Tag Archives: Butta Verses

Everywhere & Nowhere Album Download – Butta Verses

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Bronx-bred emcee Butta Verses teams-up with DJBooth.Net to deliver his free new album “Everywhere & Nowhere” which features production from the likes of Lord Finesse, Marco Polo and The Mighty V.I.C. – download here.

New Joint – Butta Verses

Butta Verses – “That’s Me” (Beats & Rhymes / 2012)

The Bronx-bred, Florida-based emcee makes a welcome return with this Lord Finesse-produced track from his forthcoming currently-untitled mixtape which features production from the likes of Marco Polo, The Mighty V.I.C., BeanOne and more.

Peep an interview I did with Butta when he dropped his “Reality BV” album back in 2008 here.

Butta Verses Interview (Originally Posted On StreetCred.Com Nov 3rd 2008)

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Regardless of how many supposed overnight success stories the music business might have generated over the years, it’s a game that offers no guarantees of riches, fame and CD sales. One moment an artist can be riding high on a wave of buzz-fuelled momentum, only to find themselves right back at square one just as quickly, often before they’ve even had a chance to fully prove themselves creatively.

Bronx-born lyricist Butta Verses is someone who knows all too well about the ups-and-downs of the rap world. After catching the ear of De La Soul’s DJ Maseo, the NY MC who calls Florida home was quickly signed to the golden-age icon’s Bear Mountain imprint and featured on De La’s critically-acclaimed 2004 album “The Grind Date”. A whirlwind of worldwide tour performances, media attention and public anticipation followed Butta’s official introduction to the global Hip-Hop community, with work on a debut solo project entitled “Brand Spankin’” beginning soon after. From the outside looking in it seemed as though the Hip-Hop gods were smiling down on the slick-tongued kid from the Rotten Apple, but high hopes were soon to turn to low moments, as Butta’s deal didn’t become the ticket to success he’d expected. The rapper’s album was shelved and he found himself back home formulating a Plan B.

All of which has led up to the recent release of Butta’s official debut project “Reality BV”. A soulful, boom-bap-flavored collection of cuts which effectively displays the rapper’s likeable down-to-earth personality, lyrical dexterity and wit, “Reality BV” also boasts appearances from true-school legends CL Smooth and Kurious, plus current underground favorite Joell Ortiz. As its title suggests, the album offers listeners an up-close-and-personal look into the life of Verses, ranging from moments of poignant self-reflection (“If I Die”) and disarming honesty (“Big Dreams”) to discussing relationship dramas (“Breaking Up”).

Here, Butta talks about settling in Florida, his time with De La Soul, and his new album.

Ryan Proctor: You’re originally from the Bronx but you now live in Florida. What prompted the relocation?

Butta Verses: The first time I went to South Florida was probably around 1990 / 1991. I was just amazed by how beautiful the place looked. Up until that time I’d never really left the Bronx, so when I came to Florida it was the closest thing to the places on TV like Beverly Hills that I’d ever seen. It was just beautiful clear skies, the grass was really green, the water was really blue, there were trees everywhere and no buildings blocking your view like in New York. It wasn’t as noisy, the people seemed to be nicer, and I just decided that when I graduated high-school Florida is where I wanted to move to.

I told myself that I wasn’t going to be a rapper anymore; I was going to be a surfer (laughs). I was really going to change everything up and just move to Florida and become a beach bum (laughs). After I graduated high-school I had to go to summer school to get my diploma, and the very next day after I got my diploma I hit I-95 and moved to Florida.

RP: Was it a difficult transition to make?

BV: The beauty of Florida kinda wore off after awhile (laughs). I mean, it was still a beautiful place, but I started to miss my friends. I missed not being able to go and hang out on the block. So in terms of adjusting to life in Florida, it was kinda difficult as it wasn’t really what I was expecting. I mean, I didn’t meet any surfers at all (laughs). I wanted to surf but I could not bump into a surfer for the life of me. But at every job I took I was meeting producers and cats who rapped which started to bring me into the Hip-Hop scene down here in Florida.

