Big Tone started making music while in a North Idaho behavioral institution in where he was confined from ages fifteen to eighteen.
His first project was a collaborative effort with a friend at the institution, who became known as Slick Dick, a stage name contrived by Big Tone. Calling their two man group simply Slick Dick and Big Tone, the two spent their time at the institution under close scrutiny, scrawling shock value style lyrics into journals that were provided by the commissary. Ironically, the journals were supposed to be used for emotional growth writing activities.
There were very strict rules at the institution so Slick Dick and Big Tone had to find other ways to entertain themselves and stir things up.
“We would have to walk around with root beer bottles and joints of lawn grass twisted up on toilet paper just to have a good time....”
Big Tone recollects from his time there.
Slick Dick and Big Tone continued their underground work on their project, playing a few live shows for some of the other kids at the institution. They recorded their songs on a half broken hand held tape deck which they concealed for transport inside a box of tampons, and would solicit their female acquaintances to tote the box around for them.
Big Tone’s tenure at the institution was abruptly cut short after the administrative staff accosted him with an ultimatum regarding his rule breaking activities. An offer was made to let him stay and get his high school diploma, but it came at the price of ratting out everything he knew about everyone at the institution.
Big Tone declined their offer, citing this quote when asked to recall the conversation,
“I’ll tell you anything you want that has to do with me, but as far as anyone else in concerned, well I just don’t know anything about that.”
After leaving the institution and spending a few months house hopping in Los Angeles, Big Tone hooked up with a friend from New Jersey who went by the name Terb.
Big Tone and Terb began to work on a duo group project, which they called Terb & Tone. Unfortunately, just as they got their hands on some gear and began recording, Terb was unexpectedly called back to the East coast. With Terb out of the picture there was nothing left to do but work on a solo project.
Big Tone began spending a lot of time working with a local Los Angeles band called Jews and Mexicans. They were very influential In both promoting and supporting Big Tone. Members of Jews and Mexicans contributed guitar, bass, harmonica and even banjo to the instrumental recordings that Big Tone eventually produced into rap beats.
Before Big Tone’s debut, he made a few small appearances by sneaking on stage and playing two songs, or crashing a set by instigating a freestyle. He played his first official show at Club Good Hurt in Los Angeles, Opening for Jews and Mexicans on September 18, 2006.
During the set, Big Tone ravaged the stage, belting his lyrics into the microphone, waving his hands and getting the crowd involved.
His buddy got on stage with a boom box on his shoulder and just jumped around screaming the choruses. After the show he joined Big Tone as Nick Pax Eag Kal, the Hypeman.
Big Tone and Nick Pax Eag Kal continued to open for Jews and Mexicans, playing shows all over Southern California.
When Jews And Mexicans broke up, Big Tone went on to play without them, but would always open for them when they got back together for a show.
Eventually Big Tone decided to focus more on recording and mixing, aspiring to create his own album as well as promote and produce other independent artists. He spent months in the studio making beats and recording lyrics.
After some amateur underground success in making beats, Big Tone formed an independent company called Trash Can Music Productions
In December 2007, Big Tone had a show and party at 14 Below in Santa Monica, CA for the release of his first album Trash Can Music.
The album unleashed ten tracks, including two freestyles, two Slick Dick covers, and one song featuring Terb.
Big Tone is currently working on a second album with Trash Can Music Productions and still plans to complete the original projects he started with both Terb and Slick Dick.