Face2Face real name (Franck Toh) is a natural born artist. Indeed he takes after his parents, his father who is a Fashion Stylist in the U.S and his mother an Aerobic trainer and school teacher. He was born in a poor neighbourhood of Treichville, Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire). After spending fifteen years in the United States, he returns to his homeland with a mission to help his African brothers and sisters to love each other as they are and also awaken them mentally.
His rapping talent was discovered in the lunchroom of Ferris High School
(Jersey city) with his child hood friend Chung, it was in 1996 the same period of Tupac’s murder. The name he adopted was 2Face, a character out of the Batman comic book, a normal thing to do for boys his age but after further thought he realized that each man had in him a good and a bad side. He was inspired by several artists such as Wu-tang whose lyrics he and his cousin use to memorize as they would also search for new words in the dictionary. Life as a young African in a foreign land was not easy to endure due to jokes from others. His father even asked him to conceal his identity and that it would be better to say that he was from France, despite all this it still did not prevent other kids from making fun of him. 2face’s desire to rap increased as he listened to Mobb Deep while walking on the dangerous streets of New Jersey. You may compare Mobb Deep’s music to that “I don’t give a you know what” attitude which defines itself in the way of walking, talking and behaving in a certain way to let others know that you’re a tough guy.NAS was also one of the artists who influenced him in becoming a great song writer. Between the period of 1996-1997 Tupac’s popular album “ALL EYES ON ME” gave him more strength to the point where he started writing and recording his songs on a double cassette player. He would play the instrumental on one side and record his voice on the other side, which is how he did his first recordings. After Tupac's murder, 2Face began to get more in depth in the lifestyle of Pac by studying his career and even attending the Black Panthers Seminars. He would begin to study the history and struggle of Blacks Americans. He would find it easier now to fit in with his brothers from America and his family was completely astonished at this strange adaptation. It was different to see an African who rapped as he did. He therefore adopted the West Coast style of rapping and was now a cool kid in school. 1997 was also the year in which he would record his first song in a studio entitled “Black Power”. The Black Panthers and Hip Hop would enable him to accept where he comes from and be proud to be Black; thus African Warrior was the concept. He also transformed the vulgarity that many black Americans would use “Black ass” into “Black Little African Clearly Kept Away Still Strong” which translates simply into “this little black African whom you try to shut down is present on the scene and remains strong”. In 1998, he returned to his native country for one month during summer vacations where he participated in a Rap contest on a radio show and won. He started showing his talent to the youth of the neighbourhood and getting support from them. Now back in the States more determined then ever he started listening to more West Coast artists including Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Bone thugs who inspired him to adopt a better flow. He started getting into Rap battles and his style of rap was getting even faster. One day a talent show was organized to celebrate the end of the school year, so the 4 Gunz (Ferris High school’s popular rap group) decided to participate. The 4 guns were notorious and no one could step to them so 2face decided to battle them but it was a fiasco. The students started to compare them to Tupac and Biggie. During this period of adolescence during which he had a couple of difficulties with his family he recorded a song called “No Place Like My Home” with Don Most and a high school friend called Brandy. 2face started to drink and smoke not just because of his problems but in order to have a hardcore voice. After two defeats by the 4 gunz he worked even harder and started hanging out with a much older individuals from the neighbourhood who taught him the in and outs of the streets. In July 2000 he graduated from high school went on to join his father in the West coast. He lived with his father in Phoenix, Arizona but would not attend a University because his passion was music and so he decided to work for a living and get an apartment as things were not going pretty well between him and his father. He shared his apartment with a friend who wanted to be his manager. It was in 2001 that 2face would release his debut underground album “African Warrior ” which would be the cataclysm of events that would lead to a terrible tragedy... To be continued!