RP: Do you think moving out of New York gave you a new perspective as an artist?

BV: Absolutely! At first when I was meeting people in Florida’s Hip-Hop scene I was egotistical, like ‘Everything you’re trying to be, I already am. I’m from the birthplace of this music.’ But then I started to accept the differences. When I moved to Florida Onyx were big, Boot Camp Clik were coming up, and the East Coast thug shit had just started to pop, so I was coming from New York and was kinda on that grimy tip, but not fully. Then down here, I was meeting cats who were influenced by dudes like the Hieroglyphics, which really helped me to find a balance in myself as an artist.

RP: Most people first became aware of you after your appearance on De La Soul’s 2004 album “The Grind Date”. For those who don’t already know the story, how did a largely unknown MC end-up recording with one of the greatest Hip-Hop groups of all-time?

BV: Around that time I’d already decided that I was going to put all my effort into coming out seriously as an MC. I made a bunch of CDs that I wouldn’t say were really mix CDs or demos, they had very little structure to them and were really just me rapping. I don’t really know what my intention was when I was even making them, I just wanted to ride around listening to them and maybe give some to friends.

I’d given a CD to DJ Stevie D who was a pretty big club DJ down here, and soon after he found out that Maseo from De La Soul had just moved into his neighborhood. Another guy who knew Stevie also had my CD, and when Maseo mentioned he was looking for new artists he have gave the CD to him to check out. Then Maseo got in touch with Stevie, Stevie got in touch with me, and I didn’t believe him at first (laughs).

I mean, it wasn’t my first time meeting a rapper or someone from a group, but when it came to De La, that was my shit growing up. But I finally met with Maseo, he was feeling the vibe, and that was that. I mean, if Maseo had said he didn’t like my music but needed someone to carry his bags I’d have done it (laughs).

RP: Was it an intimidating experience for you going out on the road with De La for the first time knowing that you were going to be performing to relatively large crowds containing longstanding fans of the group?

BV: My first actual show with De La was in Florida. This was before the tour and I hadn’t even done the record with them for “The Grind Date” yet. I was totally at ease with that show because it was in front of my home crowd. But the very first show I did on the actual tour was in Las Vegas at House Of Blues inside some casino. I was terrified! I mean I had diarrhea, everything (laughs).

I was thinking of every excuse not to do the show because I had it in my head that I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t have a record out, I just had a bunch of songs that no-one would know. I was very nervous. Plus, I was really on my own because the only person I knew on the tour was Maseo. I didn’t know Dave or Pos from De La at that point. I didn’t know anybody. So I was very intimidated.

But that feeling only lasted for that first show because after I’d performed I actually got an encore. I couldn’t believe it! The crowd was asking for an encore but I really didn’t want to go back out there as I felt that it was De La’s stage. But they told me to go out, so I came out like ‘Yo, you got a local rapper out here called Encore because I know you ain’t yelling for me??!!’ (laughs).

Once I experienced that moment, that was it. That feeling was like cocaine, heroin and crack all rolled into one. There was no turning back after that and from then on, you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t dope (laughs).

RP: What were you expectations for your career at that point?

BV: Honestly, at that time, I thought I was going to be the next Mos Def. Straight up and down, I thought that what happened for him was going to happen for me. I’m not comparing myself to him totally, but we’re not completely dissimilar as artists, and I thought what happened to his career after being on De La’s “Stakes Is High” album was going to happen to me after being on “The Grind Date”. People were saying the same thing as well, like ‘Yo! De La found Mos Def and now they got this new dude Butta Verses.’ So I really started to feel like it was going to be the same situation.

RP: When the Bear Mountain situation didn’t work out, how difficult was that for you to deal with?

BV: Personally, I felt destroyed. Artistically, my ego was to the point where I’d proven to myself that I could do this and be good at it. But personally, I was devastated. Those feelings started when I began to be told I wasn’t going on certain tours overseas. I was sitting home depressed because I’d just had the best drug in the world pumped into me for four months straight, and now I’m home, and although my friends are excited for me, when I go to the club I’m nobody again.

