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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. 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. 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. His old buddy Earl, for example, is in charge of throwing tonight’s party. his listening party, he’s blending in. “A rep from Atlantic had come down to see how I was livin’,” says Toliver. On “After Party,” Toliver finds community in the strip club. Your album is about to drop, you should be celebrating!”, Don ends the call and turns to me. The song wound up on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at the top of 2020, peaking at No. “I’m in the studio a lot, but I don’t like to over-do it. In a green beanie, black ski pants, and, naturally, Travis Scott’s new SB Dunks, he settles into a booth at the notorious rapper’s haunt just a few blocks from Madison Square Garden. “The music has done so much for me, how could I not wanna stay locked in?” he says. Toliver raps lyrics from Dom Kennedy’s “1997” and “Locals Only” to me a capella, each bar taking us further back in time. Imagine trying to listen to a chopped and screwed Kid Cudi album inside of a Salvador Dali painting. “I cooked this track up real quick and asked him if he wanted to get on it. Sure enough, in Look Mom I Can Fly, Scott admits “Can’t Say” is “a Don song.” From the Hawaii sessions, “Cardigan,” “Spaceship,” and “After Party” all wound up on Heaven or Hell. “Isn’t your album release party in a couple hours?” Travis retorts. The bulk of the evening’s cast—including Cactus DJ, Chase B, the videographer Whitetrashtyler, the A&R maestro Sickamore, and Marley and Van Joe, Don’s old friends from Houston—clink glasses, awaiting a duffle of weed. But Toliver, who at the time rapped under his government name, Caleb, recognized the chance to seize some momentum and went back to his PlayStation Eye to record “Pep Rally.”, “It got to the point where even the coolest kids at school would walk up to me like, ‘Sing that song, bro.’” he says. I don’t feel like this one mistake does define me.” The OG Houston rap legend, , and signed on as his manager. In an interview with Complex, he teases how it sets up his new album. (Take the jump from the snappy “Cardigan” to the mournful “Wasted,” for example.) Today, he shares his final pre-release offering, a new track “Mystery Lady” featuring melodic favorite Don Toliver. I mean, if you knew, you knew, but for the most part, nobody knew. I might have to pull up on you,” Toliver says over FaceTime to a fellow Houston artist, Ashton Travis. Smoke fills the air as the album blares through the speakers, and Toliver dips further into his Southern drawl, transitioning from a slumped posture to a confident bravado: “We on our Houstock tonight. “Isn’t your album release party in a couple hours?”, “Me and La Flame [Travis Scott] were just talking about that—you overwork yourself. A stocky wrestling-like figure with faint blonde dreads emerged from the red-flare smoke, and Toliver sang “Can’t Say” over a hypnotic Wondagurl beat sampling Fat Pat’s 1998 “25 Lighters.” The ride dipped and bent, and Don’s journey was on full display: from crafting his spellbinding sound, to slowly rising, showing bursts of potential and inspiring whispering buzz, to reaching a piqued interest and then suddenly going radio silent to keep a steady allure. As Pharrell sings about “driving this truck down 95,” I learn that Toliver hit I-10 East to pick up his favorite set of wheels. There is some confusion regarding your upcoming projects. Privately, though, he began working with producers like the hot-handed WondaGurl. The shit that makes me happy: recording. There’s even footage of the two handing Joe Budden a mixtape outside of the Complex offices. I’m making sure I don’t lose sense of that. They discuss what the night might entail as game plans and invitations are finalized. “It was a high school classic.”, The song featured Toliver’s original raps over a YouTube instrumental of Tyga’s 2014 song “Make It Rain.” As he tells it now, “I would black the camera out and just have it recording with the beat in the background. “I’m locked in crazy right now,” he says calmly. Recommendations for Harmonic Mixing The following tracks will sound good when mixed with Don Toliver - Cardigan , because they have similar tempos, adjacent Camelot values, and complementary styles. 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. They all went and got it on their own.”