Tuxedo Shares 13-Years-In-the-Making 'Toast 2 Us': Premiere

Tuxedo
Andi Elloway

Tuxedo

The latest track from Tuxedo's upcoming third album has a bit of history -- a lucky 13 years, to be specific.

Jake One figures he came up with the original idea for "Toast 2 Us" back in 2006, around the same time he met Tuxedo mate Mayer Hawthorne. "It was a beat I had I thought was dope," One tells Billboard. "I made it as a rap track, but I didn't know who the hell was going to rap on it back then, which is part of why it just sat. When we started putting together tracks for this album I ran across it and sent it to (Hawthorne) and he went crazy."

"I was like' Why didn't you send me this track in 2006! This is the one we've been waiting for!'" Hawthorne replies. "As soon as I heard that beat I knew it was what we needed." But it got even better once the neo-soul duo began clinking ideas for "Toast 2 Us" -- and especially when they brought Dutch pop singer Benny Sings, who Hawthorne proclaims as a "Yacht (Rock) God," to be part of the track.

"He just smashed it," Hawthorne recalls. "The thing he sent us back, I was like, 'Omigod, this couldn't be any better!'" "Toast 2 Us" also marks the first time, surprisingly, that Tuxedo has employed Roland TR-808 on any of its tracks. "It was something that fit into what Tuxedo already is but was different than what we've done before," One notes. "We thought that was cool to be able to do that and expand the sound a little bit."

Benny Sings is just one many guests on Tuxedo III, which comes out July 19. Gavin Turek, Parisalexa, MF DOOM, Leven Kali, Battlecat, Gabriel Garzón-Montano and DâM-FunK are part of the album as well. Bringing in outside voices is another first for the duo on Tuxedo III, and Hawthorne quips that "we got tired of hearing ourselves." But One adds that "people who travel together in a pack seem to be more successful. We don't really have a crew of people who do what we do, so we wanted to bring in people who made sense, that make the music we like and give our stuff a different twist and expand on what we do. Everybody we put on the album we knew or we met as a fan of Tuxedo. It wasn't something you can just throw somebody on. That really wouldn't work."

Another new wrinkle for Tuxedo III was the launch of the group's own label, Funk On Sight, after releasing its two predecessors on Stones Throw. "This is us taking control of our careers for the first time, at an advanced age of our career," One says. "Most labels at this point are high interest loans, and we'd rather put that money into ourselves. It makes you feel more invested in what you're doing in general. Being somebody who got to be around Nipsey Hussle a lot, I got to see how he was moving and was all about control, and that crossed my mind about how we were gonna do this album." Hawthorne adds that, "We're really thankful for everybody that got us where we are now, but it's time for us to take control of our own destiny. Really, we're making a big bet on ourselves."

Tuxedo will be doubling, or tripling, down as it hits the road to promote the album, kicking off July 20 in Santa Ana, Calif. and circling North America with 21 shows until winding up back in San Diego on Aug. 24. One is "really excited" about having three albums' worth of material to showcase, while Hawthorne -- who's getting ready to work on his first solo album since 2016's Man About Town -- hopes the new release will convince any remaining doubters that Tuxedo is for real, and a going concern.

"When two solo artists come together and make a collaborative project, people tend to think, 'Oh, this is a temporary thing'," he explains. "Then when we came out with a second album, people were like, 'OK, maybe this has some longevity to it. Maybe they're got gonna be one and done' -- but they don't necessarily give it as much (credence), 'cause we have our own successful things going on separately. Now that we're on our third album, people are gonna have no choice but to be, 'This is really a thing that's here to stay. We should get behind it'." 

The full Tuxedo III track list includes:

1. The Tuxedo Way

2. You & Me

3. OMW feat. Leven Kali & Battlecat

4. Dreaming In The Daytime feat. MF DOOM

5. Extra Texture feat. DâM-FunK

6. Gabriel’s Groove feat. Gabriel Garzón-Montano

7. Vibrations feat. Parisalexa

8. If U Want It

9. On A Good One

10. Toast 2 Us feat. Benny Sings

11. Close feat. Gavin Turek

Tuxedo's summer tour itinerary includes:

Saturday, July 20                               Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory

Friday, July 26                                    Las Vegas, NV @ NoMad Pool (DJ set)

Sunday, July 28                                  Denver, CO @ The UMS

Tuesday, July 30                                Austin, TX @ Empire

Wednesday, July 31                         Dallas, TX @ Trees

Friday, August 2                                Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade

Sunday, August 4                              Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

Monday, August 5                            Philadelphia, PA @ The Foundry

Tuesday, August 6                            New York, NY @ Webster Hall

Wednesday, August 7                    Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall

Friday, August 9                                Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall

Sunday, August 11                           Detroit, MI @ El Club

Tuesday, August 13                         Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall

Wednesday, August 14                  Minneapolis, MN @ Cedar Cultural Center

Saturday, August 17                        Seattle, WA @ The Showbox

Sunday, August 18                           Vancouver, BC @ Fortune Sound Club

Monday, August 19                         Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom

Wednesday, August 21                  San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom

Thursday, August 22                        Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst

Friday, August 23                              Los Angeles, CA @ The Globe Theater

Saturday, August 24                        San Diego, CA @ The Observatory

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