MJ: This is MJ, MJs Hip Hop Connex, representing Direct Access World Wide. Tonight the spotlight is on Syracuse Hip Hop Artist Tone Atlas. Welcome and thank you for taking time out for this interview. Let’s jump right in and tell us besides being from Syracuse NY, who is Tone Atlas, and when did you open up that door to Hip Hop?
Tone Atlas: I am a cat that loves the culture of Hip Hop not simply the music. The decision to open that door and let the world hear and see me came 2 years ago. I always knew I had MC skills but it was just something I enjoyed doing never putting myself out there but 2 years ago, things felt different than before. As a fan of the culture, I’d been sick over what Hip Hop had become and I wanted to bring that classic essence back to the game and decided I would be the one to do it this time.
MJ: Talk about what led up to your debut mixtape last summer, “Death of a Salesman? You have a legendary production line-up for that mixtape, talk about that as well.
Tone Atlas: Beyond the prior conversation of being the beacon to bring Hip Hop back to its “golden era” state, it really was 10 years of being in the shadows coming to light and getting what I had to say off my chest. Some of that production was organic from producers that I work with and made tracks for me. All the star-studded production is a matter of jacking for beats as most mixtapes do. It was more a matter of finding the right tracks that fit with the theme.
MJ: With your music you definitely bring Hip Hop heads and listeners in general back to the 90’s era of Hip Hop. Why is that so important for you to capture?
Tone Atlas: I fell in love with the culture of hip hop not just the element of rap. I think that has been lost in translation these last 10+ years. The result of that is that music has lost its substance. I felt there were a lot of listeners like myself that craved that type of sound.
MJ: You recently released your second project “Hors D’Oeuveres” EP. These names! Tell us how the names of your both your projects came about and then give us the inside scoop on the album itself.
Tone Atlas: “Death of a Salesman” stemmed from the classic story of the same name. A man provides for his family his entire life but now finds himself an old man that isn’t as successful as he once was and the only way he can provide for his family is taking out a life insurance policy and drives his car off the road so they can collect. There’s much more to it than that of course but for me it was symbolizing the shift in my path. “Hors D’Oeuvres” is exactly that. I knew I wanted to create a fully organic product with all original production prior to the full length LP and as I was beginning the vision it simply made the most sense. Enjoy these Hors D’Oeuvres while the main course is in its way.
MJ: From the looks and sounds of things this is just the beginning for Tone Atlas! What can fans expect in the upcoming future, music wise?
Tone Atlas: Right now I’m working with a single producer, Elemnt of Konkrete Jungle Music on another EP and will be dropping 4th quarter. At the same time, I’ve got a few visuals dropping soon from “Hors D’Oeuvres” so keep it locked for those. I’ve also done some features. Beyond that eyes are on the full length LP.
MJ: Who is in your personal playlist? Also, what other artists would you like to collaborate with or rock out the stage with?
Tone Atlas: My playlist is not what you may expect. In the genre of Hip Hop (mostly) who I’m listening to is Conway & Westsidegunn. They are two of the illest spitters I’ve heard in years and they are from my backyard in Buffalo, NY. Salute to them, they are bringing that essence back. Most other Hip Hop is the older catalog. I listen to a lot of jazz and classic R&B and soul music. As far as collabs go, I’ve been blessed with 2 collabs with Conway so that WSG track is what I’m looking forward too. Ghostface Killah, Nas, and AZ would be my dream features. I respect the hell out of those guys.
MJ: Now you are two years fresh into the scene, how do you see yourself progressing as an artist? What would you like to list as your contributions to Hip Hop in another year or so?
Tone Atlas: I’ve been blessed this far. I’m going to continue moving forward doing what I know. I’ve been working with producers to create the best music possible that embodies what I’m about, as well as other artists that share the same vision. My contributions will be my bodies of work and whatever achievements and opportunities come with staying true to why I started doing this.
MJ: Tell everyone where they can follow you and find you, give us all the connects.
Tone Atlas: Tone Atlas at everything. It’s going to be household name. mrtoneatlas.com, which is always updated daily.
MJ: Tone Atlas, is there anything else you would like to share with the world of Hip Hop?
Tone Atlas: I want to thank you first and foremost for showing love with this interview. Beyond that I want people to listen and enjoy the music and the man behind it because I’m just as much as a fan of Hip Hop than I am an artist. The product is there it just needs to be heard.
Tone Atlas, “97 Shit” Official Video