I was literally begging to be taken back out on tour, but that shit wasn’t happening, and on top of that the record I’d been working on wasn’t coming out. The whole experience went from being so fast to being so slow and it was very difficult to deal with. It was like being on a roller-coaster and the ride is great so you stay on it, then all of a sudden you have to sit waiting at the gate. You don’t want to get off the roller-coaster, but no-one’s going to start it back up for you.

RP: Were you ever given specific reasons as to why you were no longer being taken out on tour?

BV: I don’t really think it’s my place to say what it was because it could’ve been a bunch of things. I know the funding wasn’t always there. But I can definitely say that I fucked up on tour a bunch of times with my own personal vices and made mistakes doing shit I really didn’t have no business doing. But a lot of that came from being out there for the first time, living the life and having that drug pumped into you. It makes you feel invincible like you can do whatever you want.

I definitely made mistakes that, had they really blown-up, could’ve been detrimental to everybody. So I definitely learnt a lot about personal responsibility from that whole experience. I’m grown enough to take a lot of the blame. So looking back, I can see where I could’ve messed things up for myself.

RP: How would you say the unreleased “Brand Spankin’” album differs from your new project “Reality BV”?

BV: I would say that “Brand Spankin’” was built from being nothing to being a great album with only a small group of people involved in it. I spent a month in Seattle recording with Vitamin D and Bean One and there were very few songs used on the album that were recorded before the concept for “Brand Spankin’” was thought of. It was a very structured project. “Reality BV” is more of a collection of dope tracks that were made during the transition period between me being signed to Bear Mountain and being on my own again as an artist.

“Brand Spankin’” was more about me just making the music I wanted to make, whereas with “Reality BV” I was trying to give the fans more of what they want. Plus, “Brand Spankin’” had more of a cohesive unit behind it, whilst on “Reality BV” I recorded songs with artists who I respect greatly but I don’t really have any sort of relationship with.

It’s not that I’m talking down on “Reality BV” because I love it, but “Brand Spankin’” was like my child and recording each album was a very different experience.

RP: You have a song on the new album called “Big Dreams” which deals with some of the personal sacrifices you’ve had to make in order to pursue your musical aspirations. Considering how much of a struggle it is out there for independent artists, do you ever find yourself wondering if you’ve made the right career choice?

BV: Yeah, I’d say I go through that emotion pretty often. Sometimes I’ll ponder on where my career is and I’ll find myself thinking ‘What if?’ There are lines on that record dealing with the Maseo situation, like when I talk about going on tour but I’m not really earning any money, which is a great experience for me as an artist, but I’ve got a kid and a baby moms at home who ain’t too fuckin’ happy about it. Plus, that song also deals with people getting in my ear asking me how long I’m going to pursue this music thing for.

“Big Dreams” really just acknowledges that, as dope as it seems to be in the music business, it’s not easy, but as hard as it is, you shouldn’t give up if it’s what you truly love. People are meant to do what they do and you have to dream big to get big. When I was a kid watching videos on TV I used to see De La Soul and think to myself that if I ever made it as an artist those would be the dudes I’d want to do something with, and look what happened.

RP: So now you finally have an official album out, where would you like to see your career go from here?

BV: In my honest opinion, I can’t really see me ever having a hit record. I’m not that dude. What I wanna be able to do is consistently tour and do shows off of good music. If I could do that, then I’d be happy.

Some people are all about wanting Bentleys, being rich and hearing their shit on the radio all day, but I don’t need that. My shit is more personal. My music is more intimate. I really just want to be out there performing, be right in touch with the people, and keep making albums that are true to myself. What could really be better than that?

Ryan Proctor

Butta Verses ft. Lucian – “If I Die” ( Domination / 2008 )

Smooth Like Butta – Butta Verses

Former De La Soul protege Butta Verses discusses his current album “Reality BV”.

New Joint – Butta Verses / Joell Ortiz

Butta Verses ft. Joell Ortiz – “Rock Mics” ( Domination / Culture Kings / 2008 )

Taken from Butta’s album “Reality BV” out now.

