1988 and 1989 were the years for legendary hip-hop artist Tone-Loc. While Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Public Enemy, N.W.A. and Beastie Boys ruled the game, there was a moment where an artist as smooth as silk and as catchy as an infection crossed over in a big way. And this artist was Los Angeles born and bred Tone Loc. Tone Loc released his landmark album “Loc-ed After Dark”.
You might have heard Tone Loc on Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, King of the Hill, or Touched By An Angel. It’s crazy to me as fast as he rose to success he fell just as quickly, although we saw a brief comeback on the 2017 “I Love The 90’s” tour.
“On Fire” showed Tone Loc how smooth his rhymes were and how witty his wordplay was. “Wild Thing” was a SMASH hit, it reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and won “Best Rap Video” from the MTV Music Video Awards, however it came at a cost. The song was sampled by the song “Jamie’s Cryin'” by Van Halen. Van Halen settled out of court with Tone Loc for 180,000 dollars. “Loc-ed After Dark” seemed to have that stoner rap vibe and “Funky Cold Medina” left people with a total mindfreak. He rhymed aphrodisiac with “on my lap”.
This album shot to superstardom for several reasons. First, the guitar hooks made it accessible to a mainstream artist. Who doesn’t jam out to “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina”? Secondly, Tone Loc had a smooth flowing rhyme with effortless wordplay. Lastly, he was absolutely catchy and had a tongue in cheek vibe to his rhymes. Check out the album in its entirety below: