Rap Passion

December 1, 2010


Jaime Blanson and LaTina Gayden

Lil Joe is one of the best rappers that you haven’t heard yet, but you will soon.


When it comes to the love of rap music, Joseph “Lil’ Joe” Toney’s runs deep. His passion for rapping is insatiable and his lyrics are incredible. Unlike other artists, Lil’ Joe doesn’t just cater to one specific demographic, his possesses a unique style that appeals to the masses. However, one thing is for sure, Lil’ Joe is no ordinary rapper.


Lil’ Joe started rapping at the young age of seven. He was introduced to rap music by his uncles who were always rapping and free-styling outside of his house. He’d try to rap just like them even when they told him he was messing them up.


Lil’ Joe’s mother, Michelle Linzy, always knew that her son had a gift.


“He was seven or eight, putting insulations in closets and making speakers out hangers and stockings,” she said.


Lil’ Joe was also inspired by rap artist Lil’ Wayne and a local Monroe rapper, Lil’ Fred.


“Lil’ Fred, that’s the dude I always looked up to in my music,” Joe said. “I just learned most of my stuff from him.”


Joe prides himself on being able to create music and lyrics for anybody who’d want to listen. He loves that he is able rap about anything and appeal to a broad audience. Not only does Lil’ Joe have a collection a rap mixtapes, he also has an R&B mixtape for the ladies.


“I do music 24-7,” he said. “It’s some people that can’t do that. Some people run out of it.


It’s got to be a blessing for me to present any kind of music from Christian to R&B, any kind of music y’all want to hear. That’s why I feel like it‘s a gift. It‘s nothing I can’t do.”


Lil’ Joe feels that his raps set him apart from the crowd and makes him unique. He uses his lyrics to express his thoughts and feelings about certain situations in his life.


“I feel like if I wasn’t doing music, I’d just be like a regular person,” he said. “My songs, they come off how I’m feeling at that moment, or if I’m going through something, that’s my way of letting it out.”


Rapping is also like therapy to Lil’ Joe.


“I’ll just come in the studio and I’ll just get my pen and pad, find a beat that I like and just vibe to it,” said Joe. “I call it being in my own little world. Its like ain’t nobody around me, like I’m by myself, no matter who’s in here. It feels like this is where I’m supposed to be.”


Unlike some artists, Lil’ Joe doesn’t want to rap just to make money. Rapping is his passion. He adores his fans and never wants anyone to forget the city that is making him famous.


“I just want to stay humble ‘cause this is what I love to do,” he said. “I’m steadily fighting because I want to put this city on the map. I don’t want to go to another state and just blow up.”


Lil’ Joe is confident in his ability to succeed.


“Just expect a lot from me ‘cause I ain’t stopping,” he said. “This is what I do. This is my life and I’m going to do it ‘til I die.”