Pass The AUX is a series by Francesco Lupinacci that works towards presenting a critical analysis of a variation of music artists & albums that lay beneath the polluted mainstream sound,to widen your playlists and give you a fire AUX selection
Token allows his listeners to venture into the fray of his notebook through exhibitions of lyrical complexion, his own harmony of exterior competitive emcee aggression and his internal conversational vulnerability, while often breaking the fourth wall to engage his audience with his own narration to make Eraser Shavings a cohesive project of self-creation.
Returning from an impeccable freestyle on Sway In The Morning, Token had recognizably reached a superior platform of merit, as he undoubtably astonished from one of the most prestigious stages as an emcee. Releasing the visuals for the playful "Waist Down" and standout song, "Happiness", Token reached out to newer fans, making Eraser Shavings draw its deserved attention.
Rapping with the fierce of an underdog and the notable mentality of a veteran wordsmith, it is no surprise for loyal fans to see the 17 year old delivering a showcase of charismatic lyrical display that is expected from an-all star hip-hop great in their prime. This is where Token impresses most in an intricate manner, as on Eraser Shavings he quickly switches roles between a self-thought artist moving his way up and a villainous elite that will separate himself from his peers in songs such as "Necessary Evil".
Token's craftsmanship and comedic values grip a particular side of him; the comfort that he has reached with his works to play around on, in this album. "Waist Down", an upbeat song about not giving a f**** due to the literal state of his imaginative limb paralysis, serves as a prime example of an artist attempting to entertain himself with the fun he can have with his own labor, while then again prolonging the song to break a fourth wall to speak to his audience in case of any criticism. The two skits included in the album also serve as comic relief for the otherwise consistent intense performance from the artist.
The first appears on "Stop Hitting Me" that is very reminiscent of Eminem's "Criminal" skit as he speaks hysterically about his intentions to kill someone, and it parallel to Em's from the tone of words, to their content, and similar execution of production to include car sounds in the skit. The second is by far the most unique and entertaining piece from the teenager, as his own personal introductory ad-lib titled track "Shyea" pertains oh him attempting to yell the word "shyea" for over three minutes, testing his producer's patience. Its imperative to note his comedic value as well this early on, as it adds a fluent dynamic to his rhymes as an emcee and throughout the album.
Without thinking there would be so much to say about his funnier marks on the record, the deepest cuts arrive when Token takes on the role of narrator; he does so immaculately on various songs such as "Self Taught", "Happiness", "Shavings", "Lost", all through his own point of view and plot except for the album's finest song, "Exception". In "Exception", Token fills the spot of the narrative as a by-stander to a kid being bullied, until climatically thrown into an active role in the narrative towards the end of the song. It's a concept that hasn't been the most common in literature, and asides pulling heart strings due to his stories, Token always feels more personal as his position on a track shifts enough to come alive beyond being a voice through a speaker.
The self-drawn, or rather written, portrait Token has painted in Eraser Shavings values his successful creations and his shavings of a dark adolescence whilst always making it clear that he is never finished and has much further to go. From the cover-art to his wordplay, Token is never in any grey area with his vision, it is a black and white performance of a succinct self-identity built from the ground up. Eraser Shavings didn't only depict a promising talent, but rather a commercially unnoticed elite, we will soon be struggling to keep up with.
Please check-out Eraser Shavings on iTunes & more from Token at: tokenhiphop.com