Tonic The Rapper was born in Barcelona, Spain. Diagnosed with schizophrenia at a young age, he used rap as a therapy to develop his own way of communicating and interacting with his traumas, creating a song library of more than 1000 tracks since starting out in 2010. Also the owner of Entre Olivos Estudio since 2016, the Spanish rapper mostly bases his narratives on his experiences living as a punk and squatter. Tonic The Rapper is one of the lead voices of rock-rap group Maggot Temple. His new album “CHAOS”, is lyrically dense, balancing cinematic imagery and personal experience. To understand exactly what the rapper is saying, you will need to have a good grasp of Spanish, as that’s his language of choice for this recording.
But there is a whole lot going on with “CHAOS”, so even if you don’t understand Spanish, there is plenty to enjoy and appreciate. It’s rare that an up-and-coming European artist impresses me the way Tonic The Rapper does on this album. Not only does he provide some visceral commentary and whip-smart bars, from the little I can pick up in Spanish, but he displays himself as a great technical rapper in a modern hip-hop industry that is lacking in this department.
When it comes to the actual skill of rapping, Tonic The Rapper flow, speed, aggression and overall technical ability is on a superior level. Opening with the fantastic ‘Darko’, Tonic The Rapper sets the bar for the album high.
There’s no doubt that he can spit and at this point he show us just how, on the free-flowing “Amor y Odio”, and then certifies that performance on “La Noche”, which features a brilliant production constructed on a cross-mix of soulful horns and pumping percussion.
“A La Mierda (Interludio)” introduces a slow minimal beat, a melodic vocal motif, and an impressively soulful and tortured delivery from Tonic The Rapper. Throughout the album, the Spanish rapper is consistently dominating the beat behind him, maintaining a steadfast pace that is barefaced and controlled.
Both “Sirenas” and “Bruma” exemplify what the ideal student of the game sounds like — someone who’s conscious of how a beat presents itself, how to control their delivery, and how to diversify their lyrical bonds.
Tonic The Rapper’s speed and flow on this latter track, is actually ridiculously fast. The following track, “Tu Peor Heroe” rides on an insistently slamming beat with Latin flavored instrumentation. Tonic The Rapper morphs his flow to fit around the beat, without sacrificing any lyrical skill. He has obviously spent years honing his craft, and on this project, he shows it.
Tonic The Rapper has an innate ability to capture the perfect vibe of the music and provide whatever the song calls for with ease. This is again evident on the acoustic-guitar driven final track, “Todo Gris (Outro)”.
What really separates Tonic The Rapper from the rest of the pack is his ability to manipulate rhyme schemes, and contort his vocal tones, as he moves between abrasive aggression, and high speed flows with ease. His talent and potential is bluntly obvious on “CHAOS”, despite any possible language barrier.