The artist born in Syracuse, NY and living in Raleigh, North Carolina has been a part of the close-knit South Coast Music Group family for over two years now. His stories of grief and street life, heard on projects like Poetic pain, LED Toosii, born Nau’Jour Grainger, to a joint deal with Capitol Records last year. However, success stories aren’t always glittering with gold, or in this case, bright and crystalline like diamonds in the 21-year-old rapper’s mouth, neck and fingers.
Toosii faced and overcame several obstacles during his teenage years, from homelessness to moving from upstate New York to North Carolina to live with his grandfather. And this regional change was arduous as he often had to defend himself at school against classmates who presumably provoked him because he was from out of town. While this particular incident forced him to change schools, it only prepared Toosii for the adjustments he would have to make to become a successful artist. Better yet, a 2021 XXL First-year student.
Overnight success is everything Toosii isn’t. He started freestyle in his car and his tenacity morphed into an innate ability to make both rap and melodic records. Songs about love and its struggles, a duality that captivates many audiences. Hence his songs like “Truth Be Told” from his 2020 project, Platinum heart, and “Love Cycle,” which has a remix with Summer Walker and is also on that same project, but the version with Walker appears on its follow-up offer. Poetic pain. His last outing, Thanks for believing, serves that double balance, too, containing songs like “Greater Storm” and its tween of 2000s R&B group City High’s “Caramel” on its buzzing joint “5’5” with 2020 XXL First year mulatto. He also has a track on his latest effort with the SCMG label and 2019 XXL DaBaby freshman called “Shop”.
Don’t be fooled though. Just because Toosii is a melodically inclined rapper doesn’t mean his interest lies solely in hip-hop. If you were to check his search history on his favorite streaming service, you would likely find artists like Billie Eillish, Tim McGraw, Jason Mraz, John Legend and Lewis Capaldi, a Scottish singer.
Nonetheless, at the heart of Toosii, home is where the heart is. The youngest of five children, the aspiring rapper keeps his family close. In fact, his 2021 XXL First-year student freestyle is dedicated to his mother.
“I wrote this song for my mom,” he said during his off-camera interview while filming Freshman. “She’s my baby. I don’t play with her. I don’t play with my mother. I will hurt everyone.
A perfect fit for the latest group of inductees, Toosii’s emotion permeates his open letter to the woman who gave birth to him.
“I know you like me we were arguing, let’s be honest / So I don’t tell you the best, think I would be modest / Five rooms and bank trips so I can make deposits / That makes me remember 13 trapped in that closet, writing about some shit I could tell you / Damn you did enough / I gave you money to buy a crib, I hope you ‘he’s big enough,’ he rapped in his freestyle.
Although this is Toosii’s moment, he shines the spotlight on his mother, the support she has offered him and shares how much he owes her.
“Still your child deacon in that shit music, it just helps me cope / You built a hell of a boat and now the sails will keep us afloat / I just went platinum, that’s a hell of a toast (Yeah) / Grandpa be proud for me, mum / It’s been a while for me, mum / Just a call, you need to smile for me, mum / Remember the football games with jugs and coins were loud for me, mom / Now your daddy in heaven, look on me, mom, ”he rhymes.
Toosii ends his freestyle by informing his biggest fan of the changes he made because of her, due to her intuitive nature.
“Before being nonchalant you don’t like it / I’m getting signs / What is pride? / Just be proud when she smiles / Almost made me forget how depressed we are”, he concludes.
Discover Toosii 2021 XXL First-year student freestyle, powered by BODYARMOR, below.