Hi-Tone dropped his first project TFC, Vol. 1: Top of the Food Chain back in 2010. The Mexican-American rapper and SoCal tattoo artist has since released a series of other independent collections, delivering one of his more searing freestyles on Sway in the Morning in 2016.
A recovering drug-addict, Hi-Tone has earned the respect of industry titans such as No I.D. all while building three successful businesses: a clothing line, barbershop and his TFC Music Group. After his critically acclaimed No Xanax Needed EP, where the rapper offered a collection of redemption songs in the aftermath of his sobriety, Hi-Tone returns with a proper debut album, Price of Admission, in partnership with Empire Latin Music Group.
The album’s lead audiovisual “The Voice” premiered exclusively on Billboard earlier this year, bringing a high-energy lyrical chin-check that examines the rapper’s current status in the rap game. Whereas his previous work served as a wound opened raw, Hi-Tone’s latest finds the the rapper having fun even while grappling with family matters and the gravity of realizing money can’t buy happiness.
On Friday morning (Dec. 15), Hi-Tone helps guide listeners by breaking down each track in his own words. Price of Admission is now available on all streaming services.
“Intro records are special to me. I feel like if done correctly it instantly sucks you into the project. This particular intro takes you to another place mentally. It’s deep, it’s raw and the build up is crazy.”
“Game Needs Me”
“You ever seen a finished puzzle with one missing piece? I’m that one piece you found in the box 10 years later.”
“I’m a firm believer in hard work paying off. My entire brand is built off working to the top. I’m just now realizing that I’m allergic to laziness. Lol.”
“One of my favorites on the album. There’s just something about this song that gives me the chills. It might be the things I wrote regarding my father and step father that not a lot of people know. I really just open up in a different way about my childhood on this one.”
“Very controversial but truthful in my opinion. I was given a voice to use and I will continue to push the boundaries with it.”
“I’ve learned over the years that the more successful you get the more people love to talk. So you might as well continue doing you and giving them more to gossip about.”
“Funny story, I wrote this song after leaving Benihana’s drunk on my birthday. I was wearing this bandana and all the homies randomly started calling me Danny Larusso. Karate moves and bars started coming outta me. Now I got everybody doing the wax on wax off.”
“This music journey has made many people feel second in my life. It’s been pretty rough on my relationship cause when you’re chasing a dream, it requires all your energy. It may sound selfish, but in all reality, if I didn’t have dreams then I would have you.”
“Talk about a classic sample with a new vibe, here it is. Every time I play this song I picture myself cruising down PCH, with the top down and a dime piece in the passenger seat.”
“This is a vibe. It’s sexy and definitely makes you want to turn the lights off. I really expand my range on this hook. It shows my growth as a artist and songwriter. “
I am not a perfect man, but I’m hoping that you understand…
“The question is, who’s really perfect and the answer to that is nobody. We all make mistakes and eventually learn from those mistakes. This is about a man admitting his faults to his other half.”
“We all have a big cousin but this particular big cousin was everything to me growing up. I watched his every move when he came over my house and I wanted to be just like him. He eventually pushed me away from gangs and told me to keep rapping. He told me ‘why sell drugs, when I can sell verses.’ So I started writing verses for all the homies in his hood.”
“Peace And Love”
“Money is a luxury, it gets you by in life, but it doesn’t buy you happiness. When you are at your lowest, you’ll understand what I mean.”