The whole point of our Uncharted series is to shine a light on artists who we think are about to make the leap from bubbling-under to boiling-over. Still, we didn’t expect it to happen as quickly as it did for teenage rapper Token. Since we profiled him back in May, the young post-Eminem spitter has seen his career launch quicker than one of his rapid-fire verses.
Token is currently touring the nation with the indie-rap-nerd beloved Hopsin, warming up the sort of rap crowds who praise lyricism above all else.
“I actually got the call that the tour was happening when I was in a tutoring session for pre-calculus,” he said. “My manager called. He knows I’m in tutoring so I was like ‘Why is he calling?’…He’s like ‘We’re going on a nationwide tour with Hopsin. Pack your bags!'”
Even though Token’s career was just beginning, it was an odd full-circle moment. His first-ever performance in public was an impromptu rap for Hopsin when he was 13.
“He was just signing some autographs outside the show and I was like ‘Yo, I’m gonna rap,” Token recalled. “He didn’t pay it any mind because he was talking to all these other fans.”
But once Token got going, Hopsin was forced to take notice.
“Hopsin went silent and it turned into like my first performance in public ever. In 2012, I was 13 and just to see it come full circle that my first U.S. tour is joining him on the road….It was like it’s destiny.”
It’s easy to see why Token is partial to the idea of destiny, given how fast he rose to fame and the reaction he’s getting from crowds on the road. His debut mixtape Eraser Shavings charted high on Billboard’s Rap Albums, Heatseekers and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. That success got him into BET’s 2016 Digital Cypher.
Token still can’t believe that the poems he started writing to work through a language disability have led to so much success.
“This all came from me writing in a notebook when I was in 1st grade,” he said. “I didn’t have any idea what was going to happen but it’s happening. And it’s amazing.”