“Own the Night” is the latest single from Toox and features the vocal talents of Daimen Carter and Rose Culture joining him for the performance. Despite the presence of two experienced and highly talented singers, Toox is never overshadowed. Much of the thanks for this can naturally be ascribed to Michael DeBarge’s presence in the recording booth as they song took shape but, in the end, the true architect of the song’s success is Toox himself. He defies his relative inexperience by filling each line he takes on with a dizzying amount of personality yet shows the canny instincts of an experienced performer with his ability to take rather commonplace lyrical content and elevate it several notches up the scale without ever losing the inherent rambunctious spirit behind the tune. “Own the Night” is classic hip hop in many respects and avoids the genre’s clichés.
It forges ahead with its own voice thanks to the talents of its primary vocalist. Toox is a true force, a class hip hop vocalist who supplies both charisma and musical character in equal measure, and he glides through the twisted byways and turns of the song’s lyric with the confidence of a born performer. He never comes across as someone half hearted or going through the motions; instead, he infuses each line that he takes on with a sense of self that it takes most vocalists, regardless of genre, decades to develop if ever. Michael DeBarge’s production, part of a trio production team with co-producers Juicegotkeys and Chey de los, capture the best side of Toox’s vocal talents through their hard work and each second of his contributes to the cut reflect this for listeners.
DeBarge captured the base recording for this track at New York City’s The Music Building recording studios and he is clearly the prime mover behind the scenes for the song. His well-tuned ear to what Toox and the other vocalists offer listeners is the critical factor pushing this performance from the outstanding category into something greater. Though the songwriting credit Daimen Carter, Toox, and Rose Culture as writers, it is difficult if not outright impossible to believe that DeBarge didn’t exert some sort of creative influence over the finished product.
It is difficult, if not impossible, to not admire how well Carter and Culture’s vocals work together during this performance and they bring an added dimension to the performance that deepens the song’s impact rather than diluting it. Despite obvious gender differences, they possess an affinity for one another far outstripping what his peers and contemporaries can readily match. Toox has pulled off something rather special with this single – it has obvious stylistic parallels with a number of other performers but, despite any similarities, Toox stands out as a singular performer capable of making his own mark in ways his predecessors could not. Hearing “Own the Night” provides plenty of evidence he will continue to do so for many more years to come. Let’s enjoy the ride from here on out.