. “I’m talmbout, I was at one club from 10 p.m. until 12 o’clock. Our editorial content is not influenced by any commissions we receive. “ There’s mad kids out there, like Don Toliver,” said La Flame. Work-life balance feels like a breached contract these days, but Toliver seems to be managing just fine. The crew has made it to Houston, fresh from a listening party in New York City the night before, and I learn that the word of the day is “brolic.” Chase announces that “last night was brolic,” while Don tries on some new Space Village clothes, searching for the perfect fit for another release party tonight. “She had this [concert series] called Houstock going on,” recalls Toliver. Between “Had Enough,” the standout JACKBOYS 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. “I was a junior when I made my first song, called ‘Bitch I’m in the Building.’ I recorded it on my PlayStation Eye camera,” he says matter-of-factly, like it isn’t an incredible stroke of ingenuity. I ended up doing an on-the-spot record, too. 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. As a teenager, Toliver didn’t have many posters on the walls of his room. It wasn’t glamorous. That July, Don Toliver received an invite to Hawaii for the final ASTROWORLD studio sessions. There’s an efficient “work smarter, not necessarily harder” tenet to Toliver’s method, though it’s undeniably his unique vocal inflection that makes the rapper stand out. This shit’s finna crash. A choose-your-own-adventure extravaganza, manages a splitting range of emotions, giving the listener room to experience the project in multitudes. “It was really cool because it brought the underground together so that we were all able to showcase our talent.”. After a year of breakout moments, Toliver’s appearances on JACKBOYS minted his star potential. He was applauded for his … The last two years have been a tumbling snowball of positive momentum for Toliver, who dropped his 2018 mixtape, Donny Womack, a day before the release of his breakout contribution to Travis Scott’s “Can’t Say.” He followed this by starring in his own full chapter of Scott’s Look Mom I Can Fly Netflix documentary, earning his first solo Billboard Hot 100 entry with the viral TikTok anthem “No Idea,” and stealing the show on the JACKBOYS compilation album alongside his fellow artists on Scott’s Cactus Jack imprint. There is some confusion regarding your upcoming projects. “The music has done so much for me, how could I not wanna stay locked in?” he says. That was the spot where we would go drink, turn up, and fucking dance. 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. Last November, on the first leg of the Astroworld tour, Travis Scott arrived at a sold-out Madison Square Garden with a lineup that included rappers Gunna, Trippie Redd, fellow Cactus artist Sheck Wes, and a DJ set from Virgil Abloh. One song, “Swang Wide,” is something of a forgotten classic among Swishahouse fans, and features Bongo on its hook. “And you know how TikTok is. 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. The community’s high schools—Elsik, Hastings, and Taylor—produced talent like Beyoncé, Maxo Kream, Tobe Nwigwe, Robert Glasper, Lizzo, comedian Mo Amer, and NFL champions Michael and Martellus Bennet. Watch Vanessa Satten’s Breakfast Club interview above. I took my shit seriously, and I was doing what actually made me happy.”, A few months after the Atlantic deal, Kevin Gates appeared on a remix of “Diva.”, “By the time I had the Kevin Gates record, I was outta there.”, “When I signed that deal, I was already locked in with Travis [Scott], but I didn’t know how seriously Travis was taking me, so I just tried to lock in with him more and more.”. 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. and “No Idea,” an unintentionally viral Tik Tok hit. I like to catch a, ” tenet to Toliver’s method, though it’s undeniably his unique vocal inflection that makes the rapper stand out. As is the case with most artists, his parents’ own musical preferences influenced his current style. “I was on Toro crazy,” he says after bringing the car back down to a legal speed. Earlier this month, fans saw Eminem unite Dr. Dre with Don Toliver and the late Juice WRLD on Side B. “He’s my favorite. I just felt like I was on a journey and I didn't even know it.”. Hell yeah. I don’t know how that happened. I lost a lot, but, then again, I gained so much, because I focused on me more. It’s no wonder Travis Scott would eventually go crazy for Toliver’s signature style. The artist-producer collective recently released their B4 The Storm compilation a month ago, and a standout single from the project was "Lemonade" featuring Don Toliver, Gunna, and Nav. , to reaching a piqued interest and then suddenly going radio silent to keep a steady allure. “Where is the studio you’re at? It was pretty nerve-racking, but he ended up fucking with me the long way.”. With the pandemic raging, you’ve got to be a super VIP to be extended an invitation to sit court-side at an NBA game this season. Toliver was purposefully mysterious, his story practically unknown—even to his parents. “Somebody took that record and uploaded the slow version to Apple Music,” he explains. I like to catch a vibe.”