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T.O.K.

From their generally tough stance, it's hard to believe that the reggae dancehall crew known as T.O.K. was originally inspired by crooners Boyz II Men, but that's the way it was. Alistaire McCalla, Roshaun Clarke, and Craig Thompson were all in the school choir at Kingston's Campion College, while friend Xavier Davidson attended Calabar High School. The four singers began T.O.K. -- the acronym originally stood for Touch of Klass -- in the early '90s, when Motown's glee club foursome were sweeping everything before them with their harmonies. T.O.K. began by performing R&B covers, but that inevitably changed. As Davidson explained, "We're Jamaican. That has to come out in the music, and that's what happened, gradually." The quartet trained with Jamaican vocal coach Georgia Guerra, played a lot of high school parties, then graduated to the hotel circuit on Jamaica's expensive North Coast, where they'd inject a little spice into the shows by covering a Bob Marley song or Ini Kamoze's "Hot Stepper." In 1993, they placed second in the annual Tastee Talent Contest. Though they didn't win, their appearance helped bring them to Nuff Records, where they recorded a few tracks for the label, although nothing hit the charts. By 1996, they were on Sly & Robbie's Taxi label, where the single "Hit Them High" appeared, again making no real impact. From there it was on to Main Street, where they encountered engineer Richard Browne, who was about to start his own label. T.O.K. opted to go with the engineer, who was just a couple of years older than they were. Their first effort for his new High Profile label went nowhere, but the follow-up, "Hardcore Lover," which teamed them with dancehall queen Lady Saw, rose to number four. Although High Profile didn't last, the pairing of Browne and T.O.K. has. He became their manager and often produced their records. And it seemed as if they could do no wrong, releasing a series of singles like "Whoa" and "Ill Nana" that kept crashing into the charts. But by now their style was far from where it had begun. They could still harmonize and occasionally would on tracks, but dancehall had become a much bigger influence and their sound had turned harder -- hardcore dancehall, in fact -- influenced equally by Jamaican sounds and the U.S. hip-hop on MTV. That it was well-received was apparent in 1998, when "Eagles Cry" (a nod to Prince's "When Doves Cry") gave the band their first number one. In 2001, T.O.K. released My Crew, My Dawgs on their own X.C.A.R.R. label, with many of their hits included. Their 2005 effort, Unknown Language, would feature the hit ballad “Footprints” along with a guest appearance from Miami rapper Pitbull. Our World followed in 2009. ~ Chris Nickson, Rovi
full bio

Comments

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True words they're singing from the perspective of a Jamaican mother who deal with heartache from the loss of a son I saw that first hand many many times
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coonyeama
I play this music a lot. I love it...
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Love this song
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this song relates to me so much o love it
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As a young puerto Rican...I respect Footprints.. . . M o t h e r always cried.
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Jammin' ... respect brotha 1 love
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love tok love it so much
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Real music.
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Good song from t O K ".
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airdge1950
wicked
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renee you don't know anything the is prime time music
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Whoever created those lyrics is off.
A lot of the words were so wrong.
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Never Gets Old.
Follow And I'll Follow Back , Promise.
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I must say I've had a love for reggae for most of my life.... TOK is def. my first love when it comes to dancehall .... They never let me down..... Their harmonies and the beats.... You just gotta dance......
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I Love This Song Alot
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love it
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fikers_86
I just Love TOK!!!
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2kittens
jus luvlay
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the luv the song footprint what is the whole meanging of the song anyways
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keep it up
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nixxy27
OMG!!!! luv em alllll... Raaaaaaaaaaa a a a a s s s s s s s s s
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The song inspired me.. when i cry He crys we are not along
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I agree with everyone... this last part about Chi Chi Man... totally out of there. But just because of one band's opinions doesn't mean you should throw out the entire country. Spain and Mexico are exactly homo-friendl y either, sweetie. If we wanna point them fangaz.
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T.O.K. very smart group, very professional ! Cool guys.
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whoever wrote this doesnt know a thing about jamaica or about the culture. 'chi chi man' had very little to do with corrupt politicians. if yu nah know a wha yu talk bout nah bada dweet! it was an anti-gay song which they got a lot of crap for internationa l l y , which among a few other things advocated setting gay people on fire. so, think about that next time you sing along or dance to it.
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God/Jesus is a great person and will rid all sorrow mscovens!
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I HAD TO COMMENT ON THIS SONG BECAUSE I CAN IDENTIFY WITH IT. I LOST MY SON BY SOMEONE WHO DID NOT TAKE LIFE SERIOUSLY. WHEN I THINK OF HOW I FELT WHEN I LOST MY SON, IT TOOK GOD TO ENTER BACK INTO MY HEART TO RID MYSELF OF THE SORROW I FELT. THANK YOU FOR THIS SONG, IT GOES A LONG WAY... MUCH MORE THAN A SONG, AND I KNOW THERE ARE MANY MORE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD WHO MAY NOT SAY ANYTHING, BUT IN THEIR HEARTS, THIS SONG IS A COMFORT. AGAIN, THANK YOU!!!!!!!
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Thanks for showing again that jamaicans are still careing loving people. Too bad for those who dont gets us.
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"chi chi man" wasn't intended to "castigate corrupt politicians" . . . i t was intended to incite violence against gay men. jamaica is so homophobic.. .
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BLOOD FIYA DEM DEH YA TOO
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dem bwoys a deh fine
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they r great and know what there talking bout
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these guys have been through alot to have reach thus far.and their still standing while many has faded away.
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tiarahfromja m a i c a

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you are the best
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f**k the world and get f**k up
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f**k the world and get f**k up
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f**k the world and get f**k up
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warthogger9
hey, i take a class called T.O.K, im in eleventh grade...stan d s for Theory Of Knowledge. i'ts such crap you don't even know. never listened to the band though.
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i love these guys
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good work

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