Tokin – ‘WakeUpTokin’

Sonically awakened and hungry for success, there’s a lot to love about Tokin.

Syrupy melodies, ferocious bars and a star-born, youthful flair are undeniable strengths of the 19-year-old talent, as Tokin (formerly known as TokenVlone) returns nearly two years after his impressive debut EP, Vandals, with his new 16-track project, WakeUpTokin (Sept. 8).

While Juice WRLD’s influence runs deep on Tokin’s sound, consider it as a token of appreciation: Keeping his stature alive through similar stomping grounds. Both hailing from Chicago, Juice would certainly be proud of the Internet Money-adjacent rising star (who touts collaborations with Dro Kenji, Rio Levya, Cxdy and falls under the same management as Lil Tecca at Galactic Records) because, after all, Juice started there too. Although the similarities between them are easily detectable, I implore you to dig a bit deeper. Tokin pushes the confines of emo-rap forward by melding the essence of the SoundCloud era’s energy with an intangible irresistibility.

Slightly deviating from the raw, guitar-led tracks (curated by Based1) on Vandals, WakeUpTokin sees him focus on refinement — creating a fully realized and polished iteration of his sound. “Fall In Love,” “Lose Control” and “Mr. This Ain’t That” not only only highlight Tokin’s commanding track presence, but showcases his ability to glide over each effort with a sense of smoothness and personality.

Other cuts like “Foreign,” “Not Even Tough” and “Oh My” are more glaring examples of Tokin’s adoption for distorted, heavy-hitting new wave cuts, contrasted by cinematic, melodic jams such as “It Will Be Ok,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and “Dope.” “It’d be dope if I could hold your hand/You’re the only one that understands,” he croons into the abyss, letting lost love be the focal point on the album’s back half.

If high-cut heartbreak tunes are your jam, Tokin entrances you by wearing his heart on his sleeve.

Spin ‘WakeUpTokin’ below!