Reality BV: Behind The Scenes – Butta Verses

Official mixtape download from Butta Verses promoting his forthcoming album “Reality BV”.

Tracklisting

1. Hello
2. Do’s and Don’ts
3. Jones In Ya Bones feat. Lucian
4. Around the World feat. Surreal
5. Money
6. Reasons feat. Filth
7. When I Say
8. Singing
9. Make Me Feel
10. If I Die feat. Lucian
11. Ducks In a Row
12. Drugs
13. Waste of Time freestyle
14. Love
15. Push Back
16. Here It Is
17. WWIV feat. Selfish

Hip-Hop Single Reviews (Originally Printed In IDJ / Sasha Cover / September 2008)

Hip-Hop Single Reviews By Ryan Proctor

Butta Verses – “If I Die” ( Culture Kings / Domination Recordings )

Introduced to the world on De La Soul’s 2004 album ‘The Grind Date’, Bronx-born lyricist Butta Verses sets up his own forthcoming project ‘Reality BV’ with this head-nodding slice of heartfelt rap. Based around a sublime Marvin Gaye sample courtesy of producer V.I.C. (The Beatnuts, Artifacts etc), ‘If I Die’ finds Verses speaking openly about damaged relationships and personal demons with sincerity and compassion. Genuine real talk. 4 / 5

Sir Smurf Lil’ – “Candlelight” ( YNR )

Hackney resident Smurf is an MC you have to listen to carefully. With his distinctive voice and truly individual take on life, the London lyricist has carved out a nice niche for himself with his imaginative leftfield street rap. On this Apa-Tight-produced cut Lil’ offers more of his trademark off-kilter vibes. Accompanied by snappy drums and a persistent piano loop, Smurf veers from the humorous to the threatening, spraying colourful punchlines and metaphors in all directions. Pure poetry. 4 / 5

The Thunderclaps ft. Orifice Vulgatron, Ghetto & Shameless – “Judgement Day” ( Ejector Seat / All City )

Roaring out of the speakers like a hundred-mile-an-hour sonic cyclone, this debut single from the Thunderclaps production team is destined to become one of those tracks DJs pull out of their box when they want to officially shut the club down. Combining a hybrid Southern hip-hop / UK grime beat with epic samples and high-voltage performances from all three featured MCs, ‘Judgement Day’ can only really be described by one word – rowdy. 5 / 5

Jah-C ft. Cavalier – “Soul Banger” ( Coalmine )

Sounding like the theme song to a sun-splashed, multi-cultural b-boy-themed Harlem street parade, this cut from NYC’s Jah-C is perfect summertime music. Lifted from the forthcoming EP of the same name, ‘Soul Banger’ isn’t a million miles away from the sound of Fat Jon’s Five Deez crew. Good-natured rhymes, afro-beat rhythms, hip-hop flavour and a funky live horn solo gel together here to create a truly uplifting listening experience. 4 / 5

Alex Blood – “Little Dean” ( SA Productions)

This latest offering from Alex Blood finds the Derby artist once again sneering at hip-hop purists who would prefer to see UK rap remain in a neatly labelled box. Employing a Jimi Hendrix-style guitar riff courtesy of Brit punk band Fixit Kid’s front-man Mat Fixit, Blood tells the tale of a troubled inner-city teenager in his unique sing-song vocal style. Edgy but catchy. 3 / 5

LGP ft. Craig G – “Sick Day” ( DMB )

Tapping into that universal ‘Monday morning feeling’, Queensbridge rhyme vet Craig G gets to grips with the pressures of balancing a day job with dreams of a rap career on this engaging cut. Backed by the pounding production of the UK’s Lidget Green Project, the former Juice Crew Allstar displays his usual wit and lyrical flair on what is sure to become an anthem for struggling underground artists everywhere. 4 / 5

Skilf – “Slow Me Down” (Reztone)

