Detroit veteran Big Tone has teamed up with Tres Records for the release of his sophomore album, The Art Of Ink.
Inspired by his passion for the art of emceeing, the album is highlighted by some of today’s most notable lyricists including Blu, Guilty Simpson, Breeze Brewin, and Ta’raach.
While rhyming under the name Hodge Podge, Tone released the six-song EP Ear Candy in 1997, which caught the attention of local star producers, including J. Dilla and Carl Craig. The EP became a Detroit underground classic. Shortly after Tone joined forces with Dilla on the legendary Welcome 2 Detroit, their relationship evolved in numerous collaborations, most notably with the underpublicized Breakfast Club, a project that included Elzhi, 87 and soul singer Dwele. He eventually released his debut album The Drought, via ABB Records in ’05.
Tone’s vision to provide insight to his lifestyle and perspective lead to the tattoo based theme of The Art of Ink. He was granted a prime opportunity to work with Tom Renshaw, one of the most acclaimed portrait tattoo artists in the world. Renshaw saw the vision, and the two collaborated to design a new piece of ink work to be the symbol of Tone’s views on life, family, and beliefs.
The Art of Ink stands to be the audio compliment to the visual art that is just as symbolic to Tone’s life. Creating music with such vivid depictions of life, love, aspirations, and growth, Tone mirrors the tattoo artists’ ability to capture innermost desires experiences, and memories on the canvas of the soul.
The new album speaks on rebirth and prosperity. Throughout the 12-cut project and onto the last song “Peace, Progress, God Bless”, Tone portrays a sense of social awareness, inspiration, and self enlightenment. As one of Detroit’s premier producers, Tone does not disappoint in providing a soulful soundtrack as the perfect backdrop to his impassioned literary works.
The Art of Ink is slated for release April 28 and can be previewed on Big Tone’s official Myspace profile at MySpace.com/BigTone.