We catch up with Rap­per Tone II,  we delve into the gen­es­is of his latest track “Feels Good” and unravel the nar­rat­ive behind its com­pel­ling com­pos­i­tion. Amidst dis­cus­sions about wealth and prosper­ity in the stu­dio, Tone II and DJ Squeeky delve into the icon­ic Mem­ph­is sound, spark­ing inspir­a­tion for the song. With the col­lab­or­at­ive efforts of wavy wayne and Kev­in Nix, they cre­ate a melod­ic mas­ter­piece that embod­ies resi­li­ence and tri­umph over adversity. Join us as we uncov­er the jour­ney behind “Feels Good” with Tone II.

Can you share more about how the idea for “Feels Good” came about dur­ing the dis­cus­sion about money in the stu­dio, and how did the col­lab­or­a­tion with DJ Squeeky, wavy wayne, and Kev­in Nix con­trib­ute to the track?

The idea for “Feels Good” came about when DJ Squeeky and I dis­cussed how every­one is sampling the Mem­ph­is sound. We had been record­ing togeth­er for a few years and had nev­er done a song togeth­er, so we decided to col­lab­or­ate. Kev­in Nix and his fath­er had mastered my first album, so we had a long­stand­ing work­ing rela­tion­ship. Wavy Wayne had done a song for me in the past, so I sent the track to him, and he con­trib­uted to the final product.

The writ­ing of “Feels Good” happened quickly. How did the spon­tan­eous con­ver­sa­tion in the stu­dio lead to the mem­or­able line “damn, it feels good to get some bread,” and how did that shape the over­all theme of the song?

Dur­ing the stu­dio con­ver­sa­tion, we talked about how good it feels to have some money, espe­cially when you come from humble begin­nings. The line, ”damn, it feels good to get some bread”, just came out spon­tan­eously and we knew it had to be included in the song. It helped shape the song’s over­all theme, which was about the joy of being able to rise above your cir­cum­stances and achieve suc­cess. As someone who grew up poor in Magno­lia, South Mem­ph­is, I wanted to tell my story and inspire oth­ers in sim­il­ar situ­ations. When you’re writ­ing about your own exper­i­ences, the words flow nat­ur­ally.

The music video for “Feels Good” was inspired by Joe Yung Spike’s idea. Can you talk about how the concept evolved dur­ing devel­op­ment and the col­lab­or­at­ive pro­cess in bring­ing the visu­al rep­res­ent­a­tion of the song to life?

I’ve known Joe for many years — he’s my broth­er. We talked on the phone, and I told him about the song. He listened and said, ‘I’ll be in Mem­ph­is next week. Let’s do the video.’ We met at a club around 4 am and star­ted film­ing.”

Known for blend­ing genres like trap met­al, phonk, and the icon­ic Mem­ph­is sound, how do you approach mer­ging these influ­ences in your music, and what impact do you hope it has on shap­ing the Mem­ph­is rap scene?

I love music and have been writ­ing since I was thir­teen. I listen to rock, blues, and R&B, but I don’t listen to a lot of rap music because I don’t want to sound like any­one else. I try to focus on myself. I talk a lot with Jak Danielz, the Black Rain in-house pro­du­cer, and tell him my ideas, and then he always comes up with a track for me to listen to.

I hope my music influ­ences oth­er artists from Mem­ph­is, and you can do any­thing if you want to. You don’t have to keep that same sound. I love the Mem­ph­is sound, but I have big­ger dreams than just liv­ing off that sound.

As a co-founder of Black Rain Enter­tain­ment, how has your role in the com­pany influ­enced your artist­ic jour­ney, and what leg­acy do you see Black Rain Enter­tain­ment leav­ing in the Mem­ph­is music land­scape?

