Rising South Coast Music Group rapper Toosii is a storytelling prodigy. With the release of his Platinum Heart mixtape in February and its accompanying deluxe version, the North Carolina-based artist is preparing for the release of his next effort After The Storm. The project is expected to be filled with the handful of melodic snippets that he’s been teasing his millions of Instagram followers throughout the lockdown.
The 20-year-old bubbling rap star — born Nau’Jour Grainger — was raised in Syracuse, New York, and moved to Raleigh when he was in the eighth grade. It’s only recently that the “Love Cycle” rapper began to take his music career seriously. He is currently signed to the same label as Grammy Award-nominated artist DaBaby and before COVID-19 put an end to concerts, fans might’ve caught him opening up for likes of Summer Walker, Polo G, City Girls, NBA Youngboy and Moneybagg Yo, among others.
Its promising tunes such as the empathetic fan favorite “Red Lights,” the subtly sincere “5 Stars” and affectionately loving track “Mercedez” that separates Toosii apart from the rest of the up-and-coming musicians.
Speaking with Uproxx over the phone, Toosii, who just landed in Los Angeles and was doing a little shopping on the Hollywood strip, discussed with us on how he plans on keeping the momentum going.
What brings you out to LA?
I came with my producer. My producer got some work to do out here, so I just came with him to take a trip, catch a flight, and get right back.
You just dropped Platinum Heart deluxe with quite a few new songs on there. I saw a TikTok that you made where you’re talking about artists making albums with 20+ songs. What made you want to go ahead and add the extra songs to that project?
I felt like it needed to be light on the album that I have already put out. I felt like it didn’t have enough light yet. There’s been a whole world that don’t know about me. I feel like there’s more people who need to know about me.
Out of the songs that you added, which one’s your favorite?
Probably “Got Her Own.” “Got Her Own” — that’s a top hit. I’d say the reason “Got Her Own” is my favorite is it’s so real. I feel I got it rolling. It’s just got that vibe. That sunset, rolling down Hollywood Boulevard vibe.
I’ve noticed that you have a great appreciation for Nipsey Hussle. How has he influenced you?
Honestly, just as far as like his head spin and keeping a level head and understanding what’s really going on in the world. A lot of people in my generation follow the wrong thing. Then, Nipsey was the main reason that I started investing and saving my money and doing the things that I wanted to do, because, the OG made that look like it was cool. I grew up around dope boys and doing some smack, some had guns and stuff like that. Basically, Nipsey was like a breath of fresh air. It’s like, “Yo, you don’t got to do that type of stuff.”
There was this Instagram a few days ago talking about how, when you were growing up, there were certain people that you looked up to and now you feel like you are that person, and now you have that responsibility.
Like I said, I come from a place where we don’t really got nobody to look up to. So, the people we looking up to either dead or in jail right now and if they not, that doesn’t change what I got. But, just to be that dude now that’s riding through the hood, with the nice car, jewelry, and money bag because it’s everything that they want. Knowing that I could be that big influence and doing it the right way. That’d mean a lot.
How do you want your music to make people feel?
A lot of my fans are people who’ve been through things and I make insightful music that gives you that cry you need. You ever had a good pain? Like a pain that hurt, but it don’t really hurt, because it also feels good. I make that kind of music. To be a fan of Toosii, you’ve got to go through something. You had to be through something to be a fan of it.
I also saw that you kind of addressed people comparing you to Roddy Ricch and Lil Baby recently but it doesn’t really bother you that much. Why do you think people compare you to those two people in particular?
Honestly, I can’t tell you. It might be the type of music that I make, my type of beat selection, but I don’t even mind. The comparisons really don’t bother, because I could see them comparing me to somebody who wasn’t doing everything that they needed to do. If they feel like those is the type of influences, I mean, those are good influences. I’m not tripping.
I know you’ve been out there protesting. What type of changes you would like to see society take as far as their treatment of Black people.
Honestly, as far as what we would need as far as the change, I can’t speak on that because, we’ve got people that be hurting for 400+ years. You see what I’m saying? And that’s something that you just can’t bring back. But as far as the respect, that’s something that got to be fixed.
I see you’re a little heartthrob and the ladies love you. So, these questions are going to be for them. What’s your type?
I like girls like my mom. I won’t lie. You got to be hardworking and loving. My mom is hardworking and loving. You got to have those two things.
Would you date a fan?
Yeah, I definitely will, because to date me, you got to be a fan of my music. You got to like my music.
All these snippets that you have. What are you doing with all of them?
They about to be released. After The Storm coming soon.
How soon is that coming?
You can look for it in about a month or so.
Is it going to be all the ones everyone’s been begging for or will it have some new stuff on there, too?
All of it.