Clan Destined ft. Rita J, Ozy Reigns & Ka’Ra Kersey – “Show Your Lighters” (VJC / Domination Recordings / 2011)
Taken from the forthcoming album “Self-Titled”.
Clan Destined ft. Rita J, Ozy Reigns & Ka’Ra Kersey – “Show Your Lighters” (VJC / Domination Recordings / 2011)
Taken from the forthcoming album “Self-Titled”.
Posted in Music Videos
Tagged Clan Destined, Domination Recordings, Independent Hip-Hop, Underground Hip-Hop
Having built a reputation in the 90s as a ferocious battle emcee, New York’s Breez Evahflowin has been rocking the M-I-C for longer than some of today’s new generation of rap fans have even been alive. As a member of the Stronghold collective, the Rotten Apple resident has put many lyrical competitors down for the count over the years, whilst also releasing numerous well-received underground albums and singles along the way.
Recently announcing his surprise retirement from the rap game with the release of his supposed ‘last’ album “And He Goes On…” through Domination Recordings, a candid Breez speaks openly here about facing the realities of being a 30-something under-the-radar Hip-Hop artist, career highlights and how he wishes he could’ve written one of KRS-One’s most memorable rhymes.
Obvious opening question – what prompted you to record a ‘final’ album?
“I really wanna say because it felt like the right time to do something else but to be honest it started out as a promotional angle. My approach was gonna be ‘If the fans want more I’ll make more’ but now I’m sticking to the reports. I feel like at this point, why not? I’ve been performing publicly as Breez Evahflowin for twenty years now. I feel like I’ve said enough. The problem is it is sooooo addictive though, I mean that f**kin’ mic calls out to you. I find it hard to be at any venue and not feel the urge to jump on stage, snatch the mic and rock. I really, really love this shit, but I will never explore any of my other talents if I keep putting ninety percent of my free-time and money into music. There’s also the sobering reality of numbers. I’ve found that my music only resonates with a select few. I appreciate the fact that when it does affect someone they support for the long run, but my songs are rarely infectious and hardly viral. Some would argue that if I were to invest more into promotion that could change and to those people I’d say I’ve tested the waters. We put up a considerable sum for a small label in order to get our music worked to number two on the CMJ charts. We were well received by reviewers, but the spins and exposure didn’t result in sales. I could go on the road and tour constantly, push to rebuild the buzz and fight back into that circle I’ve hovered in forever. Or I could chill and enjoy the consistency of a paycheck doing mundane yet well compensated work. Some people have tried to knock my recent domesticity, but I love it and, to me, being financially stable is new and exciting. So with all that said, “As He Goes On…” has to be my final album and I feel this is one of the most solid pieces I’ve ever delivered. It’s the story of a guy who literally gave it all he had and is now walking away satisfied with the effort. My first love is comic art and I owe it to myself to get back to it while I can still find the drive to do so. I’ve been trusted with an amazing script and I’m eager to get to work on it. But don’t be surprised if you walk into some little dive bar in the Village on open mic night and you see your boy murdering a freestyle. You’ve still gotta feed the beast from time to time.”
How do you feel you’ve changed and developed over the years as an emcee?
“Awhile back I went to lunch with a homie who grew up around the same time I did. During a typical Black male state of Hip-Hop discussion, he goes on to compare me to a Japanese samurai around the 1800s, a warrior living by an ancient code faced with a new and changing world still keeping his blade sharp as his countrymen go for their guns. Even today I still stubbornly hold to an unwritten code for emcees made up in the 90s. We were out there actively shaping the NY underground Hip-Hop movement and we were strict! You would get wrecked in a cipher if you crossed the line. Hip-Hop was spiritual. KRS and Rakim were like divine prophets. We developed the code from them, with rules like no biting, being able to freestyle on demand, always keeping a sharp sixteen at the ready, don’t cuff the mic, respect the deejay, respect the cipher and respect yourself. The sad fact is that most of those rules don’t exist anymore. Either way that’s still what fuels my music now. My last three albums have been me showing off this unique style I developed by living the code. But now I’ve tamed the ferocity in turn for focus. I gave up volume in exchange for intensity. I’ve also significantly cut back on the unnecessary profanity found in my early work. I feel I’ve come a long way from frat boy rap to where if ‘adult contemporary Hip-Hop’ had become a genre I might’ve stuck around a little longer.”
