People jokingly refer to Syracuse-born & Raleigh-based rapper Toosii as the Covid Rapper; due to his ability to make 2020 his breakout year amidst the pandemic. At the same time, we found out about Covid-19, Toosii, real name Nau'Jour Grainger, garnered over 70 million streams of his mixtape Platinum Heart. With no features, the 13-track project hit number one on Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart. It launched Toosii into the top 10 of Rolling Stone's Breakthrough 25 chart. With the addition of 7 new tracks, a deluxe version of Platinum Heart was released in May 2020. He quickly followed up those achievements with Poetic Pain in September 2020, which debuted in the top 20 of the Billboard 200. In January 2021, less than a year later, Toosii earned his first Gold record with his top 10 Urban radio hit, "Love Cycle."
He now boasts almost a billion streams across all of his songs, leading Billboard to declare him as "coming for the crown." So It was no surprise when we learned, during a recent Zoom press conference, that part of Toosii's stage name came from the nickname "two-times" given to him by his football team because he was known for working two times harder than his peers.
Armed with his "Trust the Process" bathrobe gifted from his brother and a pair of pajamas, Toosii got back to work. He is now following up on his success from last year with his latest mixtape, Thank You For Believing, which dropped on May 7. The 13 song album only contains three features — DaBaby, Mulatto, and Key Glock — leaving Toosii to handle most of the heavy lifting on the tape.
Toosii is often praised on Twitter for "loving out loud" and is known for his autobiographical style. This is illustrated in the release of the new project's first single, "back together," a raw and passionate reflection on how personal growth can set the stage for a romantic reunion. Alternatively, with his second single "shop" featuring DaBaby, Toosii doesn't let us forget it gets gritty in these streets; even in Poughkeepsie, New York, as he admits it was a former stomping ground.
"Thank You for Believing is a project for friends, family, and fans -- everybody who supported and helped me get to where I'm at today," Toosii said in response to a question asked by another outlet. "I really just wanted to show people that it's not always about us. It's not always about the artist; sometimes it's about the people who help you get there."
When asked by Lady D of In the Field Radio what advice he would give himself four years ago, at the start of his journey, he replied, "No, nothing at all. Look where I am. I'm aight. I'm doing good. I'm blessed. I mean, I wouldn't never tamper with the past." The rapper is thankful for his journey and is focused more on what the future brings and the goals laid out before him.
Now, after opening up for artists like DaBaby, Polo G, and Summer Walker, he will embark on his own tour in support of the mixtape later this year. As soon as the tour was announced, pre-sale tickets for dates in New York, Washington D.C., Orlando, and other cities across the country sold out immediately. Before he heads out on his own tour, you can catch him in July performing at Rolling Loud Miami on July 23.
We know Toosii as an athlete and accomplished rap artist, but we didn’t realize he can now add shoe designer to his resume. Don’t be surprised if you see Toosii taking the shoe game by storm sometime soon. At the Zoom press conference, participants were privileged to get a sneak peek of his new sneaker design! Hint: it’s fire.