With a talent for slick wordplay and an infectious enthusiasm on the microphone, Skilf definitely has the potential to standout from the UK rap crowd. On the Toni Toolz-produced ‘Slow Me Down’ the Brighton MC encourages fellow rappers to put as much energy into their music as they do their thugged-out posturing, admits that everyone thought he was “a nerd at college”, and promises to break the competition “like a poppadom”. Toolz’ shuffling, club-ready track provides a fittingly upbeat backdrop for Skilf’s cheeky verses. 3 / 5

Supastition – “Wrong” ( Reform School / Domination Recordings )

Lifted from his forthcoming ‘Leave Of Absence’ album, North Carolina’s Supastition creatively dismisses non-believers on this solid dose of boom-bap rap. Produced by Australia’s M-Phazes (whose beats here have a 9th Wonder appeal to them), this cut will definitely get some heavy rotation in the headphones of traditionalist hip-hop fans. 3 / 5

New Joint – Butta Verses

Butta Verses ft. Lucian – “If I Die” ( Culture Kings / Domination Recordings / 2008 )

One of my favourite tracks of 2008 so far – Butta Verses does justice to a great Marvin Gaye sample on this cut from his forthcoming album “Reality BV” due out September 30th.

Smooth Like Butta – Butta Verses

Butta Verses on San Antonio’s KRTU talking about working with De La Soul on their album “The Grind Date”.

Lookout for the forthcoming Butta album “Reality BV”.

Weekend Round-Up – Butta Verses / Kardinal Offishall / The RZA / Elzhi / Big Pooh

Here are a few bits and pieces that landed in my inbox over the weekend while I was away from the computer celebrating my 33rd birthday – I’m old-school and proud, people!!

Butta Verses “Officer Ross” Freestyle

I don’t usually get too heavily involved in posting beef-related content up on Old To The New mainly because most of it’s just corny WWF-style hype – but I couldn’t help cracking a smile when I heard this new freestyle from Butta Verse’s regarding the recent internet scandal surrounding Rick “I’m A Boss” Ross’s previous career as a Corrections Officer.

Download the freestyle here but for a more accurate example of what to expect from the former De La Soul protege’s forthcoming album “Reality BV” lookout for the new single “If I Die”.

Kardinal Offishall talks to HipHopOfficial about the Canadian rap scene and his forthcoming album “Not 4 Sale”.

Wu-Tang’s RZA in London on DJ MK’s KissFM rap show dropping some knowledge as well as a freestyle.

Footage of Slum Village’s Elzhi performing “Motown 25” and “That’s That One” on HipHopOfficial.

New Joint : Big Pooh – “With You” ( Hall Of Justus / 2008 )

Lifted from the Little Brother emcee’s forthcoming mix-CD “Rapper’s Delight”.

Dirty South Boom-Bap – DJ Y-Not? / Supastition

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Proving there’s much more to Southern Hip-Hop than just grills and rims, this Supastition-hosted mix from DJ Y-Not? features the likes of Butta Verses, Kaze and Dutchmassive. Peep the tracklisting below and download for free here.

1. Intro
2. Supastition – Worst Enemy (prod. Marco Polo)
3. Big Treal (freestyle)
4. The Heart & Brain – Thoughtz in Blood (Introduction) (prod. TzariZM for Strangaz Productions)
5. Brotha Soul – Final Fantasy (Dela mix)
6. DP (Daily Planet) – Rollin
7. Shinobi Stalin ft. J Biz – Confessions of a Sneaker Addict
8. Big Treal ft. Supastition – In Ya Place (prod. by 9th Wonder)
9. Relz ft. Wayne White & Steele of Smif N Wessun – EarthQuake (prod. NeMo for Strangaz Productions)
10. Butta Verses – When
11. Dutchmassive ft. Median & Von Pea – Better Man (prod. illMIND)
12. BlakOut ft. Supastition & Illustrate – Freedom Remix (prod. NeMo for Strangaz Productions)
13. Kaze ft. Supastition & Mr. Mohalyn – Black Man Worldwide (prod. DJ Forge)
14. Da StranGaZ (TzaR and NeMo)- Live Out (prod. NeMo for Strangaz Productions)