The Rise of Don Toliver
The rise of Don Toliver has been remarkable and his success should not be underestimated. A pioneer in R&B and Hip Hop, his talented vision, experimental and psychedelic sound accompanied by his commitment to traditional musicianship has led to Don Toliver being an artist and producer who should and must be taken seriously. Under the mentorship of Trap and Rap legend in his own right Travis Scott, Don Toliver has certainly got the right kind of guidance. Developing alongside the Cactus Jack record label and the Jack Boys gang, made up of artists Chase B, Travis Scott, Sheck Wes and Don Toliver, has allowed him to immerse himself with some of Hip Hops best talents.
His recent album release ‘Heaven or Hell’ has enjoyed great commercial success and is amazing to listen to. Toliver’s delivery on the album is excellent and mature, talking his way through the trials and tribulations yet joys of being in a position where he can enjoy the partying scene as a result of his rise to fame. This gives way to illustrative verses in Candy and Euphoria, which in my opinion are the two best records on the album. Candy’s innovative sound is coupled descriptive, suggestive and emotive lyrics, which demonstrates Toliver’s talent as a producer but also as a lyricist.
For Toliver ‘Heaven or Hell’ is just the beginning, and although he had already released his breakout mixtape Donny Womack back in 2018 this was slightly marred by the fact that he dropped it on the same day as Travis Scott’s monumental ASTROWORLD album. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that Toliver used ‘Heaven or Hell’ as his statement to the music world and what a statement it was. The performances given in ‘Heaven or Hell’ were already hinted at in the JACKBOYS album released in December 2019 in which his song ‘HAD ENOUGH’ was an aperitif of his potential, whilst incorporating Hip Hop legends Offset and Quavo into the mix, which is no mean feat for a young artist. His CV is already extensive, with features on ‘CAN’T SAY’ on Scott’s ASTROWORLD, ‘No Regrets’ on Eminem’s Music to be Murdered By and lastly the JACKBOYS collaboration album as already mentioned.
It is easy to see why the Houston local is held in high regards within the music world, and is a target for many producers and artists to collaborate with. His range with his vocals not to mention his flow in his rapping, makes Don Toliver a multitalented vocalist and lyricist which at a point where music is led by Hip Hop is crucial, but also allows Toliver to involve aspects of R&B singing and melody that that can sometimes be lost in todays musical climate. In a sense Don Toliver delivers a complete package of the modern musician, which is an artist, producer and a vocalist, whilst incorporating his rapping roots. Of course Travis Scott has influenced this, but Don Toliver has become individual, unique and frankly brilliant.
As a result Toliver has already moulded himself into a mature, inventive and pioneering artist that is looking to bring new sounds and techniques to the music world, which is a refreshing change. The connections and relationships that Toliver has already established in the industry will be crucial for his development as an artist in the coming years, but it is already clear to see that Don Toliver is ascertaining himself and this has seen the growth of a loyal fan base.
Whilst we may not see another Toliver album or project for a year or two, the world will watch with keen eyes on his progression in the Hip Hop and R&B world. Toliver is the real deal, and his stimulating and invigorating approach to music is very exciting. 2020 may not have been the start to the decade that many of us may have wanted, but in terms of music, Don Toliver provides a taste of what is to come and the future of Hip Hop.