In today’s era of Hip Hop, a rising star’s light can dim as fast as they find their glow. There are very few talents that manage to capture an audience and use that moment to gain steady growth. With Toosii, he manages to do just that, climbing the industry ladder on his way to becoming hip-hop’s next superstar.
The 20 -year-old has broken past the Soundcloud rapper stigma as he breaks streaming records with each release. In February, Toosii debuted his third album, Platinum Heart, and went number one on the Billboard Heat Seeker charts. Additionally, that album’s success also landed him a top 10 spot on Rolling Stone’s coveted “Breakthrough 25” chart.
“I know what I came from, so it’s like… To be where I’m at right now is a blessing. I’m not come this far just to be like well, it’s all good, it’s all nice. I mean, it’s still more milestones to accomplish, you know, I can’t get too content with where I’m at.”
Toosii expresses over the phone when asked about how he’s handling his rapid rise. Even with the success he gained this year; he makes it known that the grind never stops. He remains humble, a theme present throughout our entire conversation.
Nau’Jour Grainger aka Toosii was born in Syracuse, New York, and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina when he was young. He was introduced to music through his brothers and father, who were musicians. In 2017, Grainger decided to start making music as an outlet for dealing with his hardships.
In addition to balancing everyday high school life, Toosii steadily began posting music on outlets like Spinrilla and Soundcloud. Music became the path he chose after the release of his single ‘Red Light’ in 2019. The single became his biggest song, garnering 7 million YouTube views and 2 million Spotify streams. Momentum from the widespread buzz lead to him to sign a deal with South Coast Music Group. The prominent record label boasts other rap superstars such as Da Baby & Stunna 4 Vegas. In 2020, the Carolina rapper is now also the latest signee to Capitol Records.
Toosii’s meteoric rise is largely in part due to his knack for storytelling and natural charisma. He is able to deliver gritty lyrics paired with melodic sensibilities. Only at the dawn of his adulthood, he exudes refinement beyond his years. He is fearless when it comes to being vulnerable. Another quality he carries that resonates deeply with his growing fanbase is his ability to paint a vivid picture of his life experiences.
Determined and relentless in his quest to aim higher, Toosii feels that in his artistry, there should be no limits.
“I feel like as an artist, to be considered an artist, there should never be anything that I can’t do.”-Toosii
Currently, Toosii is fresh off the release of his latest album Poetic Pain via South Coast Music Group. The album dropped mid-September and has already landed him on the Billboard charts at number 17. The leading track ‘Sinners Prayer’ sets the tone of the project. The rapper makes the statement that there is more to him than meets the eye.
From Platinum Heart to now, there is recognizable growth. In Platinum Heart, fans saw a more romantic side of Toosii with songs centering around his trials in love. In Poetic Pain, he seeks to roughen the edges and show fans that he is layered. Over the phone, he expresses nerves about displaying this Jekyll and Hyde aspect of himself. In order not to be boxed in, he feels the expression is necessary.
“I feel like I gave people so much of the love side of me. I feel like sometimes people get so caught up in the hopeless romantic part, they forget about the hood part. It’s a half and half. You’re still gonna get that love, you’re still going to get that storytelling, but you got to get that hood side now too.”-Toosii
What’s Next For Toosii?
Surprisingly enough, another contrast between this current project and his previous is that it did not have any features. Toosii confidently states that there are few artists in the rap game that he is willing to collaborate with. However, if the decision came to it, he would most likely consider Billie Eilish. “Man, I love Billie Eilish. I just love different artists. I love free artists. Artists who just don’t care, you know, and I feel like Billie Eilish is one of those people.” he shares.
Before landing that Eilish feature, in the meantime, Toosii has gone against his no feature standard in Poetic Pain. Featured artists include Lil Durk on his track ‘Nightmare’ and former tour mate Summer Walker on ‘Love Cycle Remix.’ The single was a fan favorite carried over from his previous album.
Compared continuously to current stars like Roddy Rich and Lil Baby, one thing Toosii emphasizes is his goal to stand alone and become a household name. In our conversation before the Poetic Pain drop, there was a mixture of nerves and excitement. Despite his anxiety, there was still a sense of confidence that this album would place him in a lane of his own.
“I think it’ll [Poetic Pain] take the comparison away from me. What we working on right now is just stepping out of the scene of being called slept on. I don’t really like that because I feel like I’m not doing enough at that point.“-Toosii
As he goes further in the rap game, fans and new listeners know that he is only just getting started. The sky is the limit for Toosii as continued successes make him a force to be reckoned.
Stream “Poetic Pain” Below