Toni Hill reviewed on Eldiablito

A walking enigma, Toni Hill has long been one of the most dynamic and enthralling performers in the Northwest. Whether it be with her contributions through the Hungry Mob or with fellow lady-in-arms, Syndel, in the offshoot “Siren’s Echo,” Miss Hill has always brought with her a spirit that was at once unbreakable and gently caressing; it often feels as if she can be both the best friend and the beautiful paramour with a dose of Felisha Rashad-come-Bill Cosby “you better get right” thrown in for good measure.

Her solo debut “Only Love” is a journey down many personal paths of her life, from the wistful and sultry tones of the title track, through the inviting “Vibe Out,” there is a flavor for every mood. This is typical for Toni, as since her childhood (and throughout her life), she has been comfortable walking in multiple worlds.

Whether it be from her upbringing with a multi-racial (Black and Native American) Mother to her assisting her Grandmother (Evelyn Monroe Buchanan) as she did outreach at El Centro De La Raza, or her time living in Puerto Rico, she has always felt a kinship with Latinos. “I was even declared an honorary Mexican,” says Miss Hill, glowing with pride. As a bilingual woman, she has often found herself speaking Spanish with her many Latino friends and their extended families.

“I have always felt like Latinos and Blacks and Natives have traveled the same paths, faced the same issues,” she explains, “from single parenthood to the core values of our people. We’re more the same than different.”

Such sentiments are expressed thoroughly in Miss Toni Hill’s new video “Rose.” It is a deeply touching song about waiting around for love, that unconditional love which is shared between parents and siblings. Unafraid to reach into the deepest parts of her soul, the song delves into the effect that such behaviors by an absentee parent have upon a young woman as she becomes grown and finds men who run the same sort of game upon them as their fathers ran upon their mothers. Preventing such things from recurring and breaking that cycle of illegitimacy is a passion for Toni.

“I feel like I have to get that song out there,” speaking of ‘Rose’, “it is such an important message and I feel like if I can get my story out there then maybe I can help someone else who is going through [it].”

If everyone who went through such struggles turned out as strong as Miss Toni Hill, the world would be a better place.

Written by Senyor Cullera

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