Emerging out of California, independent music artist Big Toks is rapidly climbing the rap charts. From Los Angeles to roots in Sacramento and the Island Empire, Big Toks is a true reflection of a west coast artist.
Entertainment Now chats to Big Toks to find out about the inspiration behind his name and music, and how his career has taken off so far.
Can you start by telling us the story behind your stage name?
Toks has always been a nickname. After playing around with other stage names I wanted to keep things simple, friends have been calling me Big Toks because I am big on weight lifting, so it was only fitting as a stage name to be Big Toks.
What was the starting point of your career in the hip-hop scene?
After a near-death experience seven years ago, I decided if I had a chance I would pursue music simply out of the love for music. I was starting from scratch with no musical background. I hit the scene by putting my journey out there just trying to learn as much as I can. I put in a lot of work behind the scenes even when no one was checking for me.
In April of 2022 one of my all time favorite rappers Curren$y was doing a show in Garden Grove, California. I bought as ticket as a fan. I had a friend reach out to me saying I should open for Curren$y, and the thought didn’t even cross my mind. I had a few tracks I put out but I was still finding my lane. But I said why not if I can, the slots were filled up in one minute so it was no go. But it got me thinking these opportunities may come again and I want to make sure I am ready.
My laptop and interface broke the same month, so I doubled down and new equipment. After I had my software installed I locked myself in the studio for days. Cranking out song after song. I had a few tracks I made before, but this was the first time I was really happy with my music.
June 28th I got the call “Do you still want to open for Curren$y” I said yes and took a leap of faith as the show was only 15 days away. I decided I was going to do all my new music I just recorded and let this be a test to see if a crowd that doesn’t know me can vibe with me. From the amount of work that I put in for the years behind the scenes got me ready for the moment.
I hit the stage and never been on s stage that big before. I felt the crowd was rocking with me, then I performed my song ‘Doin My Thang’ and when the hook came in, I had the crowd signing the hook back to me from a song they never heard. That was the moment where I knew I arrived, my true starting point July 9th 2022. After the show I had strangers coming up to me telling me they liked my set and wanted to hear more music.
So After I got back home I immediately got back in the studio soon after and I finished up my debut project Coupe Etiquette and dropped in on 11/11/22 and have been running things up since.
What do you usually take inspiration from to write new songs?
My inspiration is really just my lifestyle, talking about what is going on around me, rapping to motivate myself and others. Sometimes I start a song based on a beat or sometimes it’s just a thought. I usually just like to go in the studio and see what I come up with. Sometimes I can be working out and I think of a bar and I write it down and build around that.
You’ve just released a music video for your song ‘Never Slackin’ which amassed over 85k streams. What motivated the concept behind the video?
What motivated the concept around the ‘Never Slackin’ video was I had an album release ‘Party’ the day after I dropped my album 11/12/22 I had the album release party filmed and said I wanted to maximize the album release party party and turn it into a music video as well.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
I want people to be motivated from listening to my music, I want people to find that hustle and drive in them to see through goals through. Because that is what this journey has been for me. I want people to want the finer things in life while not cheating the grind.
I want my music to boost your confidence, boost your ambition, get you in the gym, have you taking steps in the right direction, and most importantly I just want people to enjoy my music. From the beats, lyrics, wordplay, and vibe I just want people to listen and have fun but also to feel good about themselves and their journey.
What’s coming next? Any new song or gig?
More videos for ‘Coupe Etiquette’ will be shot this year. And ‘Coupe Etiquette Pt. 2 Cooling Out On Ocean’ or ‘Ocean Blvd’. (Name still a work in progress) is almost done being recorded and will be coming out later this year and I can’t wait for people to hear it.