When I star­ted Black Rain, I and Lord Infam­ous (RIP) of Three 6 Mafia. I wanted to do more for my group Da Crime Click, Tha Club­house Click, and Mr. 4Twenty. This would be some­thing that we would have full cre­at­ive con­trol over. I wanted the artists to know they could make the music they wanted. Nobody would tell you how to rap and what you could­n’t do. I just wanted every­one to be cre­at­ive.
I think Black Rain greatly impacts the Mem­ph­is land­scape — the Lord Infam­ous albums, my solo albums, and Da Crime Click­’s music. I did the first T‑Rock solo album, so Black Rain will always have a stamp in the city.

Your col­lab­or­a­tion on “9mm” gained atten­tion. How did this col­lab­or­a­tion come about, and what influ­ence do you think it had on your career and the rap industry?

Regard­ing the col­lab­or­a­tion on “9mm,” I did­n’t ini­tially work on the song with Groove Deal­er and Mem­ph­is Cult. I later learned about it and was pleased with how it turned out.
The song has been received very well by fans, and I am excited to per­form it at all of my shows going for­ward. While it’s true that some people may not real­ize it’s me rap­ping since the song does­n’t fea­ture me, those who are famil­i­ar with my work in Mem­ph­is recog­nize my con­tri­bu­tion to the track. Those are my guys, and we are work­ing on new music togeth­er.

Fans appre­ci­ate your sin­cer­ity in your music. How import­ant is authen­ti­city to you in your cre­at­ive pro­cess, and how do you bal­ance shar­ing per­son­al exper­i­ences while con­nect­ing with a broad­er audi­ence?

Authen­ti­city is crit­ic­al to my cre­at­ive pro­cess. Every­one has a unique story to tell, and I am no excep­tion.
Grow­ing up in South Mem­ph­is, where some­thing was always hap­pen­ing, has giv­en me much mater­i­al to work with. I want my fans to know about my per­son­al exper­i­ences because I’m sure someone out there has gone through some­thing sim­il­ar. Shar­ing these exper­i­ences is how we con­nect.

Your latest releases blend trap met­al and ‘phonk’, push­ing the bound­ar­ies of the Mem­ph­is sound. What inspired you to explore these genres, and how do they con­trib­ute to the evol­u­tion of your music­al style?

As an artist who loves rock and met­al, I wanted to mix the sound with rap music, which I also enjoy. Listen­ing to the likes of UGK, Three 6 Mafia, 8 Ball & MJG, Nir­vana, and Guns N’ Roses, fueled my cre­ativ­ity, and I record every day to exper­i­ment with new sounds and styles. I believe that this fusion of genres is what sets my music apart and con­trib­utes to the evol­u­tion of my music­al style.

With hit singles like “Make It Clap,” “Pools of Bod­ies,” and “Me Too,” how do you envi­sion your music mak­ing an impact on the main­stream rap industry, and what mes­sage or feel­ing do you aim to con­vey through your tracks?

My music is all about hav­ing fun, and I love to make music that people can vibe with. From “Make It Clap” to “Me Too,” my tracks are all about enjoy­ing life and cel­eb­rat­ing sexu­al­ity. I want my music to bring joy and pos­it­ive energy to my listen­ers and encour­age them to let loose and have a good time.

Your love for South Mem­ph­is is evid­ent in your music. How does your con­nec­tion to your homet­own influ­ence your lyr­ic­al con­tent and over­all approach to cre­at­ing music?

Grow­ing up in Magno­lia in South Mem­ph­is has had a sig­ni­fic­ant impact on my music and my approach to cre­at­ing it. I draw inspir­a­tion from my exper­i­ences in the hood, which motiv­ates me to keep push­ing for­ward. My music is all about authen­ti­city, and I stay true to my roots by col­lab­or­at­ing with oth­er Mem­ph­is artists and incor­por­at­ing the sounds of the city into my tracks. Wheth­er it’s through my lyr­ics or beats, my con­nec­tion to my homet­own is evid­ent, and I’m proud to rep­res­ent it through my music.


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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.