Life & Times…
Artists are inspired daily, from the rapid evolution of Hip-Hop, to the dust under the pile of vinyl’s old folks like to call, “dusties”. No matter what form the inspiration is derived, new and improved artist are breaking into the music doors with the hinges falling off! Take Hip-Hop phenomenon, Tone Paay for example, an Oakland California native conquering all ends of the music stick in just three years. Considering himself a recording artist, engineer, and MC; Antone Korvel Monroe is destined driven in the industry’s limelight! Growing up on the West coast allowed Antone to capture and hold on to what now may be a career for him, music. The oldest of three was born in Berkley, California on 10/31/1977.
His family later migrated to Oakland where the young musician would begin MC’ing at his high school, James Logan, a local H/S in Union City, California. His time was spent studying but when lunch time came, the aspiring MC broke out the talent inspiring other talent in the school to “step up to the plate” and eat what was good! The early free styling symbolized “coolness” and differentiated the “in-crowd” at Logan; Monroe was elated to have been the stepping ladder at those times. In the summer of 2007, his ladders begin to slowly but surely spiral into a musical rollercoaster ride. Monroe linked up with known California musicians, “The Caliban”, “C.I.A. or Chronic Inhaling Agency”, and Shock G of “Digital Underground” who would later be known for their platinum selling records of the ‘90’s, including smash hit, “I got five on it”, a parody of marijuana and its prices! While collaborating and learning from the many West coast legends, Monroe adapted a passion for music that he hadn’t had before.
Antone Monroe was tapping into who is now known to many as TonePaay, which means “New Thousand”. Although many of the group members were family and close friends, “Numskull” is responsible for introducing the infant star to many big names in the industry and the game itself; “music is my life”, says Monroe; “I want to teach the future what’s up”. With the heart of a heap lion and ambitious attitude, it wasn’t difficult for Monroe to find his way in the music industry in the summer of 2008 when forced to relocate to Chicago IL. Monroe was initially brought to Dolton, IL to assist his mother when her health began to fail. While in the cultural and diverse setting, he bumped heads with well-known engineer Wesley Rodgers, also known as “K.G.”, founder of Railroad Tracks Entertainment Co.
The two developed a business relationship and later began processing Rodger’s entertainment company into what will soon be known as one of the biggest music enterprises today! Although the young star is still an independent contractor, his goals and main objectives thus far are with and through Railroad Tracks. His time is spent exultantly learning more about the engineering aspect of his craft and performing frequently to build a stronger fan base. He is currently working on his debut solo release entitled “Tonepaayology: Chapter 1: Num 2 The World”, which features production being handled by Railroad Tracks and also features artists Numskull ½ of the “Luniz”, “The Caliban”, “K.G. Kapone”, and “L.O.S. (Ladiez of the Struggle)”. TonePaay stresses the fact that he isn’t into the fame and fortune this industry has to offer. His satisfaction comes from writing and producing quality music for the people! Monroe views the entertainment industry as a façade to many, and hopefully his noble and humble approach continues to take him outlying. Years from now the artist/MC/engineer can see himself ghostwriting, and being behind the scenes; although Monroe says, ”I don’t want to be the next big star”, the industry may have other plans!
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