details of a failed relationship. Using an excerpt from “Love Is Weird” by Julia Michaels, he discusses long battles with depression, suicidal thoughts, and his reluctance to find love again after that past relationship.

He continues to dig deep on the track, talking about the trust and bond Toosii had developed with her significant other, only for her to fall in love and slowly drift away from the rapper.

Acting as a more upbeat track, “shop” from “Thank You For Believing” serves as an upbeat radio hit that features fellow North Carolina rapper DaBaby. The sped-up guitar instrumental allows Toosii to experiment with rapping and showcasing the ability to keep up with DaBaby on a high-octane, high-energy song.

The future

In early 2021, Billboard named Toosii one of 15 R&B and hip-hop artists to watch, as his releases and growing portfolio of charting songs prove why the Syracuse rapper still has a lot to do.

Going forward, Toosii will continue to be a name to watch in the R&B and rap game. He’s signed to Capitol Records, the same label as megastars Halsey, Sam Smith and more.

It might take time for a Toosii album to hit shelves, but his October release of “Boys Don’t Cry” is sure to keep fans hooked in the meantime.

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