Bio: If you reside anywhere on the planet earth it’s safe to say TORAE has rocked a venue in your city, laced three out of five albums you have in heavy rotation and all of your friends follow his lead on twitter. In this digital age where the traditional grind is almost completely lost, he continues to take it to the max as a minimalist. Why? Because he loves it, so he’s gonna spit it until you all get it.
For over a decade TORAE has been giving us gritty yet lyrically driven hip-hop. As the story goes a Bad Boy Records employee recognized the real dripping from his demo and included him on an independent compilation album in the late 90′s. He never looked back and soon began blessing the hottest DJs from coast to coast on their mixtapes. This Coney Island bred MC went from obscurity to customizing a track for LeBron James’ signature IV shoe and recording with gold & platinum selling producers faster than a ride on The Cyclone. After dropping a pair of DJ Premier produced masterpieces alongside Skyzoo in 2007, the streets were salivating for a solo release.
Fast forward to February ’08 when via his own label, Internal Affairs Entertainment, he delivered the goods with Daily Conversation. Beats by household names 9th Wonder, Black Milk and Khrysis provided the perfect backdrop and the album instantly incited him a feature on iTunes as an indie spotlight artist. You may have read about the first single “Click” in XXLmag.com’s “Banger” section or virtually every hip hop website and blog. With the success of Daily Conversation under his belt TORAE took to the stage internationally. Known to command a crowd, he joined Masta Ace on the Once More Tour; performing for tens of thousands in countries like Canada, Poland, Germany and Romania.
After touring the world and building a discography that rivals the most prolific of MCs, the music kept calling him, and he joined forces with Marco Polo to crash the industry party with 2009′s Double Barrel. Newly signed to independent powerhouse Duck Down Records, the duo’s dynamic chemistry concocted arguably the hardest album of the year. Double Barrel received rave reviews, earning the team an XL rating in the July ’09 issue of XXL Magazine and a spot as one of BET.com’s top 12 indie albums. Meeting the mainstream and still resonating at sub levels, the two were victorious at the 2009 Underground Music Awards winning Indie Album of the Year. His heavy video rotation on MTVu was telling; TORAE’s traditional boom bap had us reminiscing, yet hoping that he was the future.
There isn’t a media outlet TORAE hasn’t touched. If you’ve ever perused the pages of XXL Magazine, you know he’s been a three time Chairman’s Choice pick and highlighted in the May 08′ Show and Prove section. The young veteran has been noted in Hip Hop Weekly’s “Next To Blow” and The Source’s “Off the Radar” column and has also been featured in Gas Face (France), Rap Mag (France) and Juice (Germany) magazines internationally. He’s murdered the microphone on MTV2′s “Sucker Freestyle” and was covered for the networks “Independence Day” show. Just down the dial you may have seen him on BET’s Rap City: Spit Your Game” segment or on their late night program “The Deal”. He’s been a MySpace Music feature and had prime real estate on the website with a homepage banner. Be it highly coveted spins on New York City’s Hot 97 and Power 105 fm, national play on Sirius XM Satellite radio or on the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 & EA Sports MMA video games you name it, he’s got it. And not only on his own projects but his countless appearances including Statik Selektah’s Stick 2 the Script, Little Brother’s Left Back and grammy award winning producer 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant Vol. 2.
On November 1, 2011, Torae released his debut album For The Record. The album is an ample fifteen tracks worth of impeccable rhyme and hi-caliber production. For The Record features a “who’s who”of producers, including Large Professor, DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Diamond D, 9th Wonder, Nottz, Khrysis, !llmind, Marco Polo, Fatin and Eric G.The intro paints a picture you can visualize of Torae at his high school graduation ceremony, choosing a career in music over heading to college. He thinks to himself, “In two years when I’m double platinum, they’ll get it.” From that moment you experience all of his ups & downs on the road to becoming one of hip hop’s elite. The rugged grit of ”Shakedown” shows Torae is playing for keeps boasting witty wordplay over one of 9th Wonder’s hardest tracks, while the melodic “Panorama” gives us a glimpse of Torae’s more personal side.
With something for the underground, the ladies, college students and even gamers; For The Record has us hanging onto his every word, anticipating what will come next. Torae burst onto the scene and demonstrated a staying power and fluidity likened to the legends in the business. If he’s not already on your top list of MCs, grab your late pass & get onboard.
Label: Internal Affairs Entertainment
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY