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Toni is an international champion of hip-hop culture. Known for the irresistible, contagious energy of her performances, she spits rhymes and flows in the footsteps of Nina, Miriam and Gil Scott. All hip-hop and all soul, Toni channels in the tradition of jazz greats; improvising lyrics and poetry to which both elders and youth raise their hands in approval. A lyrical folklorist, her work as the U.S. Department of State first Hip Hop Ambassador has taken her to places like Senegal, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, D.R.C, South Africa, Swaziland, Brazil, Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Blackman has shared the stage with an eclectic range of artists, such as Erykah Badu, the Roots, as well as Sheryl Crow and Ricki Lee Jones. Additionally, she has performed with Craig Harris, James Blood Ulmer and Vernon Reid. On the cutting-edge of AfroHipHopSoul Toni continues to push the envelope in her recent collaborations with Tiken Jah Fakoly, recording with Yoro Ndiaye and performing with drummer extraordinaire Gene Lake.
A lyricist, poet, producer, actress, master teacher and director, Toni is truly a creative being. 2011 opened several doors for this Renaissance woman and she is finally poised to complete her own album “Miss Blackman in the Building,” which hones in on her Hip-hop soul sound and highlights a few collaborations from the continent. This is her third year as a member of the Earthdriver Collective.