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Tone-LocAKA Anthony Terrell Smith

Born: 3-Mar-1966
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Rapper, Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Wild Thing

Born and raised in the hope-destroying pit known as Los Angeles, Anthony Smith managed to survive the streets by adopting the gang lifestyle that many poor black kids are driven to by their meagre prospects. Called "Antonio Loco" by his friends, Smith spent his youth as a member of the Crips, one of the more notorious gangs thriving in LA at the time. In the late 1980s he made an unexpected break into the music industry as a rapper, shortening his name to Tone-Loc and specializing in party-themed songs that deliberately avoided wallowing in the negativity of his gang background. For his debut album, Loc-ed After Dark (1989), the rapper enlisted the production skills of the Dust Brothers and the writing skills of an unknown named Young MC (who would earn his own big break the following year with the Grammy-winning track Bust A Move); two of the Young-penned tracks Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina went on to become popular singles, with Wild Thing earning Tone-Loc the distinction of being the second rap performer to reach the top of the mainstream charts (the first having been the Beastie Boys and their 1986 album Licensed to Ill).

Despite (or perhaps because of) his popularity with the pop music crowd, Tone-Loc was never fully embraced by the hip-hop community, who regarded his style of music as being closer to a novelty act. A more serious approach was adopted for his second album Cool Hand Loc (1991), but neither the album nor its associated single All Through The Night managed to come near the success of his debut effort; Loc subsequently moved his focus away from music and instead began developing a career as an actor, having already made brief appearances in the films The Adventures of Ford Fairlane and The Return of Superfly back in 1990. A role on the Charles Dutton-led television sitcom Roc and voice-over work for two animated features (FernGully: The Last Rainforest and Bébé's Kids, both 1992) eventually led to work in films ranging from African-Amercan centered dramas (Poetic Justice, 1993) to kids films (Surf Ninjas, also 1993) to retarded comedies (Car 54, Where Are You? and Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, both 1994).

During the remainder of the decade, Tone-Loc kept himself busy balancing roles for television on series such as Touched By An Angel (!), NewsRadio, Living Single, Martin and Early Edition with further voice-over work (most notably for the animated science-fiction film Titan A.E., 2000) and occasional feature film roles (Heat, 1995, and Freedom Strike, 1998, among others). A starring role opposite John Stamos in the series Thieves was landed in 2001, and acting credits continued to accumulate on both the large and small screen in the early 00s. A return to music has been mentioned by the former rapper in the press, but this has yet to materialize.

Father: James (d. 1972, cancer)
Mother: Margaret
Brother: Johnny
Son: Bijan Smith

    High School: University High School, Los Angeles, CA
    University: Santa Monica College (dropped out)

    Assault with a Deadly Weapon Los Angeles (1995)
    Domestic Violence Burbank, CA (19-Jun-2011), pled no contest
    Unlawful Possession of a Firearm unregistered assault weapon (19-Jun-2011), pled no contest
    Inmate: Los Angeles County Jail

    Code Hunter (1-May-2002)
    They Crawl (2001)
    Titan A.E. (13-Jun-2000) · Tek [VOICE]
    Whispers: An Elephant's Tale (10-Mar-2000) [VOICE]
    Freedom Strike (23-Jun-1998)
    Fakin' Da Funk (1997)
    Spy Hard (24-May-1996)
    Heat (15-Dec-1995) · Richard Torena
    Blank Check (11-Feb-1994)
    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (4-Feb-1994) · Emilio
    Car 54, Where Are You? (28-Jan-1994)
    Surf Ninjas (12-Aug-1993)
    Poetic Justice (23-Jul-1993) · J Bone
    Posse (14-May-1993) · Angel
    Bébé's Kids (31-Jul-1992) · Pee Wee [VOICE]
    FernGully: The Last Rainforest (10-Apr-1992) · The Goanna [VOICE]
    The Adventures of Ford Fairlane (11-Jul-1990)

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