What’s been the proudest moment of your career?
“Walking through the international departure doors at Newark International Airport in 1997. It was my first time being booked for a European Hip-Hop show. Until then I had to listen with intense jealousy to stories from peers who had gone out to rock for these amazingly receptive crowds, crowds they described as embracing the culture with a similar intensity as early-90s true school heads in the US did. I had also never been that far away from home before. I was way excited, plus I was going out there with my Stronghold crew mate Poison Pen. We were on our way to Bordeaux, France for a b-boy competition and we were the featured guests. We were being brought over by a Southern France version of Stronghold called the Asphalt Bangers League. I felt proud because for the first time my music was going to open the door to one of the many rich cultural experiences that have shaped my life.”
Obviously you made your name initially as a battle emcee – looking back are there any battles that particularly standout for you and why?
“The Blaze battle in 1998. I remember the first Blaze battle that Pri The HoneyDark won. I remember walking around backstage and being extremely vocal about how I wanted in. They had the hottest underground dudes around in their battles and then they got their pictures in the magazine. Me, I had won a few street battles, sold a few singles and I was really feeling myself at the time. One of the dudes from the magazine recognized me and brought me onboard for the next battle they were throwing in the November. I remember that night at Tramps with thousands of Hip-Hop fans, DJ Cipha Sounds on the tables and Doug E. Fresh as the host. I was just getting over a massive cold, so I had the sweats and a bit of a fever. There was some serious nervous tension in the backstage area. Some dudes were even trying to psych each other out. It became extremely apparent to me that I was technically out of my league when I saw Proof and Lonnie B tear through their first round opponents. I was super intimidated by the crowd response to Dice Raw, especially since that was my first round opponent. The rest of the night was all fight or flight. I remember being stressed that the crowd called for another round against Pumpkinhead. I remember trying not to lose focus while spitting the written eight bars that would then allow me to springboard into the Aquaman line I’d made up minutes before the round started. Lastly, I remember Grandmaster Caz being stirred enough to give a speech at the end of the final round before the judging and totally validating the authenticity of the battle.”
“There was my last battle on MTV DFX in 2000. Their goal was to take me out after a few episodes of the show. I guess it was the MTV way of keeping things fresh. During my tenure as the DFX battle champ the show went through three hosts and several battle / judging formats. Each week I could feel the pressure mounting as they tried to find bigger and better contenders. I should have quit after my first head-to-head battle win. Something told me to walk away then but I didn’t listen. That next week things changed. Normally I got to size up the comp when they test shot the battles and announced the contender’s name the week before. That was extremely helpful to me because anyone coming up there knew I was the champ and knew who I was, so I could be ready for them too. The last week they kept the guy’s identity secret until the day of the battle. I was supposed to be retiring as champ, but instead I got served by someone I should’ve beaten. I was way too dependent on my preparation method. I learned from a subsequent defeat how to listen to that little voice.”
If the Breez of the late-90s was to battle the Breez of 2010 who would win?
“90s Breez would win. Battling is way different from song-writing and just plain freestyling. It’s like a muscle, either you use it or you lose it. I’m way rusty at this point. I might have a chance if it was something like Grind Time where you get to prepare for your battle in advance. 90s Breez used to walk through Times Square with C-Rayz Walz and Poison Pen screaming ‘Who wanna battle?!’ and we would bring it to any and all who stepped up for however many rounds they was holding for. That’s starving hunger right there. I’ve been fed now, so I’d get my ass handed to me. It would be worse than the last time I tried to dust off my battle raps at Scribble Jam.”
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing ‘mature’ emcees in the rap game today?
“I think the biggest challenge is finding someone willing to invest in them. I was born on the December 18 1970, so Hip-Hop came into existence as I did. Most of the mainstream Hip-Hop which once spoke volumes to me just doesn’t address my current needs as a grown man. When I was in high school I brought LPs from not only Public Enemy, but also Kid N Play and the Fat Boys. I liked shit that was slick and cool so I could escape through it. Now I’m looking for something to relate to instead of escape through and dudes my age are rapping about the dumbest shit. They try to impress the kids with ‘Look what I got’ raps, not ‘Look how I’ve grown.’ The ones speaking about real life issues and relating to the average joe are usually the ones struggling without any support. There are thousands of solid, mature albums very few will ever hear thanks to the lack of support for what I believe could be a potential market of mature urban listeners, The majority of which actually went for a job instead of the streets. Even if Wacka Flocka is their guilty pleasure they still have enough disposable income to invest in another LP download.”
