An Interview with Todd Fokus Walton – aka Chicago’s Kid

Todd Fokus Walton

Todd Fokus Walton

For Swing! I look for interesting people to interview who also display a positive attitude about sexuality.

I really enjoyed this interview with FOKUS. Plus, there’s not a week that I don’t exercise to “Hypnotize” and “Big Poppa” by B.I.G, so I can relate to his favorite music picks! LOL Love Lupe and have been blasting the newest T.I. too.

1. You look sexy on your MySpace page! Tell Swing! readers how FOKUS, aka Chicago’s Kid, got started in music? Are you alone, or do you have a band? Readers can listen to your music on MySpace, but where can they buy it?

Well, thank you for the compliment, first off! Not that often I get that….LOL I would have to say my start in music, began at home. My brother, sister, and I used to always freestyle around the house, perform covers of popular songs that were out on the radio, things normal kids do. Then as I got a little older in high school, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a program called “Upward Bound”. That’s where I met pretty much all of my closet friends, and one thing we all loved was rap. So we would get together and freestyle in a cipher everyday at lunch. That’s where I pretty much progressed my skill set, the actual action of flowing and making it sound presentable, although I wasn’t that great yet…LOL. It was a great place to start. Also in high school there was a “Rap Club” which I joined with a bunch of fellow students, and through that I was able to record a song for the first time, and even had the opportunity to record the song in a professional studio downtown which opened my eyes to what music actually is, rather than everything I heard on the radio and saw on TV. It really made it REAL for me. I didn’t really get into the industry until after high school. I professionally recorded my first song (On my own) when I was 19, and saved up enough money to do so. From there I’ll say the rest is history.

I started off in a group named LG(Lost Generation), which was in high school, with a few friends from the Upward Bound Program I mention earlier. We named ourselves after the group of poets that included Hemingway, and a few others. (Pretty Deep for high school…LOL.) We never recorded anything and only did one performance(where nothing went right and the sound machine didnt work, LOL). After high school when everyone went to different colleges, I branched out and continued to do the music thing as a solo artist, and FOKUS was born.

The only full project I’ve completed was a mixtape entitled “Chicago’s Kid Vol. 1.” I released it in 2005, in 15 stores across the Chicago land area, and online. I sold and distributed over 2,000 copies and had pretty good success for an indie artist here in Chicago.

2. You told Jolie you’re an open book – so, how do you feel about women? LOL What is your ideal woman and what do you consider an ideal date?

Well you know Fokus luv da ladies…..LOL….but, in all honesty, I love and respect all women (some more than others) but there is always a respect there. I try to represent that in my music by not degrading women and lifting them up any chance I get. They are the backbone (or rib) of the world. LOL.

My ideal woman would probably be one that is spiritual first off, love a GOD fearing woman. I love all types of women though; I don’t discriminate, have a brown paper bag test. (LOL..shout out to Yung Berg.) It really is all about attitude, personality, goals. I like a lot of the intangible qualities. She most definitely has to be supportive in everything I do, and exert a sense of positivity. Positivity is definitely SEXY these days…to me at least…LOL…I won’t lie. It also doesn’t hurt if she’s sexy, love a woman with curves, and gotta love a freak when needed…LOL.

An ideal date? I’m not picky really. I’m a home body for the most part, although I like the romantic stuff. I love going to the beach; I enjoy the horse & carriage rides downtown, simple things, a nice restaurant.

3. Some people feel women are objectified in rap music. Do you believe that?

I do believe women are objectified in rap music, sometimes in the music but more often in the visual portrayals of music such as movies, music videos, etc…I think it’s the images that we see that are like that, and the truth behind that, 7 times out of 10, the artist has nothing to do with the direction of the video. It’s the director, or the label. Now in music I feel like every artist is entitled to speak on their own experiences whether it’s with drugs, women, music, etc. All they can do is say what they know, and the women that they talk about in their songs are the women they know. Now I will say the women they know might not represent the majority of women in the world, but that is how it comes across.

4. Who are your five favorite hip hop artists? And why?

Jay-Z: I love his music. It represents him, who he is and where he’s from. As a lyricist his flow is ridiculous and you can tell he truly practiced his craft to be the best he can be. My main reason for him being my favorite is his business savvy. I like to think he reminds me of myself when I was a youngin….LOL.

TuPac: Once again his music was way before the time, as we all can see since he’s still releasing albums years after his death. But he was REAL; he never admitted to being perfect, but he stood for something and never backed down from what he represented.

B.I.G: He was a premiere story teller. For me I guess he was what Slick Rick is to a lot of people who are slightly older than me. He really grabbed me with his lyrics, especially not being able to watch many videos. I really connected with what he was saying visually, because it allowed me to be creative in my own mind, and develop my own movie to his stories.

Nas: Because he’s just DOPE. He turned his craft into a culture into an industry. He created his own market of mainstream conscience music.

EVERYBODY: My top 5 is everybody else because if they made it to where they wanna be in the industry I respect them. They’re doing what I’m trying to do. Now I like some more than others from Old to New(Rakim, Lupe, T.I., Lil Wayne, G-Dep, Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Kanye.)

5. What are you working on now and what is Chicago’s Kid’s plans for the future?

Well, since my last release in 2005 I’ve been concentrating on business. I realized for a hip hop artist, especially indie, you have to foot your own bill, which can be thousands of dollars to make the impact you want to make as an artist, and eventually get that elusive “Great Record Deal”. So I turned my fokus towards making money with my craft. I turned to publishing, doing songs for Playboy, Leo Burnett, various commercials, etc… and that’s what I’m continuing to grow. I founded a media company in which I produced a LIVE radio show, and planned and promoted a numerous amount of events around the Chicago area. I recently established Project: BaseLINE – a project management firm specializing in Entertainment, Marketing/Advertising, Events, & Business/Program development. I’m also currently developing an AfterSchool program which is a music industry learning/apprenticeship program. I hope I can initiate through fiscal sponsorship either with an organization such as After School Matters here in Chicago, and eventually establish my own not-for-profit organization. I recently entered the world of blogging through my new website The Hip Hop Democrat which I’m continuously developing and will be launching Nov. 3rd. Of course I’m in the studio still recording, looking for possible partners or investors in my music and what I’m doing to brand myself in an industry that expands far beyond just music.

Jolie met FOKUS on Twitter. Check out his Twitter page HERE.

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