J-Toth From Hoth :: Conspiracy Theory
The Frozen Foods Section
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
St. Louis based rapper J-Toth From Hoth lives by the mantra
"Creativity first, cash second... the means justifies the ends."
As you might expect this makes him a ruggedly independent artist
to the degree his albums are not easily available in brick and
mortar outlets. You can buy them directly from
The Frozen Food Section label though, or get his latest
project "Conspiracy Theory" for $8 (or more) via Bandcamp. He's been around since 2002, but my
exposure to him increased when he dropped the single
"Ghostwhirl" in 2005 with a cameo verse from MF DOOM - the
remix in particular looping an ear-catching sample from
"House of the Rising Sun."
Toth resides in self-imposed obscurity due to his uncompromising
artistic integrity and lyrical style, but his
profile got a small boost this year thanks to
Grip Grand. While Toth's
verse wasn't part of Grand's "Jive Turkeys" pastiche, it wasn't too
hard to connect the dots and realize the
DOOM lyric GG remixed came from Toth's song.
Between this and other references to him on RapReviews we wound up
with a copy of "Conspiracy Theory" on both vinyl and CD. It seems
Toth is to some degree coming out of his mainstream exile.
"It's Karl Rove - a/k/a, the lynchpin!
I'll be here last, atop this pile of cash
No one can fuck with my ass
I don't speak fake peanuts
I'm talking gold bars that float fast
It's just not new to me
I'm swimming with the fishes, but they're all new to me
like sushi - and I'm gonna eat!!"
If the title "Conspiracy Theory" didn't already give you the
idea, the lyrical and audible snippets above should. Toth is
unrepentantly unapologetically anti-government, and views the
big players like Rove with a highly suspicious eye. "Rove" is
written as though he were the former Dubya confidant himself,
bragging "I've got a wetsuit made of diplomatic immunity/don't
hate - congratulate American ingenuity! Winning at any and
all costs." The Splitface produced track is as harrowing as
Toth's vocal tone - he spits like a chimney stack at a coal
factory. Put another way he sounds like he had throat cancer
at some point in his life. He's like Vinnie Paz meets R.A. the
Rugged Man. I can't overstate this - Toth is a GRITTY rapper.
A lot of it is wrapped in humor though, such as "Boris the Emcee"
on the "KGB Outro," which I suspect is just a Toth alter ego.
The self-produced "Questioning Integrity (banks)" is one of
the album's strongest cuts. Toth's crushed gravel vocal tone
is less apparent when he raps at a faster pace, and the banging
at the South end of the ivories sets him up perfectly for lines
like "Danger! Those guys hold a lot of anger!" He's referring
to the sense of entitlement of bankers and Washington fatcats,
drawing a direct line from there to 9/11 terrorism. If you're
not familiar with conspiracy theories on the subject this may
seem totally ludicrous, but if you listen to
The Coup or
Immortal Technique it's
not so far fetched.
Toth certainly sticks to his chosen topic on "Conspiracy
Theory." The ideas he espouses may seem incredulous at times.
One wonders if he even believes all of them, or just mined the
bookstore and the Google search for every crackpot (or not)
idea out there. Did the Secret Service let JFK be killed?
"Hold On (et tu brutes)" ponders it. "Run Your Mouth" implies
nothing you see on TV is true. "Watch FOX, why? It's all lies.
Every pundit is an agent - they're all spies." No one escapes
the aim of his lyrical scope. President Obama gets attacked
on the audio collage "Head of the State (obamanation)," with
the audio samples implying our government's monetary policy
is little more than one big Ponzi scheme. And if you're not
a fan of paying income tax, "Conflict of Interest" featuring
Victa Newman is right up your alley.
At any point where the weight of these massive conspiracies
could get to heavy to bear, J-Toth injects a song like
"Winning (with sheen)" to lighten the mood and happily chirps
"I'm full of shit!" Perhaps. It's probably more scary to
imagine that he's not and that any (or even all) of the
notions espoused on "Conspiracy Theory" are true. The recently
revealed inner workings of the NSA due suggest that only a
blind man/woman should place full faith and confidence in the
United States government to do the right thing and act in our
own interest. I don't believe "Bush blew up the Towers" nor
that our own government assassinated John F. Kennedy, but I
do believe a healthy skepticism about our political leaders
should be the cornerstone of democracy. J-Toth exercises
his freedom of speech to the fullest here, and though his
grimy vocals are not for all, he's making points over dope
beats and not just rambling about conspicuous consumption
and boozy one night stands. That earns him my full respect.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 8.5 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: December 3rd, 2013