Word in the Nureau Underground is that
you're going to be releasing an album called "Stereotype." Tell me a little
about this project.
What? WowÖ Man, you caught me off guard with
that, thatís some real underground news. UmmÖ wow. Dang, no one knows that!
They about to.
They about to, yeah. Actually I have four
more songs to do butÖ I am not stuck on that title yet. That is a tentative
title. I will sayÖ it is not ďOut of the BoxĒ; itís definitely grunge
hip-hop, like straight gutter hip-hop. Yeah, thatís my roots, like that what
ďPronounced Toe-NayĒ, kind of started off and kind of got away from it so I
am in a mood right now where I really want to get back to it. And also want
to show people my skills lyrically show my skills there. Itís a dope record,
thatís all I can say.
We are looking at June of next year.
In a 2002 gospelflava.com interview you
mentioned that you ďwanted to do an all rap recordĒ of your own. Is that
still in the future? Is that going to be part of that album?
No, no, no... that is separate, that is a T.
Bizzy album, which will be probably right along the same time May, June, I
already have 10 songs recorded. Itís hot, but itís a whole different
persona, you have like Sean Combs, whoís like the CEO, then you have Diddy
the rapper and Puff is the producer so itís like all these different names.
What inspired you to make your latest
album, Out of the Box, a live recording?
Because most people didnít think I could do
it live, ya know? Or they saw me live and then heard my records and was like
why donít I hear on the album what you do live. So, it was the truth, itís a
true record, so people could know the truth. Not just singing, but you know
all the instruments.
How did you hook up with Montell Jorden
for the devotional song ďYesĒ off Jordenís Life After Def?
He called me actually, Montel called me. And
he has been a fan for a while. And we look alike everyone tell me I look
like Montel or Teddy Riley. And then everyone tell Montel look like Tonex.
So we hooked up more just to see if we looked alike and he actually also did
a song ďI found LoveĒ off the Oakpark album, which is also an underground
Youíve been very busy behind the scenes
production-wise, working with a diverse list of artists: Unity Klan, Big J,
Kelli Williams, Virtue, Soljahz etc. What motivates you to produce these
What motivated you to research my life like
this? This is crazy. No one asks meÖthis is the first time I have been asked
this questions! So what was the question again?
What motivates you to produce many
different and diverse styles?
Because I get bored with my own music, I
really do. Cuzí ďOut of the BoxĒ is now two and half years old for me, where
it is only a few months old for the public. So then Iím producing people
that helps me get more of the creative juice out in other ways if I canít
get it out in my own successive records. It helps me get some of it out or
else I get real frustrated, because I have so many songs and different
What do you hope to accomplish with this
DVD, Out of the Box: The Movie?
Making history. Changing the Gospel as a
game, and when I die, them remembering when this came out. I remember when
that came out, like you remember when Terminator came out or you remember
when Independence Day; you remember what you were doing when these big
blockbuster movies came out. Well I want that to be for Gospel what it was
to mainstream counterparts a piece that stepped the whole game up or at
least got people looking at new ways to present gospel records. Itís not
just live itís the movie because itís part documentary, part reality show,
part conceptual. Itís all things; so I guess its Beatleís influence.
How did that idea come in your head?
I wanted to present particularly choir music
in a way, because most people donít think I dealt with choirs and thatís
where I started. I donít currently like the choir music thatís out on the
radio because it all sounds the same. But if I can take the core template of
how it sounds, combine it with energy, innovation, interludes and an
undertone theme throughout the whole thing. Because there really isnít a
theme to it, except there is a theme. Itís like Seinfeld itís not about
anything and thatís what it is about. You see what I am saying? Out of the
Box is not, just when you look at it and hear it, it is what it is and I
just wanted to do something a little different. I felt to do an O2 part 3 or
a Pronounced Toe-Nay part 2 would be what the public would be expecting from
me. When they think they know what I am going to do I am always going to do
something the complete antithesis of what they think.
Why should people go out and buy this
Because if they donít, I wonít have any
money. No, because itís a family piece, itís a family piece, the whole
family can watch it and I love family. This will be what folks eat their
Turkey too this year. I remember that Thanksgiving the year when, Out the
Box came out, everyone body comes over ďLetís watch Out the BoxĒ. Whatever
can bring the family unit together, because God is about family. They should
purchase it because it is a perfect bridge and establishes a common
denominator between parent and child that is something positive and filled
with the word.
Have you done private screenings yet? Or
is this the first major public screening? How did you feel, because there
This is the first of the pubic screenings. I
was surprised because you never know; you just do what you do. And you hope
people like it; you know how you reacted to it. But I didnít think they were
going to reacting like they were at the concert. That was pretty amazing,
and then while I was watching it, it hit me all over again. It was just like
Lord have mercy this is finally out of the editing room a year later, all
this hard work and people are actually able to watch it now and see the
totality of my life as an artist and as a minister and as a pastor. I was
surprised tonight, the response was incredible we only had to play two
sections and there were four more left. So, that will give them something to
look forward to it. And then there will be Inside the Box which is how all
of that was made, and that is a separate DVD.
Special thanks to: LaRosa Johnson (http://www.trailblazinmedia.com),
Alicia from Sweet Finesse (http://www.sweetfinesse.com),
Seth Wallace (http://www.nomadspeaks.blogspot.com/)
and of course Tonex (http://www.yotonex.com)