Tona Don't Holla EP

Tona Don't Holla EP
Toronto MC Tona (formerly Daetona) has been holding down Toronto college radio hip-hop shows with the "Dial Tone” single for the better part of a year. It’s not hard to see why; it’s fresh spin on sampling favourite "Big Beat,” replete with telephone tones, was simple yet utterly addictive, bolstered by Tona’s commanding baritone presence. The Don’t Holla EP is proof that Tona’s well-executed single is not a flash in the pan. Much like "Dial Tone,” Don’t Holla shows that Tona has an ear for unorthodox beats that keep the head nodding. For example, with a title like "Came 2 Party,” a laid-back organ sample isn’t exactly the musical accompaniment you’d expect. Tona thrives in this environment and unlike the distressing trend that has emerged over the past few years, he actually has the lyrics to back up his significant mic swagger, often reflecting on his rising status. "Let Me Go,” featuring Brassmunk producer Agile’s inventive tuba stabs, is an immediate standout and the cosmic funk of "No Gamez” is highlighted by Tona’s offbeat flow. As an EP, Don’t Holla is actually close in length to many albums but in building anticipation and drawing attention to one of Canada’s most promising MCs, it serves its purpose. (Da District Ent.)