Whats Really Going On?
T O N E X – The very spelling and pronunciation of his name indicate that he is far from being your average or typical artist. Exactly what is it about Tonex that keeps us so intrigued?
PRINTED IN U-ZONE MAGAZINE: JUNE 2006
T O N E X – The very spelling and pronunciation of his name indicate that he is far from being your average or typical artist. Exactly what is it about Tonex that keeps us so intrigued? No doubt about it, this brotha is a mega talent! But, what sets him a part and puts him on the firing line is his uninhibited boldness, unpopular opinions and his outspokenness. Just when it appeared that he was finally winning the support and approval of the gospel community, he makes an announcement that would rock the industry and dishearten many of his loyal supporters. His decision to retire from the “industry” as he says, has become the most talked about subject in Gospel Current Events. Controversy continues to pursue Tonex with the more recent announcement that he is being sued by Zomba Recording/Verity Records for over $1 Million after going public about the company’s unfair business practices and failure to pay monies owed to him over several years. So, when I asked him what events led to making such strong decisions, his one word answer came as no shock to me. Be careful when asking for the truth, cause you just might get what you ask for.
Tell us about your latest project.
OAK PARK? Well, it’s too complex to place into one paragraph.
It’s a double CD. It’s raw truth in “STEREO”!
What was the inspiration behind it?
Life. Love. Lust.
Is it available anywhere other than iTunes? I mean will we be able to purchase it in stores eventually?
Yes it will be in stores eventually but there’s no rush on that because record stores will be obsolete soon anyway. Check the trade magazines they tell the truth.
“iPODs killed the record store” will be the hot new anthem of kids all over America.
The last time I interviewed you I asked you to describe yourself as a Super Hero. Do you still consider yourself to be the Demon Slayer?
I always will be--- that’s why it’s tattooed on my arm now.
You recently announced your retirement from the Gospel Music Industry. Does this project mean that you’re coming out of retirement?
OAK PARK was done before this announcement. I always prophesy in part and know in part. Some projects are recorded early to minister back to me in another stage of my life. It’s always on time because it’s influenced and driven by the WORD of GOD.
Do you have any regrets about making that statement?
Only that I didn’t name names like I should have, but that would have caused more drama. I found that the more I pulled back the more I showed up everywhere.
When I tried to pursue my career it was a constant uphill battle getting c - - k blocked left and right. When I left their game to start my own series, then suddenly--- everywhere I turned it was like I had just went triple platinum!
Since the release of “Out The Box” you’ve experienced quite a few life-changing events, including the loss of your father. What effect did this event have on your music career?
The upcoming album “Steel & Velvet” will explain all of that.
Tell us about the events that ultimately influenced your decision to retire.
Why do you believe God has allowed you to experience such great loss and opposition?
I used to think He was picking on me. I used to think He let “bad” people get away with murder. I now realize this is how He reveals who was attached to your purpose and who was attached to your name and money. Boy was I surprised after the dust cleared. Those I heard say were down with me until the end were the same ones that said “ I think Tonex’s going crazy.” Well I SHOULD have gone crazy but I didn’t.
I don’t have any problems carrying the weight of my gift contrary to popular blogs. It was more about adjusting to carrying the weight of this new GLORY that’s on my life.
I’ve heard you called the Modern Day Job. What is your opinion on this statement?
I’m a modern day prophet like Job and other prophets but I don’t need their books to relate my current perils to, I just write my own. I praise God for original drama though. For so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
For someone who has gone into retirement you appear to still lead a very busy life. What else are you involved in?
Retirement from the “Industry” is the operative word. Well, lately I’ve been trying to be a better Uncle to my Nephews and venturing into radio and writing books.
How do you spend your spare time? What do you find brings you the greatest joy?
Chillin, watching Brady Bunch, Good Times and basically anything on TV LAND.
What hurts you the most?
When people swear they know me based off of media propaganda. They come to a conclusion about me but have never spoken to me. That hurts.
Who have been some of your biggest supporters during this ordeal?
Random loving families, friends, pets. Myspace is great, when great people are on it that is. I had a lot of artists in the Gospel Industry act like they were reaching out
But they really didn’t come through. At one point I felt like my drama was exploited
for other peoples popularity and to sell records. Everyone wants to be THE ONE who spoke the “prophetic word” of life that got me “back on track”. Then I had those who said what sin have you committed that all of these things have come upon you so suddenly? People still try to prophesy to a 5 month old issue and I have SO moved on from there.
And who have you gotten the most negative reaction from?
The X-MEN of course. They love to keep mess going without proper reconciliation. Even in my lowest state they showed no love. They even analyzed
my perils. That’s alright though because Neo “LOOKED” like he was dead.
Would you like to speak candidly about any of the following topics?
Your Divorce (would you like to get married again?)
At this point I don’t think about relationships at all except for friendship, which is something that Yvette, & I still have. Most situations like this don’t turn out as well as mine did. There were many tears though. Everything about my relationship wasn’t bad.
There was more good than bad. I know that the love I experienced was real. Everyone should experience that kind of love once in their life. But with that experience comes a risk. No one going into marriage goes in with a plan B…..well, at least I didn’t.
What About Your Faith & Relationship with God?
Me and God are real cool right now, we weren’t when my pops died. Me and God didn’t speak for a little while. I went on strike for a hot minute and God will allow that because He knows that ultimately you were created to love Him so after you pout He’s always waiting there with open arms.
There have been Allegations and Rumors of Homosexuality. Would you care to address them?
That’s just what they are “allegations” no one has ever seen me have sex with another man. If they did, then the question really should be… what were YOU doing there? I will say that I’m definitely shock proof because I have seen and experienced so much in my short life. I don’t judge , I search for the root of an action , there’s always a reason why people have chosen the roads they have. But some of the roads are necessary because others may also travel down that path. I believe that if you are called of God,
all roads work together for your good.
And Your Future in the Music Industry?
Independence Airlines is the only way to fly!
Oak Park 92105
In Stores Soon!
Available for free download at www.iTunes.com!