The classic boom bap era sound is revived with a vengeance on Frost Gamble and Tone Chop’s Veteran EP. Binghamton, NY emcee Tone Chop and producer Frost Gamble of Winnipeg, Canada team up to put out this new EP. Tone Chop drops punchlines for days. Fans of classic era hip-hop will find the Veteran as a new fall favorite unquestionably.
1. To both: you guys originally met through battling one another. Who served who? (explain how they met)
Tone: We met through friendly competition being from the same place. Exchanging dis tracks on a local radio station called W.U.C.I. in Binghamton that had a mixshow called The Hip Hop Explosion. The show had a local hip hop segment. To make a long story short I would say I served him and he decided to not rap anymore and just make beats. I think Frost will agree I was the better M.C. This is the point we started working “with” each other instead of “against” each other. The rest is history.
Frost: It wasn’t so much that we were going directly at each other, but more that we each were each trying to stake our claim as the hottest young MC in the area. Brag rap was everything, so it probably sounded a lot more serious than it was. But Chop is right, he was clearly better. There’s 4 key elements to MCn in my opinion – voice, pen, flow & character. I had a fly pen but that was it – plus, I tend to shy away from the spotlight. I got noticed for using original beats on my tracks, that’s how I started heading in that direction.
2. Whats the hip-hop scene like in Winnipeg?
Frost: It’s pretty healthy. There’s local shows every week, often 2 or 3 events, and there’s a lot of passion and talent – as well as a nice battle scene. It may not be as polished as a bigger market but the commitment to the culture is strong. Winnipeg was known as the murder capital of Canada for the longest – and there’s also lots of more quiet suburban areas –so the scene is just as varied as the city itself.
5. To Tone: although from upstate, as a New Yorker how do you feel about current NYC hip-hop?
Tone: The state of NY hip hop is getting better due to artists like Dave East, Loyd Banks, Joell Ortiz, Conway, Tom Gist, Nobi, Skyzoo, Fred Da Godson and The Lox always hold NY down. No matter what the state of NY looks like I’m a forever be a fan first of that good ole NY Hip Hop.
3. To both: you’re heavily influenced by classic hip-hop. How do you feel about today’s sound (i.e. Younger cats like Lil Yachty) and what would you say to artists blowing up off of “mumble rap”?
Tone: Todays Hip Hop is not Hip Hop to me. It’s just a few young cats with a few hooks and no lyrical content at all. Basically using Hip Hop as a quick get money scheme. It’s sad actually. I’m tired of hearing about getting turnt up and how many bottles you pop. Who cares what the color of your car is. I wanna hear some substance. If you got nothing to say why say anything at all? Lyrics matter, to me anyways.
Frost: I would say congratulations, sincerely – I ain’t mad at all, I’m just not listening to that stuff. I was raised on intelligent, meaningful Hip Hop where clever lyrics were the cornerstone. So if you were raised on autotuned emo/club songs, and that speaks to you – great, I can respect the passion and artistry that may go into it. But if we’re talking about MCn? Sit down & be quiet because you don’t even know what’s being discussed. You gotta earn your way into that conversation.
4. To Tone: as someone who comes from the battle rap scene, have you participated in any leagues? (I.e. King of the dot, grind time now, smack URL, scribble jam), if not which are you a fan of?
Tone: I never participated in any leagues but I am a Big fan of Smack URL, KOTD, We Go Hard, Bull Pen Battle League and a few others as long as a battle is dope I don’t care what platform it it’s on. It was ‘on sight’ when I was doing it – had to have rhymes ready at all times.
6. To both: if you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Tone: I ain’t the 9-5 type so I don’t know. I’m not much better at anything else except making music and making beats. Without music I don’t know what I would be doing to be honest. One thing I do know I would be doing whatever I had to do to care of and feed my children. I’m a proud father of two boys 5 and 8.
Frost: I don’t ever want to have to rely on ONLY music to eat. Escaping poverty was job #1 coming up, but I’m never willing to compromise on my sound to sell a beat or place a record. I finished a Masters’ Degree in Predictive Analytics this past year, and I’ve been able to use those skills in developing my music career as well. But as far as ‘not making music’ – it will never happen. I was making it when I was the ONLY one listening, and today I listen to / work on my own beats so much that I have trouble keeping up with whatever the new hot songs are.
7. To both: What artists are you currently listening to?
Tone: Dave East, Skyzoo, Vinnie Paz, Ransom, Conway, Termanolgy, Tragedy Khadafi, Planet Asia, Joell Ortiz, Joe Budden, Fred Da Godson, Fab, The Lox.
Frost: Skyzoo, Roc Marciano, Guilty Simpson, Ras Kass, & Scarface at the moment. Plus I listen to Tone Chop & ZotheJerk almost every day of the week.
8. To both: What can people expect on the veteran EP?
Tone: Dope lyrics and dope beats. Street rhymes with a message still. Two cats that know where we came from and pay homage to the music we grew up on. We make the type of music we like to hear and listen to.
Frost: For one, they can expect honesty. We don’t present negative images, materialism or none of that. We just come straight forward with hard beats and hard bars. People are starved for lyrics, and I believe that’s why the project has already gained a little bit of traction.
9. To both: Anything else you want people to know?
Tone: Just be on the lookout for more music to come similar to “Veteran” .This EP is just a warm up. More Heat on the way stay tuned. Thanks to everybody supporting it means alot. Thanks for the interview. Shout out to Seven13, UrbanElite, Frost Gamble, Bings Most, ZotheJerk, S One and White Rhino. Binghamton we here now.
Frost: Thank you so much to anyone who checks out and enjoys the project! Holla at us on twitter or peep www.frostgamble.com to stay up to date.