If you could’ve written any rhyme from any other artist over the years which one would it be?
“It would be “Why Is That?” by KRS-One. That song hit me so hard. I still get chills when I listen to it. I like when Hip-Hop is used to explain things. To me, he struck at the root of the American government’s belief system by linking everything together according to biblical text. And he prefaces his thousand year journey with ‘You don’t teach white kids to be black.’ Having recently graduated from the NY public school system at the time of the song’s release in 1989, I felt both anger that I had been cheated out of a proper education and empowered that someone took notice and spoke out about it. I grew up seeing the Charlton Heston version of Moses every year in my South American Catholic household. I was even mad at that after hearing “Why Is That?”. It moved me to learn more about the truth untold, all based on asking one simple question, ‘Why is that?’ and taking a purely scientific look at the evidence without bias. A truth that I feel I’ve embedded in every song I’ve ever recorded whether it was just one line or an entire LP devoted to it. “Why Is That?” is one of the songs that remains on my permanent soundtrack for growing up in NYC.”
What Inspires Breez Evahflowin?
Breez Evahflowin Freestyle At Fat Beats NYC Closure.
Sean J – “Exhibition” (Domination Recordings / 2010)
Domination artist Sean J goes in over Jay Electronica’s “Exhibit A” beat on this sample of his forthcoming mixtape project “The Ego Egg”.
Posted in Downloads
Tagged Domination Recordings, Independent Hip-Hop, Jay Electronica, Sean J, The Ego Egg, Underground Hip-Hop
Audio snippets of NYC emcee Breez Evahflowin’s supposedly final album “As He Goes On” which will be released on October 12th via Domination Recordings.
Spectac ft. Sean Boog & Khrysis – “Superman” (Domination Recordings / 2010)
Taken from the album “Looks Like Another Job For Spectac”.
Moon Blazers – “Show Stopper!” (Domination Recordings / 2010)
Taken from the album “Moon Blazers Present The Milky Williams Quintet”.
Download Domination Recording artist Arsun F!st’s new four-track EP here.
SciFi Stu ft. Remarkable Mayor & John Robinson – “No Swag Needed” ( Domination Recordings / 2010)
Download this free album from Domination Recordings duo Tone Liv & Vincent Price here.
Here’s what the label had to say about the project:
“Here is another joint from the Green Llama camp, Tone Liv and Vincent Price come together to give you an album titled “Building Skyscrapers”. This is a free download album before their debut album comes out later this year called “Only Built 4 Timberland Boots”. This album is like the return of the boom bap era, straight gutter lyrics from Tone Liv and the raw dirty sound from Vincent Price. Also lending verses is members from the Green Llamas (Selfish, Decay and Butta Verses). This is a straight underground album for the heads who want to zone out and let the music guide them.”
Posted in Downloads
Tagged Building Skyscrapers, Domination Recordings, Green Llamas, Tone Liv, Vincent Price
Breez Evahflowin – “I Know” (Domination Recordings / 2010)
Taken from the album “Breez Deez Treez”.
Arsun F!st – “Hello, I’m Arsun” (Domination Recordings / 2010)
Taken from the brilliantly titled forthcoming album “Life’s A Beautiful Monster”.
Free download “Pieces From The Waiting Game”.
Hosted by DJ Jedi featuring snippets from “The Waiting Game” including an exclusive never heard before track. L.I.F.E. Long & Black Sparx upcoming single “Veteran” and full length release “The Waiting Game” available on Domination Recordings Spring/Summer 2010!
Posted in Downloads
Download the soulful and jazzy Long Island trio’s Domination Recordings album sampler here.
Download the new 90s boom-bap flavoured mixtape from Domination Recordings affiliate AMiAM here.
Posted in Downloads
Tagged AMiAM, Domination Recordings, Independent Hip-Hop, Underground Hip-Hop
Smash City Gauntlet – “The Devil’s Lettuce” (Domination Recordings / 2010)
Taken from the EP “There Goes The Neighborhood”.
