With wizardry lyricism, a sharp mind and ferocious drive Token is branching out with his own style of Hip-hop. Unlike most 18 year olds this young emeece, has already 'broke down barriers for a kid living a man's life.' With over a million views on YouTube his conscious raps will leave you feeling raw, and his latest single Doozy will leave you with flow envy.
But we haven't heard or seen the last of Token, with a tantalising new project in the works, Token lets us know why he is not a 'one trick pony.'
You have taken the rap scene at such a young age, what motivates you?
The motivation is almost within it because I need to do it, it's beyond just like "Oh man I gotta do this." The root of it, is for me, for my well being. But other than that I get motivated by my peers, motivated by my family, just everyday stuff.
I watch a lot of other people's careers and analyse what is going well for them, and what isn't, and I just have the mind to really analyse these things, and put all the good pieces together and make this something huge, and that's what motivates me the most.
You toured in the UK recently, how did you find it?
I really didn't know what to expect, and it just so happened that my new song Doozy was really resonating there and a lot of other places.
So they were like starting Doozy chants before I even did it, and the shows were insane, most of them, not all of them where sold out, so a lot of fun and it really opened my eyes to see how much support I have.
So what life experiences have you had that make you write such deep lyrics?
As a real young kid, the stuff that bought me to music and to writing, is things like depression. I got diagnosed with depression, anxiety, when I was like in first grade and I think even before, so kindergarten or first grade.
You could read it on my face you know, I was upset all the time, I had really bad anger issues and I was having all these temper tantrums, and really what helped me with it, was writing about it, and that's really what I continue to do.
But now I look at it, like it's not only helping me but its helping other people and I just feel like, it's definitely not the only thing I talk about but I feel like I have a different perspective on things because I am in it, man.
What is the message you would like to get across in your music?
There is a ton, and honestly you could probably ask me this question everyday and it would change depending on what song. Speaking to me today, today's thinking is being yourself and being comfortable with yourself, and living a positive life and not wasting your life with negativity, or feeling bad for yourself, or being jealous of others.
Your perspective on life seems way beyond your age, how are you so wise?
I went through my arrogant stage, and I feel like everybody who is thinking on another level goes through that place of like, "Man everyone is stupid, I am just smarter than everybody."
You know what, I went through that when I was younger, I was ignorant to the fact that people weren't like that but I was always over thinking, I really just felt like I could not relate to anybody because of the amount I was thinking and the level that I felt I was on.
Now I am aware that everybody is different, people are different, it's not like one is top of the other, everybody is just different.
Tell me about your latest single Doozy?
I love Doozy, I had that song for a little while, and I purposely wanted to release it after my song Exception because it was so different, and I will be showing everybody in the next new songs to come, is that I am not a one trick pony!
But Doozy was basically showcasing what I can do slow-wise and technic.
I had the song Doozy, and I literally went to sleep and I dreamt the exact video that you see now, I had that dream and it was crazy, it was me shooting myself and it was me at the therapist, talking to me as the person who is getting therapy, and I was like how am I going to pull this off, well we pulled it off so I am so proud of that video.
Would you describe yourself as a genius?
No I wouldn't, maybe someday. Sometimes I feel like a genius but I don't think as a person I am, I think I have a lot more to do. But I think everybody should have that day, they should be like "Yo, I am a fuckin genius man!"
Do you think the word 'genius' gives you unnecessary pressure?
Yeah, it is definitely a lot of pressure, that word is thrown around, and I have thrown it around too, I am guilty of it too, that's just because when I am writing that is probably the perfect word that I want to describe.
But that word definitely gets thrown around and if you really want to use that seriously, you gotta do your research. Who is an actual genius? Like Einstein and shit. You know, there is not that many geniuses out there.
Lyrically, who are you feeling right now?
I am very specific with lyrics, it's hard for me to even surprise myself lyrically, and being a lyricist to me it's less about saying stuff in the most complex way possible, it's really about saying stuff that hasn't been said before. I think Lil Wayne, is an incredible lyricist because he says things in a way that people want to think about. I think 2 Chainz is a good lyricist because he says things in a way that make you want to think of them.
So what artists do you not like lyrically?
No, I am not doing that, I know that's going to get me in trouble!
So what made you give away Eraser Shaving for free?
The main reason is that it is my first real mixtape, I hadn't released anything like that before, and I wanted to make sure that everybody who has seen me, from my videos, whether it's just me rapping down the street or to a microphone, that everybody is listening.
I would rather have fans who appreciate the person I am, above just the way I put together words, and I think after they listen to the mixtape they are going to be that more involved and intrigued with what I have going on, because they are going to be invested to the person, rather than just the sound.
You have gotten love from Mark Walberg and Sway's Universe. How are you handling all the well deserved attention?
I just know what it is, I don't get on my high horse with having contacts like Sway or Mark, because once you are in it, at least for me it is kinda hard to comprehend and wrap my mind around the power that some of these people have, and the way I can just talk to them like peers, but that's good!
It's good that I can't comprehend it because if I could comprehend it, then it could be something different, I could be feeling like I am the man out there, cause I am not yet.
You starred in Mark Walberg's movie Patriot day, so will we be seeing you doing more acting in the future?
I would love to do more acting, I love acting. I would never, never, let acting get in the way of music, because music is where my heart is at, and music is inside of me, acting isn't inside of me it's just like a hobby.
So you are going on your first Canadian tour with Hopsin this April, how are you feeling?
I get excited about the places that nobody knows about, the same amount as the places that everybody knows about. Cause I just like meeting different types of people, or new cultures and different ways of living cause I feel like I grow as a person.
How did the collaboration with Hopsin come about?
He heard the music and he was a fan and he hit me up and was like, " let's do this."
And the first run that we did, we really connected. I think we got a lot in common and I really look up to what he built, and we are naturally people who would become friends even aside from the music stuff, so we made that connection and we went to Europe together and now we are going to Canada!
So what are your friends like, are they at university or are they selling crack?
They are not selling crack and not a lot of them are at university, a lot of them are still at high school, so neither. They're awesome, I have got a really solid group of friends and they keep me laughing, I enjoy very much being a kid with them.
I went through a phase of like I am the mature a guy, I got my business going, I can't be a kid all the time, now I don't give a fuck, I go to the mall and act a fool!
What would you fill a swimming pool with if it could be anything?
A bunch of fucking 100 dollar bills, like what! Pump that shit up and then I am good, that's my realistic answer and that would be anybody's realistic answer but it makes me sound like an asshole.
You have achieved so much already what are the next goals for you?
My next goals are to experiment with music, to work with new producers, work in the studio with new people and just to see how far I can take my creativity, and see what level I can get to and then everything else will come after.