The last week or two my stereo has been dominated by two albums, Toussaint Morrison is Not My Boyfriend and Toussaint Morrison is Not My Homeboy. During this time I have come to the conclusion that Toussaint Morrison really deserves to be far better known than he is (unless he's actually really well known outside of Wales and we're just late to the party). He's one of those artists that I genuinely believe could be huge if given the right exposure, if people sat down and listened I've every confidence they'd discover something they'd like.
Now from checking out what this guy has out there I'm led to believe that he's been around for a moment, as a member of The Blend and Lazlo Supreme and releasing the afore mentioned albums (mixtapes actually) under his own name. He's also a 3-time national slam poet according to his Bandcamp so Toussaint's been putting in the work.
Being from North Wales and not having many people I know that are into a lot of the music I'm into means it can be hard to discover new stuff in my preferred genres, don't get me wrong my mates have recommended a ton of great bands for me to check and without them I'd have no BRMC, Cooper Temple Clause, Raveonettes, etc in my life so it's not a shabby situation to be in. The problem is without my friends being into my preferred genres, without any real music scene to really speak of round here, and without a music shop to go and discover things in within a reasonable distance from me, it can be very hard to be exposed to new music. There are essentially three ways I find new artists:-
1) I hit up websites like Rapreviews and randomly click on albums and see if I stumble across anything decent.
2) I see what customers on Amazon, iTunes and all of those type of places are picking up as well as whichever album I last purchased. For instance, when I was first put on to El-P's Fantastic Damage (which was a huge record for me in terms of me discovering shit) I checked and started discovering all of the Def Jux stuff, which in turn took me to things like Babbletron and then Cool Calm Pete.
3) I see what artists I like have been working on and who they've been working with, I check out bands I see them mention in interviews (which is why it forms a large part of the interviews I do on here), or see tweets of what they may be listening to.
Once I find artists in any of the three ways I've touched on above I tend to jot the names down on scrap pieces of paper or enter them on my mobile and every so often I sit at the computer and have a listen to whatever snippets I can find online and if I get into it I'll order what I can get my hands on. This is how I found Toussaint Morrison. I think I initially saw his name on Rapreviews in a year end list (actually I googled it and now know I did) and so I put his name in the notepad on my phone along with a couple of others. A few weeks back I checked a couple of the acts and whilst searching for some songs of Toussaint's to hear, I was taken to his Bandcamp page. Two mixtapes on there, both as free downloads! Now as this guy is giving that shit away for free, rather than listen to a track or two on YouTube, I decided to give the downloads a try in their entirety. If it isn't costing me anything but my time then it's worth a go, especially as my time is so cheap. I am extremely glad I did because this dude has a little of everything going on.
The first thing that got me was that the man has a set of pipes on him, I've always got time for someone that can belt a track out so when I heard the opening to the following song I was well and truly sold.
As you will have noticed from that track he's not shabby in the rapping department either and to be perfectly honest that track is way off the standard his rapping tends to be at (don't get me wrong though, it's still dope on that track). The blend of the tremendous singing and tight rapping is great to hear and having it coming from just one dude makes it all the more enjoyable.
The other thing that I latched onto was the subject the dude spits about. Altered Beast, Street Fighter, Donnie Yen, X-Men, or Pro Wrestling are all fair game. That's something I can personally connect to. I've mentioned before that I'm quite far removed from the world most of my favourite musicians inhabit, I'm not exactly the intended audience for most of it (although Afrika did say that people should listen to music that isn't meant for them) and I guess aside from clever wordplay or raw beats, there is a voyeuristic pleasure in hearing things so different to my experiences. With Toussaint Morrison I can share some of the points of reference.
So no surprises this time fellas
Y'all get the guards I'm going in for Zelda
Go ahead, kiss ya cross, fight it through
But I'm risk it all and I put that on Hyrule.
I grew up on things like Zelda, I can actually relate to that and what's not to like about good music you can relate to? As these are mixtapes you will recognise some of the beats, I won't spoil everything for you but even Radiohead serve as a great backing track, there is a little of everything on display here.
I think these albums/mixtapes were actually funded by Kickstarter so kudos to all the heads that backed this and helped get it out there for people like me to enjoy, it's a shame that I was too late to the party to be able to have helped in some way!
My words don't often do justice to the things I talk about (I just spout about stuff I like and obviously am no kind of writer) so you can have another song which is much harder than the previously featured track, the beat is a wonderfully chopped up version of Franz Ferdinand that Toussaint flows over superbly.
Check the guy out and follow him on Twitter @2santMorrison, it's worth the effort.
Thanks for Reading