Open Space: Token
How Marky Mark's favorite rapper blew up
True to his name, Token is a one-of-a-kind lyricist. The Salem, Mass. MC found hip hop as a first grader, writing rhymes to cope with family drama. By grade four, he was releasing music of his own to YouTube, and by age 13 he’d spit for one of his music idols, Hopsin, at one of the California rapper’s concerts.
“There were 30 people trying to get [Hopsin] autographs,” he tells MASS APPEAL. “I was like Hopsin, I’m about to rap and he literally just ignored me. I just started rapping and eventually… everyone started watching. It turned into my first live performance ever… Full circle, the world is crazy because the first tour I went on was with Hopsin.”
He became a viral rap sensation in 2015 after entering a contest called No Sucka MCs—the video he entered into the competition went on to amass more than 3 million views. Now 19 years old with an album under his belt (2016’s Eraser Shavings), he’s looking to continue to develop his music and lyrics, and has an idea of the type of creative muse who could help him hone his sound.
“I just want to get with someone who I feel like could really get me thinking and could really bring out a certain energy—I feel like Kanye [West] is that person,” Token says. “And I’m just a huge Kanye fan.”
Token stopped by the MASS APPEAL HQ for the latest episode of Open Space to chat about his introduction to rap, come up and the artists who most inspire him.