. In an interview with Complex, Don Toliver broadly described the album and compared it to his first official project, Donny Womack:. “Travis liked ‘Can’t Say,’ so he jumped on that. Pulling out of Travis Scott’s new streetwear shop, Space Village, Toliver takes my phone, pulls up Kendrick Lamar’s 2010 mixtape, Overly Dedicated, and plays the songs “Alien Girl” and “P&P 1.5.” The hook of the latter—“I’m going through something with life/But pussy and Patrón make you feel alright”—was a mantra for a young Caleb Toliver. Don Toliver who recently released his new album ‘Heaven or Hell‘, made a visit to Rap Life with Ebro Darden on Apple Music for a new interview. “By the time they found out, I was killing it.” A quick summary: Born Caleb Zackery Toliver, Don grew up in the Houston suburb of Alief, known as the S.W.A.T (South West Alief Texas). As we sip on our smoothies, with Space City-themed names like Asteroid, Milky Way, and Sunny Screwed Up Day, Toliver introduces us to the pivotal third act of his story. S8 E40 | … 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. While Travis Scott was ascending, Don Toliver looked up to his hometown hero and mulled a switch from rapping to singing. “But I feel like it was perfect. Some people just make it all about the work. Tags: Tonight Show, talk, Jimmy Fallon, Dan Rather, Don Cheadle, Katy Tur, michael kiwanuka S8 E61 41 min TV-14 Full Episode Talk and Interview Late Night 2020-2021 Posted On July 30, 2020 Ayana Rashed 0 Share Tweet . . “It let me know like, man, I might be able to do this. The cover is graced with a Matt McCormick painting, a sort of metaphor for Don’s world: a deserted road with two pathways. For Don Toliver, this has been the most fulfilling part of the journey. Born Caleb Zackery Toliver, Don was born and raised in southwest Alief, Houston. “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. At the time, he was still just shy of his first car, so he was a big supporter of public transportation. He doubled down on his efforts to attain perfection on Nav’s latest album, Good Intentions, showcasing consummate range and impressing his contemporaries, once again. It was lit.”. Is … Then they started making their own version with knife slashes and all that other stuff that they do on TikTok. The OG Houston rap legend Chedda Da Connect got wind through local clubs, and signed on as his manager. He created his own planet, even within the Travis universe.”, Playa Familia’s biggest looks came through a promoter named ByxBreezy. 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. Watch Vanessa Satten’s Breakfast Club interview above. 3/13.Story To Tell,” he wrote at the time. That sounds like a Dream Team to me because the majority of my fans wanted to hear me collab with Don Toliver since Recap, and they always like … “Premium in that thing!”. He closes the butterfly doors and zips off westward, into the sunset. First impressions go a long way, and Toliver signed on to the Cactus Jack imprint, unofficially becoming Travis Scott’s subsequent protege. Earlier this month, fans saw Eminem unite Dr. Dre with Don Toliver and the late Juice WRLD on Side B. But back then, he wasn’t quite ready yet. “He doesn’t know I be having fun, though.” He smiles, shifting his attention to the round-the-block line for, in Times Square. On a night where Compton’s rap behemoth, performed “Goosebumps” and Scott’s girlfriend, the beauty mogul, , joined him on the amusement park-themed ride, a new mystic character was about to steal the show, and no one knew it yet. “I wanted a certain mystique for myself,” he explains. Josh took the stage name YungJosh93, Caleb became Don, and the two formed a duo called Playa Familia. A stocky wrestling-like figure with faint blonde dreads emerged from the red-flare smoke, and Toliver sang “Can’t Say” over a hypnotic Wondagurl beat sampling Fat Pat’s 1998 “25 Lighters.” The ride dipped and bent, and Don’s journey was on full display: from crafting his spellbinding sound, to slowly rising, showing bursts of potential and inspiring. “I’m in the studio a lot, but I don’t like to over-do it. Tonight he’ll play his debut album, for the first time at a private listening party at Electric Room in New York’s Meatpacking District, but for now, Toliver’s mind is still in grind mode. Atlantic Records came calling in 2018, around the same time Travis Scott caught wind of Toliver’s music. In a green beanie, black ski pants, and, naturally, Travis Scott’s new SB Dunks, he settles into a booth at the notorious rapper’s haunt just a few blocks from Madison Square Garden. In the year since. Them melodies is it.”. , Toliver delivered the zany Bobby Womack-homage mixtape. From the music that I make to the music he made, it’s crazy, bro.”