Tona Silverspring Crescent

Tona Silverspring Crescent
8
"The art is dead," Scarborough indie vet Tona laments on "Where the Love Go," frustrated and vacant. He says some women don't just fake orgasms, they fake entire relationships — and he sounds prepared to sever permanent ties with the mistress that is a middling rap career altogether. But that was before Tona dug deep into the compositions of friend and fellow Toronto artist Rich Kidd, who contributes all 12 beats to Silverspring Crescent, an LP that wisely rides that line between cohesive and diverse. As the record zips between rapid-fire introspection ("Lost"), social commentary ("Blue Shield"), relationships ("Get Away") and parties ("Supersonic"), Tona's wordplay takes a backseat to his conceptual and thematic flexibility. Plus, dude can pick beats. Don't believe the press release; Silverspring Crescent is not Tona's debut. He's been rhyming since he was tapped to form a grimy preteen group in Scarborough, and his first real solo project, the Don't Holla EP, arrived nearly five years ago. Instead, consider Silverspring Tona's Section.80. This is the sound of an MC discovering his voice, expanding his quiver, teasing listeners with the various streets he could take us down. It's the best thing he's done to this point, but it might not even be the best project he releases this year. The 37-minute CD is a promise of something deeper, somewhere richer he can take us next time. It sounds like Scarborough, yes; it sounds like promise. (Da District Ent.)