Thursday Feb. 15, 2018, local rapper and activist Tony the Scribe released his new EP, Mixed Messages. The same day he hosted an EP release party at Icehouse. The event was as much an art installation as it was a musical performance. As with any event Tony hosts, he kept himself busy meticulously controlling every aspect of the art that was being performed.
If you’ve met Tony or been to one of his shows, you know that he is as passionate and intentional about the delivery of his art as he is message behind it. For example; Tony took control of the on-stage visuals as his openers Andrew Broder and Sarah White performed. During his set, Tony adorned a billowing white robe, and presented compelling visuals on a large screen behind him.
Photos: Kayla Koterwski
Post Editing: Kayla Koterwski
In contrast to Tony’s down-to-Earth demeanor, his stage persona has a 'larger-than-life', Kanye-esque presence. Tony played all of the material from both Mixed Messages and Mixed Blood, the latter of which he released last summer. Tony utilized various vocal effects throughout the entire performance, which he operated himself through a footswitch. The effects he added to his vocals not only breathed new life into his older material, but also made his material in it's entirety more cohesive. This performance marked a new artistic direction for Tony in some ways, but the hard-hitting impact of his music and the passion behind his delivery have not gone anywhere. His futuristic, larger-than-life aesthetic came across both visually and aurally.
Tony may not play shows often, but when he does they are not to be missed. The Mixed Messages EP release was no exception.