. The outfit I’m rooting for doesn’t make the cut, despite Toliver’s accurate assessment that the jacket and tinted glasses combo, much like his Heaven or Hell album artwork “is some Fear and Loathing shit.”. Life is good for the 25-year-old Houston native. 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. “Then, right after that, we dropped JACKBOYS, and it was a big bomb,” he says, referring to Travis Scott, Sheck Wes, and Don Toliver’s collaborative album. A few scenes later, the film cuts to the Astroworld-rapper handing Toliver a diamond encrusted, cactus-shaped pendant in front of a crowd of howling fans. That house is probably haunted as shit, but it is fire as hell.”. The cover is graced with a Matt McCormick painting, a sort of metaphor for Don’s world: a deserted road with two pathways. A host escorts him through a secret door, past the kitchen and into a private room called “Graffiti Alley.” The brick walls are covered in art commissioned by Brooklyn graffiti artists; Aladdin’s Princess Jasmine is painted with a red banana over her mouth. But he wasn’t finished. 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! Watch The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon interview 'Dan Rather Explains How President Trump Incited a Coup' on NBC.com ... Don Toliver & Nav. Instead, Toliver filled most of the space with slow, elastic croons. “My first car was a mid-90s black Cutlass Supreme, then I had an old black Pontiac Grand Prix, but my baby was a Chevy Yukon that I got from a friend in Louisiana. 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. It fueled my energy.”. Look 2: Ray Ban sunglasses, Aimé Leon Dore x Woolrich button-down, A Cold Wall trousers, cotton Citizen white T-shirt, Nike x Supreme sneakers. The homie Don Toliver pulled up to Sway In The Morning and talked life as a member of Cactus Jack, the new album and much more. Traffic is heavy on the way to the Electric Room, and before the driver can even point to the aux cord, Toliver has it in hand; he quickly hits play on—what else?—his own album. “I recorded about 10 records,” he remembers. Cactus Jack standout Don Toliver is back with a new song and video called "No Idea." “So I locked in on the melodies crazy after we had that conversation,” remembers Toliver. It was during this time that Toliver secured a deal with Atlantic Records, but he still wasn’t slowing down. “I pulled up on him in Conway Studios in L.A. for the first time and it was crazy,” he remembers. As we arrive at our destination, Toliver’s friends Chase B, Sickamore, Joe, Marley, and Jay walk out to greet us. I felt like that slo-mo version was going really nuts. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group. Backwoods are broken down and family-style Chinese filters in. 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 songs beyond Texas borders. 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. 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. Toliver’s first crack at a full-length project, is the drop that showcases the peaks and valleys along the rapper’s meteoric rise. A choose-your-own-adventure extravaganza, Heaven or Hell manages a splitting range of emotions, giving the listener room to experience the project in multitudes. Before driving to his hometown Heaven or Hell album release party, he queued up a series of nostalgic songs and narrated his own life as a five-act film. “About two weeks ago, I scooped [my father] up and took him to the studio,” he recounts. 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. Life is good for the 25-year-old Houston native. “Me and La Flame [Travis Scott] were just talking about that—you overwork yourself. Styled by Mack and Alex Grandquist. 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. “I remember I was in the locker room one day after school, sitting down, headphones in, listening to Overly Dedicated. “I didn’t tell them I was making music for a while,” Toliver says. In the song, Toliver holds a croon with the same phrasing Carlos Santana uses when he holds a note on his guitar. I know that you have a joint album with Don Toliver, Escapism on the way. Tonight he’ll play his debut album, Heaven or Hell, for the first time at a private listening party at Electric Room in New … A few scenes later, the film cuts to the Astroworld-rapper handing Toliver a diamond encrusted, cactus-shaped pendant in front of a crowd of howling fans. N*E*R*D’s “Provider” is cranked up—the volume is already all the way up, but he keeps turning the knob—when he lists some of the cars he’s driven over the years. 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”. He did all this without making much of a peep. Reminiscent of a Kid Cudi hum or a Key! 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