interview, Interviews, Main, rileysbest

Vice Souletric: The New Ohio [Interview]

“We’re trying to put Ohio back on the map musically…hip-hop wise.” –Vice Souletric It was an evening early last month…

“We’re trying to put Ohio back on the map musically…hip-hop wise.”
–Vice Souletric

It was an evening early last month when I received a cold-call — if you will — from an Ohio-based rapper named Vice Souletric. A quick peruse of his SoundCloud revealed an impressive amount of quality material and features, which I directly correlate with cosigns. Ones that immediately jumped out at me were “Respect The Legends,” produced by the iconic 9th Wonder, “Stayin’ Out The Way,” featuring the BK rapper Skyzoo, and “Return Of The Blackman,” featuring Talib Kweli. Alongside his partner in rhyme, G.Huff, the two have formed an on-wax chemistry similar to Cuban Linx-era Ghostface and Raekwon. With premieres on platforms like Okayplayer, and most recently Revolt, the two seem to be making a tonne of moves at an accelerated rate.

Aside from rap, Vice is also an accomplished [visual] artist and producer. The latter he attributes to sheer necessity; “I couldn’t find anybody who made the type of beats that I like, so I learned how to make beats myself. Being from Ohio, it’s crazy because a lot of cats around here aren’t necessarily on that East Coast boom bap type of feel, but that’s what I like, so I had to teach myself how to make type of beats.” His cover artwork also led to him forming a relationship with producer Pete Rock, whom he’s considered a mentor over the past 3-4 years. With their biggest release yet, Vice and Huff [finally] released a song produced by Chocolate Boy Wonder, “Bills,” with a visual expected to follow shortly.

With two knocking mixtapes under his belt, and tonnes of exciting things in the pipeline, I decided to take some time to sit with Vice and learn more about his process, his music, and more. Check out the new song, “Bills,” and the interview below.


One thing that stuck out when I went through your stuff is that you had some pretty heavy features. Give me a sense of how you got involved with some of these people?

Over the last two years, I dropped two projects. One was an EP called Vice for President. On there, I was able to work with Guilty Simpson and Reks from Boston. Then this last project, Vice for President 2, was a full-length EP. I was able to work with Kweli, Skyzoo, 9th Wonder, and Rapper Big Pooh. A lot of times people do ask me a lot, like “Wow, how did you get to work with these cats?” It’s nothing more than stepping to these cats in a business manner — keeping it completely professional. Handling my business the way that they want to handle it. To be honest with you, I’m not personally friends with any of these cats; I had to hit up their management. I had to hit them up directly to see what they were talking about and just had to network. If I had to break off some bread, I did that; in some cases, I didn’t have to do that. But, at the end of the day, it’s just about building the best mutual respect, and I think all those cats have respect for me. I’ve got respect for them.

Did they give you feedback on the joints?

Oh yeah, definitely. All the cats that I worked with gave me feedback. One of the cats that I collaborated with that I didn’t have direct contact with was 9th Wonder, though. I collaborated with King Magnetic on that track, and he has a direct relationship with 9th. So as far as that beat, he pretty much worked with 9th on that, but as far as everybody else, I heard back from them, and they gave me good feedback. They liked the tracks; and you know, a lot of times with these cats, it doesn’t matter what the terms are, they’re not going to be a part of something that they’re not feeling.

Your latest joint on Vevo with Hi-Tek — how did that come together?

With that situation, that track is part of G.Huff’s album, and I’m featured on the song. We had to go [hard] for the longest, with us being from Ohio, to be able to reach out to Hi-Tek, and it was just something where we reached out to him on Facebook. We presented our music to him; we told him who we are, what we were trying to do, and it took a while — because Hi-Tek isn’t a cat that just works with anybody. So it took a while to crack that nut, but he eventually responded back to us like, “Yeah, let’s work,” and he sent us a few beats. It was very hard to pick the one beat that we wanted to use, but you know, we’re happy with it, and he liked the song. Like after the video came out and everything, he hit us up; he gave us our blessing, like “Yeah, that’s dope.” We intend on doing some more work with Hi-Tek in the future.

Alright, so you guys are indie right now, yeah?

We’re indie, man. Everything. It’s like I’m a producer, I naturally write my music, I’m a graphic designer, I do all my covers, websites, all of that stuff, man. Like, we’re pretty much a one stop shop. We take care of all of our business because, one, you need to be able to do that, just to cut costs, because it’s very expensive trying to do music. Two, it gives you more leverage when you’re trying to network and work with other people — being able to wear more hats. So yeah, we’re completely indie. We would like to get signed, that would be ideal, but right now we’re indie, and we’re happy with our position.

Have you had any interest from labels? Have you talked to labels?

We’re just in the beginning stages. To be honest with you, we’ve been doing it for a while, but just over like the last year and a half, people have been starting to take notice of what we’ve been doing. We buckled down and started releasing these projects that we put a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of resources into. But we are getting more interest by the day from different A&Rs, we’re connecting with a lot of different people in the industry, and they’re looking at us. As of right now, we haven’t had a contract pushed in our face yet, but with the moves that we’ve made, and a couple of things we have in the works, we’re expecting something to pop by the end of 2016, for sure.

Who are some of the artists that maybe you haven’t worked with yet, or that you wanted to get on this project, that you’re going to try to get in the future?

Well, one is Pete Rock. Like I have a joint on Vice President 2 called ‘Irap’, and like I know him personally — and I want him to rap on the song. Like I didn’t even want a beat, I just wanted him to rap, because the song is all about being a producer and an MC, so I thought it would be great to have him on it. It wasn’t able to go down because he was really busy working on this project he has coming out with Smoke Dza. But actually, Huff and I were just down there this past weekend, and we hooked up with him, and we got a beat from him. We’re going to be releasing a joint with Pete Rock real soon. It’s gonna be crazy; it’s gonna be nuts, man. [Editor’s Note: The song has since been released, it’s called “Bills.”]

You’ve been friends with him for quite a while, and you consider him sort of a mentor. Maybe talk a little bit about that relationship.

I would say maybe for like the last four or five years; he’s a real cool cat. Like, he’s a cat that interacts with people via social media, so we’ve always interacted online, and actually like I said, I do graphic design, so I did a cover for him. If you remember the project that he did with Camp Lo
maybe about two or three years ago, he had like this cartoon type cover – I did that. I’m the one that did that joint, so that’s sort of how we linked. It was real crazy. He hit me up in the middle of the night, dude. He hit me up, because he got my number from Huff, and he hit me up in the middle of the night with like 20 text messages. I wake up to all these messages from Pete Rock, talking about, “Yo, I need a cover.” So I did the cover man, and ever since then we kept in contact. You know we talk sports, we talk hoops; we talk music every once in a while. He has a mutual respect for us, but we never try to be too thirsty with him, and like beg him for beats, this that and the other. Everything has to happen in its own time, and you know, now it’s time, so we about to get it cracking.

So what’s next? What’s the next project we can look out for?

What I’m working on now is an instrumental album. Because I put out the two projects that I was rapping on, and I just want to showcase like the beats, and let people know like how serious I am, and how into the production I am, and how detailed I am with it. So that’s the next thing coming out, that’s probably going to be dropping within the next two months, and it’s not going to be throwaway beats either. Like I already told my boys in my crew, “Y’all gonna be pissed when y’all hear some of the beats I put on this because I’m putting out heat.” Because, no matter what you release, you’ve always got to put your best foot forward, and I want people to take me seriously as a producer as well, so that’s the next thing that’s coming out.

Any last words, or anything else you’d like to leave on the blog?

Pretty much, man, just check out Vice for President 2, and check me out on vicesworld.com — that’s my website. You can find all my social media up there. We are just trying to represent Ohio, man. Like this is a big year for Ohio, but we’re trying to put Ohio back on the map musically, hip-hop wise, so by the end of 2016 man, we’re just gonna try to be in the position that we want to be in.

 

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
Main, Reviews

D-Brown & 30 Boy Will Ooze Chemistry On “Full Court Pressure”

D-Brown and 30 Boy Will — two artists on my radar — have absolutely found a way to make an…

D-Brown and 30 Boy Will — two artists on my radar — have absolutely found a way to make an overcrowded lane feel like an empty highway. Their latest collaborative effort Full Court Pressure landed across my desk this week, and I’ve been cranking it ever since.

The vibe is very familiar sonically. Hard beats that remain extremely cohesive, keeping the project fairly levelled — making for a skip-free top to bottom experience, without having to readjust yourself. The sub category the duo fall into often have a tendency to keep the thematic elements of their projects quite predictable. While these two do pick the low hanging fruit at a few points (for lack of a better analogy) there is this undeniable rawness in their bars … an almost explosion of authenticity that trumps much of the fabricated storytelling new jacks have made trendy.

It’s an aura reminiscent of Jeezy in his heyday.

At a solid seven songs (with very little fat to trim) the project is an easy listen — but offers a hearty meal for those craving some substance to go along with their playlist-ready bassy beats.

There are plenty of gems here. The aptly titled “Official” was one that I immediately found myself running back a few times — as I did with the look-at-me-now vibe of “Bag Today.” The obligatory but tastefully flipped song about the females, “Preferences,” sees the two professing their taste for women with money and things of their own (among other assets).

One of the shiniest moments on the project is the infectious “Memphis,” which sports a chorus from the LP’s sole feature — the older brother of Juicy J and the co-founder of Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat — helping segue the two incredible verses by D and 30.

The track has been my most played this week (it wasn’t even close).

Their chemistry is undeniable and their ear for the perfect production to complement their tales of perseverance, street life and subdued (but still prominent) themes of opulence are on full display. While the two can really rap, it doesn’t feel like past tense, but rather present tense play by plays.

“Money doesn’t make you real,” D laments in the intro of “Official.” It’s this mantra of keeping it 100 and letting it speak for itself that drives Full Court Pressure. Cue it up, press play and enjoy.

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Main, New Music

Pat Savii – ‘Idle Time’ [ALBUM STREAM]

Bred in Lacey, Washington but currently residing in Southern California, artist Pat Savii has always been focused on business, first…

Bred in Lacey, Washington but currently residing in Southern California, artist Pat Savii has always been focused on business, first starting to build his brand in 2014 fresh out of high school . Now with a his foot firmly in the Los Angeles area, Pat Savii has rebranded under a new imprint called Ghostowne Mobb, where his new project Idle Time will be released. With past experience working with record labels like Sony Music, Pat remains in contact with a several record labels as he continues to push his music and develop his sound. “Idle Time is a reflection of my perception and knowledge of life through hip-hop.” Pat Savii explained. “I’ve been careful articulating and I’ve been patient leading up to the release of this project because I’ve wanted this project to be perfect.” Executively produced 24seven, Pat Savii says this album, “compares and contrasts how your reality can change based off of the way you utilize your time. Essentially the album is based off of the concept ‘you will reap what you sow.’ We are hitting all experiences and walks of life, the album touches all emotions while delivering a purposeful message.”

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interview

Meet Mississippi’s Fly Rich Double, The Next Big Thing in Hip Hop

Batesville, Mississippi’s Fly Rich Double has become a breakout new artist of 2019 with his Country Hip Hop sound. The…

Batesville, Mississippi’s Fly Rich Double has become a breakout new artist of 2019 with his Country Hip Hop sound. The indie and music industry top prospect June debut The Hick Hop revived an extinct genre and birthed a new age resurgence thanks to his massive hit, “Yup (On My Tractor)”. While Lil Nas X dipped his toe into the genre and then ventured out with a diverse EP, Double has delivered a string of country-driven hits and slowly accumulated a continuously growing 30,000 Instagram followers.

Averaging over 217,284 monthly listeners on Spotify, Double’s impressive stats includes over 13 million YouTube views. With a catalog of well-known hits from his debut album in “Big Boom,” “Beer, Banjos, & Boobies” and “Big Diesel Truck”.

While growing an undeniable fanbase of his own, Double still finds it difficult to fully prosper as an artist many label him a parody following the massive success of Lil Nas X hogging the genre’s lane. “I was labeled as a parody for “Yup (On My tractor),’ he says. “And now I’m just trying to earn respect as a legit, well rounded, and passionate artist. I consider my new single.”

We speak with the next big thing in both Country and Hip Hop about his past, present, and future following his newfound success. With his new music like his latest single, “Fire Fly” slowly erasing comparisons, Double hopes that fans will continue to give the new artist a chance and realize there’s more than enough room to like more than one of the same.

Read the complete interview and discover who Fly Rich Double really is below.

Where does the name Fly Rich Double originate from?
When I was a kid, my nickname was Mike Mike. As I grew, I felt like it was to kiddy to call myself mike mike so I changed it to Double referring to “2” Mikes. Fly Rich is just icing on the cake

In your opinion, what makes Fly Rich Double so hot in Today’s Hip Hop?
He’s just original. He basically started his own wave, no matter what people think.