Official free download from Domination Recordings artist Tone Blare.
Posted in Downloads
Tagged Digital Dreams, Domination Recordings, Independent Hip-Hop, Tone Blare, Underground Hip-Hop
Download DJ YNot’s latest mix here.
Posted in Downloads, Mixes / Podcasts
Tagged DJ YNot, Domination Recordings, Elzhi, Independent Hip-Hop, Snowgoons, Underground Hip-Hop
Download Down South turntablist DJ Y-Not’s latest mix “Lazy Afternoon VI” here.
From DJ YNOT: “To my folks, here’s the latest in my mix cd series, ” Lazy Afternoon VI”, made for indolent days and nights. Laid back rap, soul, funk, and even a rock break or two for your third eye pod. This mix probably isn’t for everyone, but if you’re reading this it’s most likely for you, lovely how you let ya mind float. Enjoy!”
If – “Fly, Fly The Route, Shoot”
Super Beagle – “Dust Out a Sound Boy”
The Impressions – “Finally Got Myself Together”
O.C. – “ Burn Me Slow”
Wet Willie – “Beggers Song”
People Under the Stairs – “ Carried Away”
Aloe Blacc – “ Find Your Way”
Lee Fields – “Ladies”
Prince Fatty – “ Shimmy Shimmy ya”
Count Bass D – “Down Easy”
Y Society – “Of and On”
Bk-One Feat Black Thought – “Philly Boy”
Large Professor – “LP”
Natural Yougurt Band – “Space Echo”
DJ Day – “Four Hills”
Kenny Dope – “Get on Down”
Shafiq Husayn – “Dust n Kisses”
Maxmillion Dunbar – “Bare Feet”
The Chakachas – “ Jungle Fever”
Eightball & MJG – “Candy”
Bits and Pieces – “Don’t Stop the Music”
DJ Spinna feat Senor Kaos – “Call Me Senor”
Jazz Liberators feat J Sands – “When the Clock Ticks”
Chin Chin – “Go There With You”
Rappin’ 4-Tay – “Playaz Club”
Jimmy Mcgriff – “The Bird”
East of Underground – “Smiling Faces”
Coke – “Na Na
Eli Escobar – “Heavenly Break”
Tom Scott – (Just Edit) “Today”
Main Ingredient – (J.re-Edit) “Magic Shoes”
Turtles – “I’m Chief Kamanawanalea”
Maceo & The Macks – “Cross the Tracks”
Ripple – “Funky Song”
Kool and The Gang – “Jungle Jazz”
Lee Parsons – “Music Turns Me On”
Harvey Mandel – “Baby Batter”
David Axel Rod – “Jahil”
Pookah – “Things Don’t Matter”
The Elephant – “Do What Ya Love”
Antibalas – ‘Che Che Cole”
Fat Back Band – “Is This the Future”
Jackie Moore – “Time”
Bobbi Humpfrey – “San Francisco Lights”
Trackademicks Feat Moxmore – “Topsidin”
Earth Wind & Fire – “Brazilian Rhyme”
James Pants – “ I Choose You”
Central Line (Larry leven 12 Mix) – “Walking Into Sunshine”
Organized Konfusion (Bill K Mix) – “Walk Into th Sun”
Phenomenal Hand Clap Band feat Lady Tigra – “15 to 20”
Mike 2600 – “Now Here’s a Funky Beat”
Final Edition – “I Can Do It”
Bag Raiders vs Sammy Bannas – “Fun Punch”
Goody! Goody! – “Leggo a Dis One”
Heart Warmer – (Flufftronix edit) “Love Song”
Empire of The Sun – “Walking on a Dream”
Dillinger – “Plantation Heights”
Posted in Downloads, Mixes / Podcasts
Tagged DJ Y-Not?, Domination Recordings, Funk, Hip-Hop, Soul
Download “Breathe” from Domination Recordings artist Grey Matter’s forthcoming self-titled album.
Posted in Downloads
Tagged Domination Recordings, Grey Matter, Independent Hip-Hop, Underground Hip-Hop
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?
Butta Verses ft. Lucian – “If I Die” ( Domination / 2008 )