Philadelphia is a vibrant city, home to many musical icons. In a city boiling with talent, it takes much more than a catchy hook to stand out.
There are some artists who just have “it”. It being the star factor. The something special that sets them a part. The feeling of knowing you’re listening to the next big thing.
Meet West Philadelphia native and rapper Toure.
All I Wanted Was Everything
Recently, Toure released his latest EP, All I Wanted Was Everything, the follow-up to the highly successful, Hood Poetry.
The 13-track EP is a solid body of work, an artistic exploration of real-life. Toure is a storyteller, effortlessly weaving together words to paint vivid images of life in the ghetto, strife, black love, and hope.
“I was in a deep space of creativity,” Toure recollected, “making sure that this project was nothing like the last one but it was still Toure, ya know.” The rapper laughed and humbly proclaimed, “I think it came together well though”.
Indeed, it did. Upon its July 28th, 2023 release, All I Wanted Was Everything, garnered close to one million streams in its first week receiving praise from Philadelphia-titan Meek Mill.
Toure, The Artist
Spend 40 minutes listening to the album and you’ll understand why Toure is only just getting started in the rap game. Listeners are taken on a cinematic musical journey, a fusion of rhythms and rhymes. By the album’s conclusion you’ll feel as if you just finished catching up with an old friend.
Evidently, that’s Toure’s superpower, the ability to paint pictures and pull you in.
“Jay-Z, one of my favorite rappers, he paints pictures -he paints pictures well. When he’s rapping, I can visualize what he saying. I want my music to be like a conversation, with whoever is listening to it. With my music, I’m telling you a story of what I’ve been through, so I gotta paint a picture. That’s the only way you really gonna see it, feel it-feel me”.
Notably, the EP covers gritty street themes and life in the trenches. He also raps about love, a theme the rapper was not afraid to speak on.
“I grew up around my grandma”, Toure emphasized, “we would take trips to A.C. and Virginia Beach listening to oldies the whole time and shit. I knew I wanted to include that and make different types of music. I know I can make drill music, rap about my everyday life but it takes a lot to spill your emotions on a track about a chick you dealing with. I wanted to give that. I wanted to show I’m not too gangsta to talk about that”.
The Secret Is Out
To celebrate the release of his new EP, All I Wanted Was Everything, Toure headlined his own concert and album release party last month at Theatre of The Living Arts in Philadelphia.
Rapping with boyish charm, a distinct voice, and entertaining bravado, Toure performed to a sold out crowd. Watching him perform however, is the magic moment when you realize West Philadelphia’s best kept musical secret is out.
Undeniably, a distinguished artist in Philadelphia, the time is now for the star to continue rising. Indeed he will, Philly has way of producing gems.
The audience was filled with people of all ages, races, and genders rapping along to the lyrics, holding signs with Toure’s picture on display, and dancing in unison. To not only bring people together like one big melting pot, but to also create such a unique vibe is downright powerful.
Certainly, that’s another one of Toure’s superpowers, to make music that transcends stereotypes and labels.
“I’m 4 to 40,” the rapper laughed, “that’s what I say- my audience is from 4 to 40. It’s no gateway, I talk about all of it just so I can embrace that type of audience and have that type of crowd. I don’t keep it one way, I talk about it all”.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, it’s refreshing to meet homegrown stars like Toure who continue to keep the genre alive while adding a fusion of talent, charm, and a distinctive style.
You can stream Toure’s new EP, All I Wanted Was Everything right here.