Chicago is such an interesting place. It’s certainly a melting pot of culture, urban sensibilities and hard work. I haven’t met a Chicagoan yet who isn’t about basic hard work.
And Touré Brown is no exception.
Last week, I chatted it up with world-renowned DJ Toure for a couple hours, discussing how his block in Chicago impacted him as a person and as an artist and music lover. His humble beginnings in Chance The Rapper’s neighborhood, Chatham, quickly forced him to make a decision: books or the street? But despite all of his accomplishments, he’s incredibly humble and well versed in the state of Chicago hip-hop, how the city’s music may (or may not) impact its crime rate, and how his international travels have influenced him as a person.
Throughout the conversation, he tells the story of how he became pop/R&B singer, Estelle’s tour DJ (here’s a hint — he was pretty blunt with her) and the importance of education and being able to fall back on your degree, while fully pursuing your dreams.
He gives major credit to Superstar J Quick, who served as his mentor while a student at Florida A&M University; and Mikkey Halsted, whom he toured with upon returning to Chicago. Music in Florida is a lot different than Chicago “juke” music. Though Toure was technically skilled, there was a bit of a learning curve once he got to the South. But he didn’t allow that to hold him back. He broke Rick Ross’ first single, “Hustlin,'” and even served as a Slip-N-Slide DJ while he attended FAMU. Check out the interview below.
The Influence of Mikkey Halsted and meeting Estelle:
Thoughts on Chicago’s rising hip-hop talent, violence and labeling the city “Chiraq:”
McDonald’s on Touré’s block: