Music Spotlight: Tim Tones

Music Spotlight: Tim Tones

This weeks spotlight is Tim Tones, a local DJ that has grown up and worked with some of the major hip hop influences in Rochester.  We met up with Tim Tones to talk about growing up skating, new projects, and his last major mixtape “Genesee Life”.

How did you get into hip hop?

I grew up here right outside of Fairport, but like any other skateboarder kid I spent most of my time in the city. I had a few older friends that lived in the Alexander and South Ave area. South Ave was a different place in 1996, where south and Alexander intersect was real hood back then people getting jumped at the corner stores, now a lot of the places have been re done. I spent most of my time down there.

I always listened to Hip Hop as a kid, but skateboarding was what really broke me in as far as listening to good music and getting into DJing. Marcus Cooper (M Dot Coop) and I knew each other since 1997 or 98 we used to skate board together. We meet at the liberty pole skate boarding, back then I used to beat box so I would beat box and he would rap, or he would beat box and I would rap.  Eventually I started DJing.

So when did you start DJing and Producing?

I started DJing in 1998, then producing in 2003. I used to live with Jake Stanza from Kill The Noise; he gave me my first copy of Reason and got me into it, after that I just took off with it.

So how did Genesee Life come about?

It was a project M Dot Coop and I put together. When he went off to school I kept DJing around town.  He came back with a catalog of music and just a hunger to do shows. While he was gone I had hooked up with Ric Rude and was gigging and doing a lot of open mikes. We decided to do a mixtape with us and all of our friends, like the best of the circle we were in at the time.

We originally wanted to call it Rated R, but as we were working on it Rihanna came out with her CD of the same name so that was a bust. M Dot Coop came up with Genesee Life.

How did you get all of the artists to contribute?

I just knew all of them after years of being in the hip hop scene. I knew Hassan Mackey from back when he was doing open Mike nights at Javas. I played in the same spots as Subsoil for a while as well.

Most of the artist I have just known for a long time, there are only a few that I haven’t known and played with for years. Kae B and Moses have only been in the scene for about two years, But they are real talented dudes so we wanted to feature them as well.

How did you get the out-of-town artits to contribute, like Soul Khan, Asher Roth, and Styles P?

I actually got Soul Khan on the CD. I was playing a Brown Bag Allstars show in December of 2009. One of my beats was chosen for Soul Khan to rap over. He ended up liking the beat so I sent down some of my work for him to rap over.

The Astor Roth and Styles P features were all Emilio Rojas. He was a big part of the Rochester Hip Hop scene here before he moved to New York City.  He’s been doing huge things down there. “Bold And Arrogant” helped him get play in New York City.

If you could work with one artist who would it be?

Wow that’s a tough one. Q-tip would be good to work with, his lyrics and style seem like they would fit. He produces too so I’d really have to step my game up.

Do you have a favorite place to perform?

Lately it has been the Dragon Fly, it’s a real close family feel everything is on the floor it’s like a house party. Club One on Fridays are fun as well, my buddy DJ fresh plays there too; he’s a good time to play with.

Have any new projects?

I have a few mixtapes in the mix that will hopefully be done by the end of the year. Haven’t put anything out since Genesee Life; I’ve been gigging a lot. I have residencies at Club 1 and Dragonfly so between those, gigging random places, and mixtapes I’ve been keeping busy.

 See Tim Tones Perform:

Club 1 Friday nights

Dragon Fly on Sunday nights.

Check Him out on Facebook:!/tim.tones

Download Genesee Life:



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