Toox’s collaboration with vocalists Rose Culture and Daimen Carter, “Own the Night”, is one of the most involving single releases in the hip hop genre I’ve yet to hear in 2020. It isn’t a strictly hip hop release as Carter and Culture contribute some fine straight-forward singing to this performance that you’ll be hard pressed to discover in the songs of similar performers. It isn’t a very long track, barely clearing the three minute mark, but it delivers for modern listeners in every conceivable way. Producers Michael DeBarge, Juicegotkeys, and chey de los bring an expert hand to making this track resonate for modern listeners and there ismt a single audible shortcut heard over the course of its three minutes fourteen seconds. Instead, it strikes me as being one of the most focused singles I’ve heard in recent memory. 

@MichaelDeBarge

@CheydeLos

@TooxOfficial 

@RoseCultureOfficial 

@DaimenCarter 

The\ key is Toox’s performance. This relatively new arrival on the scene sounds like a well-tested veteran on this track as he navigates through the lyrics with the steely confidence of a performer seemingly born to make this work rather than sounding uncomfortable in his own skin. The lyrics for “Own the Night” are, in many respects, standard  fare, but you’d never know suspect that Toox believes the same. Instead, he tackles “Own the Night” like the words ascribe him a statement of purpose he might otherwise lack and his sure-handed touch with phrasing is one of the song’s highlights. He fills his contributions with a sense of personality and outright charisma that elevate them from the mundane to something skin to pure performed poetry. 

The musical arrangement gives him a lot to work with. Despite the electronic nature of the instruments used throughout the tune, it has a near orchestrated aspect – it’s clear that the producers and Toox exercised a great deal of consideration about how to shape the the vocals and music alike to fit each other to maximum effect. It’s synths and pre-programmed music, but it still feels and sounds responsive to the human body rather than mere placeholders for the his vocal gymnastics. The production gives everything a robust and immediate sound certain to connect with the track’s intended audience. 

KKBOX: https://www.kkbox.com/sg/en/album/iXkoWXsbiQIqy0F4KZPO009H-index.html

Toox is clearly a vital performer with personality galore that comes through in his performance rather than the typical cookie cutter garbage that so often attempts to pass for vital new music. He’s chosen  five star collaborators for this single who are sympathetic to his creative vision rather than attempting to marry his creative vision to people who hqve disparate skikll sets. It helps “Own the Night” come across as one of the more bracing singles yet in 2020 and Toox never strikes a false note during the entirety of the tune. Instead, he comes across like a born performer w2orking with material ideally suited to his needs and I feel confident he’ll only get better with each new release. He is certainly hitting an early peak with this release and sounds like a man possessed with proving himself to the world at large but he wears that motivation like a loose garment and invites us all to enjoy the ride.

Nicole Killian

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