Happy Birthday, Token!
Today, Sept. 24, marks the birthday of Token, a Salem, Mass.-bred rhymer who's quickly established himself as a dynamic lyricist and one to watch out for going forward. He now turns 20.
Born Ben Goldberg, Token fell in love with hip-hop at an early age, listening to the sounds of Tupac Shakur, Eminem, Ludacris and other great rappers before he decided to become one himself. He was only 10 years old at the time.
"I always knew [rap] would be something that I would do no matter what but the second I thought it was going to be my career is when I got the first comment on a release on YouTube," Token said while speaking to XXL for The Break last year. "I just thought, 'Someone could like what I love to do? That’s what I’m doing for the rest of my life.' It was not even one moment of hesitation, it was decided."
After toiling away at his craft for some years, Token began seriously breaking out in 2016, flaunting a breathless run-on flow on "No Sucka MCs." In the time since the video dropped at nearly three years ago, it's been viewed over 1.5 million times. Needless to say, he'd come a long way since that first YouTube comment.
In the second part of his breakout year, Token delivered an epic freestyle on Sway in the Morning, showcasing a tight flow as he went in for six minutes. Months after its release, the viral freestyle was placed on XXL's best freestyles of 2016, securing a spot among entries from objectively more accomplished wordsmiths like Jay Electronica, Action Bronson, Vince Staples and more.
In the fall of 2016, Token continued striding his way toward rap stardom by dropping off Eraser Shavings, a proper debut project that solidified his slot among rap's more lyrically talented up-and-comers. In the two years since, Token's kept his foot on the gas pedal, turning in dope tracks like his social media studying song, "One Like Equals" and "Still Believe in Heroes," which is a poignant tribute to his mother.
With loads of talent and a genuine love of the craft, Token is all set to continue doing big things in the future. But for now, reflect on everything he's accomplished before he's even reached his 20th G Day.
Happy Birthday, Token!
Here's the Ultimate Guide to Rappers With Acronyms in Their Name