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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 Common, royce da 5’9, 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, the “Clear ‘Em Out” 12” single with KRS-One, and countless guest spots for artists such as Masta Ace, DJ JS-1 and CunninLynguists. 2003 saw him grace the pages of The Source Magazine and the MTV airwaves in a commercial for Hip Hop Week.
April 2005 marks the release of Archetype, his long-anticipated debut LP. A culmination of his artistic abilities, Archetype displays the incontestable versatility and raw talent that sets him apart from the rest. Comprising the spine-tingling harmonies of the intro; the relentless, rapid-fire punchlines of “Let’s Go” and “Issawn”; the unabashed wit and comedy of “Disappointed” and “Pervert”; and the breathtaking beauty of the true story “Porcelain”; 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.
Combining beauty, talent and artistic innovation, Tonedeff is set to awaken hip-hop with a distinctively new sound. 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.
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