Founded in the early 1990s, T.O.K. are a dancehall group hailing from Kingston, Jamaica. The group comprises four members: Alistaire "Alex" McCalla, Roshaun "Bay C" Clarke, and Craig "Craigy T" Thompson, who were choir members at Kingston's Campion College, and a younger friend, Xavier "Flexx" Davidson, who attended Calabar High School. Originally they were called "Touch of Klass", but they have devised several backronyms, including "Taking Over Kingston" and "TOo Klaat" and were inspired by the stateside success of Boyz 2 Men. They toured the local high school circuit in Kingston and worked their way up to appearances at the famed North Coast hotel and lounge circuit. They would differentiate themselves from the other groups by performing covers of Bob Marley songs or "Hot Stepper", by Ini Kamoze, which was a popular song at that time.
In 1996, they were signed to Sly & Robbie's Taxi label, but were not getting much attention. Their breakthrough came later on in 1996 with the single "Hardcore Lover", recorded with Lady Saw. They scored again with hits like "Whoa" and "Ill Na Na". Still, the #1 position eluded them until 1998 when "Eagles Cry" reached the top slot in Jamaica. Their biggest song to date is the controversial "Chi Chi Man" (Jamaican slang for homosexual) in 2000, which was a long running hit and drew fire from gay rights activists. The song celebrates burning and murdering homosexual men. T.O.K. has been accused of plagiarizing the melody from the christmas carol, "Do you hear what I hear?
The group broke into the U.S. market with a 2001 debut album, "My Crew, My Dawgs," which peaked at No. 6 on Billboard's Top Reggae Albums chart.
In 2005 T.O.K. had another hit with the song "Footprints", which is about one of the group member's younger brother getting killed by a stray bullet.
In 2006 they have made a featuring with Admiral T, a famous West Indian singer of reggae-dancehall, on his album Toucher L'Horizon.
T.O.K. sings most of their songs over a riddim. These riddims are used by various dancehall artists usually around the same time. It's like a contest to see who can make the best song out of a riddim. There are artist like Sean Paul, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer that also sing over these riddims. Like T.O.K.'s song "Impostor" is over the Applause riddim; Sean Paul also has a song called "Temperature" that is also sung over Applause. Here are some of T.O.K. more popular songs:
|US Hot 100||US R&B/Hip-Hop||US Hot Rap Tracks|
|2003||"Gal Yuh A Lead (Remix)" (feat. Nina Sky & Beenie Man)||#85||#36||#24|