Album Review: Toki Wright- A Different Mirror

Feelin’ Minnesota

My native home town of Minneapolis has produced a very talented hip-hop star named Toki Wright. Known most recently for being Brother Ali‘s opening act, Wright brings a passion and energy to his music.  Rhymesayers Entertainment is releasing on its RSE “Spotlight Series” which, according to the press release is “aimed at giving developing talent a platform to bring their message to the masses.”

You can get a quick preview of the tracks here on the official label site for Toki Wright or go to the MySpace page for full versions of the tracks.  Here are my thoughts from a few I sampled:

“State of Emergency” features an intro from George W Bush (yes, really) and begins with a verse about an injured Vietnam War veteran.  Toki then turns the track to make observations about racial profiling and police brutality.  He also has a lyric about Minnesota having less than a 10% black population.  Racial profiling is a problem in the Twin Cities so I was glad he broached the subject.

“Good” features a great slow groove which almost reminded me of Ice Cube’s “Good Day” but Toki does a much better job with his lyrical presentation than Cube on this type of track in that he’s more fluid and musical rather than Cube’s style of just basically talking on that track.

“Devil’s Advocate” features another great funky, 70’s style groove.  The background vocals are soulful and provide a nice backdrop for Toki’s rapping.  The track overall is about trying to become a better person chorus has “trying to change my evil ways”

“Next Best Thing” seems like a boastful track where Toki says he is the “next best thing is standing right here.”  I enjoyed the lyric “I’m the first Minnesota rapper who’s ever toured Africa.” He throws in some more great Minnesota references include the lyric “from the home of Prince, Dylan, and collapsed bridges.”

Toki really is proud of his Minneapolis roots as not only does he do a lot of work in the community, but his videos also give nods to the Twin Cities.  If you look carefully you can see he is wearing a Minnesota Twins t-shirt  in his video “More Fiya.” In “Devil’s Advocate” you can clearly see the skyline of downtown Minneapolis behind him.  Definitely great to see the Twin Cities represented so well for so many to see!

According to his MySpace page, you’ll be able to see Toki at upcoming gigs in Milwaukee on July 17th and Minneapolis (with Warren G!) on July 30th. Check him out, you won’t be disappointed!  You betcha!

Keep chillin’


Toki Wright

A Different Mirror- Track listing
  • 1 Foundation
  • 2 More Fiya
  • 3 Devil’s Advocate
  • 4 Good
  • 5 A Different Mirror
  • 6 Rise Featuring Scarub
  • 7 Next Best Thing
  • 8 The Law Featuring I Self Divine
  • 9 State Of Emergency
  • 10 Truth Or Dare
  • 11 The Feeling Featuring Brother Ali
  • 12 Little Girl
  • 13 Poison Ivy (Afreecan-American)