Monday, January 24, 2011

BlackMaled by Toki Wright

by Doug MacRostie. 

Toki Wright is a hip-hop artist out of Minneapolis. Raised in a Buddhist household, and immersing himself in Black history, world culture, and community work, Toki's awareness of the diverse world we live in is translated through his content driven music. Toki is not only a well established emcee but one of the hardest working community activists in the Twin Cities area. With numerous accolades and a tour history that has taken him from New York to Uganda, he is a powerful voice prepared to educate and challenge as well as entertain. Toki Wright joins me this week on Centerstage MN.

Toki told me, "I’m driven to create music by trying to get the craziness out of my head. I think we all have these thoughts and ideas and we express ourselves in different ways... I chose to write and I feel like there’s a voice that isn’t always represented every time that you hear a hip-hop song or a rap song… But yet, we can still be eloquent in our speaking and we still can be creative… I’m driven to represent people from my era, from my neighborhood, people that think similarly and who question things we think to be true.” 

Toki also runs the first fully accredited Hip-Hop diploma studies program in the U.S. at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. His last full-length album was 2009's "A Different Mirror." His latest release is an EP supported by the MN State Arts Board called "BlackMale" which is based on the experience of African Americans in Minnesota. It's all powerful stuff, don't miss this interview!

To set up the conversation with Toki we'll hear from fellow Rhymesayers  rappers: Brother Ali and Atmosphere, two of MN's premiere Hip-Hop artists.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at Centerstage MN is also heard on KSRQ in Thief River Falls Saturday nights at 11 & Wednesdays at Noon, and on WTIP in Grand Marais Thursday afternoons at 4. Often featured on

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