Tony Touch Keeps the
1/16/05 - LatinRapper.com exclusive interview
No other Latin DJ has held
his own throughout hip hop's history like Tony Touch, aka Tony
Toca. The Rican DJ from Brooklyn wears many hats, from
producer to rapper to MC battle host. Since 1991, Touch has
released hundreds of mixtapes and garnered multiple awards for
his efforts.Tony Touch has collaborated with countless MCs the
likes of KRS One, Kool G Rap, MOP and the Beatnuts. He was
behind the 1's and 2's during performances by Cypress Hill,
Eminem, Guru and the Terror Squad, and has DJed on tour in
almost every corner of the world.
Tony Toca speaks with LatinRapper about his upcoming albums
and the mixtape game in this exclusive interview.
LatinRapper.com: The last big CD you dropped was the
Reggaetony album, are you working on a new CD?
Yeah, I'm in the lab right now working on a few different
projects, working with a female recording artist, Soni, she
was on the reggaetony album. Working on a Diaz brothers album,
another Reggaetony album, a Tony Touch solo album. So yeah,
always in creative mode.
Who are some of the artists that are going to be featured
on the albums?
I'm in the production side of things first, I haven't gotten
to that level yet, just the music side of things.
You’ve been instrumental in the reggaeton movement since
the mid 90’s, what made you decide to go more in that
direction and away from the Piece Maker series?
Just wanted to do something a little different, make a
contribution to the movement, which I've been a part of since
the beginning. In '96 with the Guatauba album, but this is my
first Reggaeton production, I wanted to take the movement to
the next level as far as incorporate more hip hop into it and
dancehall, try and help take it to the next level.
Some hip hop heads criticize reggaeton for the repetitive
beats, do you think there will still be a demand for it 10
years from now?
As long as the artists putting out these albums are showing
their versatility, if they stay in the same realm people are
gonna get tired of it. So yeah, when I do my album I have DJ
Premier and the Beatnuts, Tego and a variety of styles and
sounds. I think a little more Latin hip hop is gonna emerge
from it as well, I think that there’s room for growth,
production in the key.
The last of the Pro-Ricans was a hot street album, can we
expect more like that in the future?
The last of the Pro Ricans was more of a commercial mixtape.
I'm working on a new one now, funny you mention it, its called
Mic Destruction, two months it will be out. Its gonna be a
commercial mixtape. Its kinda like same format as Last of the
Pro Ricans, I'm just kinda mixing up records that have been
How many mixtapes have you dropped in your career now?
Hundreds… I probably put out 200 to 300, 250 maybe. House
music, reggae, reggaeton hip hop, R&B, variety of different
What motivates a hip hop fan to cop your mixtape rather
than another DJs?
You know, my mixes are clean, I format my CDs so that it has
continuous play, I don’t really talk a lot, try and showcase a
little more DJ skills, and of course you’re always gonna get
DJ Lazy K once told us that the mixtape game is crowded and
there are some low-quality mixtapes being put out, do you feel
this is the case?
Yeah, I mean I agree, there’s not enough stores really selling
it now with the crackdown of industry on mixtape CDs. 150 DJs
with like two records store, nahmean. It got oversaturated,
the game is changed now, you got a lot of internet DJs and
stuff like that. So it’s a little more difficult to get in the
game right now.
You not only rep as a Rican, but as a Taino descendent. How
much does your background play a part into your art?
Well be clear what a Taino is, Puerto Rican and Taino is the
same thing. The Indians are the original people that lived in
PR, they merged with the Africans and Europeans, that’s why we
have what we have today. Its basically the same thing, you
know what I mean. I just represent, I'm trying to educate
people as to the history of the island, you know.
On the rap tip, who have you recently collaborated with?
I work a lot with Doo Wop, who’s the other half of the Diaz
Brothers. So Doo Wop I’ve collaborated with the most, he’s
been on the road DJing for Guru a lot. Other than that, the
last collaboration I did was with Pete Rock and Psycho Les of
So Doo Whop's on tour, have you been doing any DJ work on
Yeah, that’s been what's keeping me the most busy these days.
DJ pretty much all over the planet. I was in Moscow for New
Year's even, Rome, Italy once a month. I have a residence in
Rome. Switzerland once a month, Japan twice a year, Florida
once a month at Crobar. New York City, Club Deep, X-Bar,
Strata, Penthouse, these are clubs I do once a month. My
touring has been like insane, man, I'm pretty much all over
the planet. I've touched every country. Australia, Norway, all
that, its crazy.
As far as producing, are you doing any beats for artists at
Nah, not right now, just working on my stuff. The last thing I
did for someone production wise, its been a minute…. Hmm,
maybe for Rza’s album which was a tradeoff, a beat for a beat.
For the Bobby Digital album.
Who have you not produced for or had on one of your
mixtapes that you’d like to work with?
Um, id love to collaborate with Rakim, only dude I probably
haven't worked with, that I'm a fan of.
Are you still actively involved with the Roc Steady Crew?
Absolutely, still on world tours, still doing appearances all
over the country as well, Roc Steady’s having a great run
What was the most memorable day in your long career as a
Too many to name, the first time I went to Japan 10 years ago.
Great experience, reception there, the culture over there,
shopping and everything, great.
Right now, an aspiring DJ is reading this interview and
wanting a career like yours. What advice would you have for
them if they want to spin professionally or put out mixtapes?
I could say the opportunities are endless, lot of practice.
The proper steps to really get recognized is to first get hot
on your block, get hot in your neighborhood, then city, then
state, then world. You gotta really build your following and
do it like that. Practice makes perfect.
Where can listeners tune in to catch your show?
Shade45, Channel 45 on Sirius satellite radio, Tuesdays 8 PM
to Midnight East Coast Time.
Any last thoughts for readers?
Just look out for more Tony Touch material.
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