Toine wants to break away from his current financial status, his place as an underground—and somewhat unheralded—rapper, and the D.C. region for a little while. He’s made some noise, though: In 2011, Toine turned in a notable performance on Oddisee‘s song, “Different Now.” More recently, he offered a dope verse to Sean Born and Dunc‘s impressive 2013 EP, Organic.
As the vocal half of DTMD with producer Dunc, Toine raps about his frustrations with the indie grind and whether he should keep on his current path. At times, Toine sounds tired of the rap game. Just as suddenly—usually within the same song—he dismisses the uncertainty and keeps moving forward.
Toine continues the narrative on his debut solo album, Antoine Jameson, but his words have more bite. You feel Toine’s angst as the album plays, and find yourself pulling for him the deeper he goes. On “Slow Down,” for instance: “Need a better job for a better pay/Bank account catch a comma, shit, I gotta celebrate.” At his core, Toine is just a regular dude fighting for the shine he thinks he deserves. He’s gonna get it his way or go down swinging.
Antoine Jameson is a light listen, which isn’t surprising given the rapper’s affable persona. The Largo, Md., wordsmith doesn’t take himself too seriously, even if he’s complaining about his 9-to-5 job or wanting to move out of his mom’s house. On his cover art, Toine is passed out beside a toilet—the photo was taken after a few drinks—and his rhymes go down easy.
Jameson feels like a crew album and, occasionally, you hear Toine and his peers riffing on random topics in between songs. In all, Antoine Jameson is a lyrics-driven album in which the beats take a backseat. Toine has a lot on his mind.
Stream Antoine Jameson after the jump.