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“2 Cups Up” From Swag ‘n Class
Tokyo King is one of Austin, Texas’ premiere and highly respected hip hop artists. His thirst for music is undeniable and flawlessly conveyed through his showmanship, versatility, and ability to constantly evolve his musical growth and talent to a new level. His song-writing skill breathes life into a new era of hip-hop, one filled with passion, ambition, non-conformity, pain, and compassion for those alike. Embodying his individualism, he has grown into an amazing, creative artist with a sound that transcends all corners of both mainstream and obscure hip hop.
On June 2nd, 1982, Tokyo King (born Alan James), entered this world
with the odds against him. Fatherless and stationed in the ghetto he was raised solely by his hardworking mother. Working early mornings and late nights, she was determined to move her children out of the poverty stricken ghetto and into the suburbs. Still, the walls were too thin to protect him from the world, and the world from him. Thankfully, he was able to use his negative experiences in life as motivation, and found his niche in art.
If you ask him, King will say the first written rhymes he ever read came from the pages of Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends. Inspired by the unadulterated structure of the book, his ever growing love for hip hop, and his passion for words, King dove into the pages of his notepad. He began writing lyrics and rapping at the age of twelve. Then at fourteen, he saved enough money to purchase his first four hour block of studio time. It was that four hour session that sparked a future of artist progression, development and dedication, while on a path of learning and hardship for the aspiring artist.
Since 2005, King has performed hundreds of times, nearly 200 of which occurred in just one year. From charity events to packed auditoriums and arenas, Tokyo King has shared the stage with countless industry majors. He has graced the same stages as some of mainstream’s heavy hitters Lil Wayne, T.I., Rick Ross and Trina; southern artists David Banner, UGK and Chamillionaire; and countless talented unsigned independent artists.
During the summer of 2008, while recording his highly anticipated solo album Gasoline Dreams, King’s life was brought to an abrupt halt. An unavoidable and controversial legal case drastically changed the way he viewed his life and the world around him. For the next two and a half years he fought for his freedom, and won. Channeling his energy during that course of time, King released two independent projects. The first, a fourteen track mix-tape Boarding Pass, was written, recorded, mixed and released within 3 weeks in April 2010. To date, Boarding Pass has been downloaded nearly 1500 times with absolutely no
promotion. It was King’s way of letting his fans know, “I am not dead. Neither am I done.” Two months later, he released a six track, all original EP, The 24-hour Bang Out, with well known Austin hip hop