With a unique style of music, tell us about your musical inspirations growing up?
I never wanted to be a rapper. It just happened one day and I got lucky.

Also known as the Trap Cowboy, how did you discover and design your own sound?
Growing up in Mississippi, everybody is country. All you see are acres and acres of farmland. You grow accustomed to the country lifestyle if that’s all you grew up around.

If you could define Mississippi Hip Hop, how would you explain the southern style to the world?
Mississippi is one of the most underrated states when I comes to Hip Hop. Southern style music gives life to the soul.

Stream Fly Rich Double’s Debut LP, The Hick Hop now.

“Big Boom” is both comical and catchy, how did the concept come together?
With the help of my little brother. We created a master piece.

Did you know “Big Boom” was going to be a hit?
Honestly i did ! I told my managers as soon as i finished writing it

While there are some similarities, have you gotten a response, comment, or reaction from Lil Nas X on “Big Boom”?
Nope… When he signed his record deal, the label made him unfollow me I’m pretty sure of it.

How’d you feel knowing some of today’s biggest recording artists like JuiceWrld are fans of your Country Hip Hop style sound?
It feels great for someone to finally just give me a chance. Just try something new for a change.

While many may feel you are copying a wave due to the success of Lil Nas X, you’ve been making music a bit longer than the “Old Town Road” creator. Tell us about your musical background?
I honestly created “Yup (On My Tractor)” on accident. Lil Nas X made an incredible song and promoted right, that is all.

Stream Fly Rich Double’s newest single, “Fire Fly”

Do you feel Lil Nas X’s success to bring Country Trap to the mainstream benefits or hinders your success?
Success. Because people respects it more. Like these kids can make you a superstar, who cares if adults don’t support you.

You just dropped a new album, The Hick Hop last month. Tell us about the recording process for the project?
A very fun project to work on. Loved every second of it, wish I coulda dropped more of my music but they’ll come on a later date.

How do you plan to maintain relevance with your musical style and not be considered just another 2019 facade?
I’m thinking about doing another album. I have an idea to do a nursery song for kids. Stay tuned.

Curious, give us your take on today’s Hip Hop and Country music scene in Mississippi?
It’s thriving and once I get in the door, I will help more artist from Mississippi.

Fly Rich Double… What is the ultimate goal?
In August of 2018, I dropped the single, “Yup (On My Tractor).” What started off as a joke, ended up completely changing my life. I have gotten so many things accomplished in a year that I never would have ever imagined. My son is my daily motivation. With hard work and dedication, I plan to reach platforms that will inspire people to live out their dreams.

With the help of my fans, I plan to accomplish many more milestones in my life. August 2019, I am dropping a breath of fresh air with my new song “Fire Fly.” I look forward to my fans vibe with me on this track as well. My team and I have put a lot of work into it and I look forward to connecting and expanding my fan base on a new level.

I was labeled as a parody for “Yup on my tractor,” and now I’m just trying to earn respect as a legit, well rounded, and passionate artist. I consider my new single as a “REBIRTH.”

My goal as an artist is to show people that I’m actually versatile and that I can make good music.

Watch Fly Rich Double’s New Video, “Fire Fly” now.

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Main, New Music, unsigned hype

@camjamesraps – “Shoot”

Today rapper Cam James releases his new single “Shoot” which is an infectious Summer anthem pushing women to make the…

Today rapper Cam James releases his new single “Shoot” which is an infectious Summer anthem pushing women to make the first move and shoot their shot.

Rising from dorm rooms to major stages, culminating in selections for some of the largest national music festivals in the late 2010s (A3C ’16, SXSW ’17), Cam James has made great strides in a short period of time.

“It’s a story from beginning to end,” Cam James said. “We’re capturing listeners from the jump and giving them a ride through the song’s super-relatable party scenario.”

With a bouncy, soul-tinged backdrop produced by THAIBEATS and an accompanying self-directed music video inspired by the 2001 Black cinema classic Brown Sugar, this is a track that’ll get stuck in your head for weeks.

Influenced by Nas, OutKast and 90’s R&B and using that as a foundation to build his own sound 2011 at Georgia Tech, he started turning his spoken word pieces into raps. These rough and unpolished sessions became cohesive solo projects over the course of six years and five independent projects.

Following his first TV placement on BET’s Being Mary Jane in September 2017, he announced his independent sophomore album, leviTAPE.

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