On this day, March 19, in hip-hop...


1990: Tone Loc covered Newsweek for its "Rap Rage" issue. The cover read, "Yo! Street rhyme has gone big time. But are those sounds out of bounds?"

The choice was a confusing one, given how fun-loving the rapper was on wax. The editors apparently had to choose between LL Cool J and Tone Loc. That they went with the latter says a lot about the magazine, which was hugely popular at the time. Their proclamation of rap being angry meant nothing to people who, by 1990, were well aware of that by then. That they felt the need to make it a cover story is much more telling.

The cover also helped initiate the idea of media using rappers to scare the general public. ToneLoc is a hilariously inappropriate choice to be a puppet for such a thing, but that was just a result of the people behind it.

Tone Loc came up during the 1990s raps scene and has remained a voice in hip-hop ever since. His gravelly voice and chilly, Southern Cali delivery propelled the success of his 1989 singles, “Wild Thing” and “Funky Cold Medina.” Tone dropped his debut album Lōc-ed After Dark in January 1989. Lōc-ed After Dark went certified double platinum by RIAA, and the Delicious Vinyl artist followed up with a second and final album in 1991, Cool Hand Lōc. Though he’s had some health scares in recent years, collapsing at an Iowa concert in 2013, Tone still performs his hey day hits around America when prompted.

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