Interview: Vice Gripp

Interview: Vice Gripp

What’s up man, our last time around with your group was around this time last year.

Yeah shout’s out to the entire REUPSpot staff for always fuckin with myself, my group [dead] P.o.e.t.s. and the rest of the Psyko South International roster. We all have a mutual respect for one another and we all represent the future of real hip hop! Both us and yall have been growing in a real positive direction even since just last year. A lot of moves being made.

I saw you submitted a demo to Yelawolf’s Independent label. Elaborate to why you chose his independent label.

Well Big Rela had sent me a text message saying they were accepting demos and the details on how to go about submitting something, so I decided it’d be a good look just to try. Right now I’m just looking for a place that can put me in a position to further my career. Yelawolf has gotten a lot of exposure by signing with Interscope / Shady Records and his label Slumerican has a lot of talented emcees on it. They might be looking for another diamond in the rough to help their movement continue with it’s momentum. It’d be a good look for me no doubt but so far I haven’t heard anything back. I’m gonna continue searching for somewhere to give me an opportunity though, that’s for sure.

Why the title I Am Not A Rapper for the next project?

It’s actually a concept originally though up by my homie Joe Jenkins aka Joe Kraze who’s a graffiti artist and producer. He’s also co-hosted a couple podcast episodes of 954 Hurricane Radio on PsykoSouth.com. Me and him are like fam and he’s been down with Psyko South since way back in the day. One day I was at his crib and we were smoking some fire ass chronic and he was telling me that he was going to put a mixtape together. I looked at him like “Well you don’t rap or sing or anything, so how are you gonna do that?”. Since he produces he told me he was going to make the beats, say some of the craziest shit he can think of while he was as intoxicated as he could be, and then get actual emcees to rap on it. His project fell through but I told him that I’m gonna resurrect the idea as the title of the mixtape I was already working on, except only I will be spittin on it and it will be mostly industry beats with a couple originals. It will be hosted by Joe and we are going to record skits with him talking that crazy real shit while we get as fucked up as humanly possible.

What the title meant to me and why I chose to run with it is because everyone now a days is a rapper. You go anywhere, even online, everyone is a fucking rapper. I am not a rapper. I am a hip hop ARTIST. The difference between a rapper and a hip hop artist is stark. A rapper doesn’t even have to write his own songs. A rapper is basically like a tool. They only rap about what they think people want to hear, regardless if it has anything to do with themselves. They have a motive even before stepping in the booth to record. An artist takes his or her life / experiences and paints a masterpiece with words. It’s kinda like anyone can be an actor; put them in front of a camera with great effects and cinematography and you can make them LOOK good. But when an actor who’s an artist steps in front of the camera and displays emotions and technique, you can automatically tell which is which. Same with rappers. Put them in the booth with an engineer who knows what he or she is doing and they can make the rapper sound good even if they ain’t. I feel bad for rappers who go on before or after me at live shows.

What is your focus with the next project lyrics, horrorcore, or both?

It’s not horrorcore. There’s maybe one horrorcore type track and that’s just because it’s a dark song that’s about giving up in life and thinking about suicide (“Self Written Suicide”). The horrorcore shit is a [dead] P.o.e.t.s. thing; all of us individually make different types of music as solo artists. The focus is really to show my growth as an artist. I have a wide variety of songs so far: a dubstep smoking song (“Medicate”), a story telling song (“The Devil’s Saloon”), a song about the economical climate in the country (“The Same Spot”), songs about grinding and working towards a goal you might have (“H.A.M.L.TON”, “Get It In”), a song about the powers that be viewing regular folks as being unimportant (“Obsolete”), a song about rappers stealing the swag of the South (“They Ain’t From the South”), a song about my trip to Israel and Jewish pride (“Birth Right”) and a couple of my usual lyrical free-verses (“Incredible”, “Broward”, “Drug Music”). I really wanted to show my depth and dexterity as a writer on this tape. I still have a couple more tracks to pen but I’m almost done.

Share some of the features on your next project, I know you got Lil Wyte to be on this.

As of right now that’s looking like the only feature haha. I might try to get a posse cut on there with all of the Psyko South roster but people who have followed our music know we’ve always made songs together as a squad. All throughout the years, with 5 label mixtapes and all the collabs on everyone’s solo projects, the fans have heard a ton of different combinations of Psyko South emcees killing tracks together. I want this mixtape to really focus on myself. It needed to be different. The only reason I collaborated on a track with Lil Wyte was because my manager suggested it and I’ve been a fan of his since high school. I respect Lil Wyte as an artist. I wouldn’t collaborate with someone I didn’t respect as an artist. So outside of that feature, unless another opportunity similar to that situation arises before I’m done writing the rest of my songs, I won’t have any other features on the tape aside from myself and Joe Kraze.

Any [dead] P.o.e.t.s. tracks in the works?

Right now I can’t really say that there are. We have a project from DJ Suckafree which will be a collaboration album called “Presidents of the Wicked Underground” dropping sometime this year. I’m hoping to get a couple tracks with all 3 of the P.o.e.t.s. members on there but in reality with all the different schedules it’s hard to get us all in the lab at one time and one rule of the P.o.e.t.s. is that we all have to write together. Otherwise it wouldn’t have that cohesive group feel to it. But the “Presidents” album is going to be sick! It will be DJ Suckafree’s first album and it’s entirely produced by an artist named Saint Sinna. It will feature the entire Psyko South roster on tracks with some of the dopest and most respected emcees in the wicked underground.

I know you had dipped into production last year more than usual, but now I hear you are producing your album… What made you decide to just do it all yourself?

Well I’ve actually been producing beats since I was 14. I started off with 2 belt drive turntables, a Casio keyboard and a really cheap drum machine haha. Then I moved onto software. From there I just made beats every day. The problem was, I had literally over 1,000 originally produced instrumentals when my computer crashed and died. When I lost all the beats I made I stopped producing. Out of pure necessity while working on the P.o.e.t.s. project I started making beats again and fell back in love with it. I have to have a specific project to work towards though; it’s rare that I just sit there and work on beats freely without some sort of direction of who is going to be on the track or what it’s going to be used for. The track “Birth Right” on the “I Am Not A Rapper” mixtape is on a beat I made. With the album I’m going to be working on.. essentially I came up with an idea for an album that I want to do which will be a completely new style for myself. I actually don’t know if an entire project has ever been done in the style that I’m working on. I can’t go into too much detail because of this fact, as I don’t want anyone biting my shit!
But let’s just say it’s going to be almost completely left field from what anyone is used to from me. The project is going to push the envelope sonically and visually as well. Right now I don’t have the means, time or capacity to really bring it to life like I want so it’s on hold. Most of the beats for the album are done already, but it’s like my brain child so I’m gonna take my sweet damn time with it haha. Plus it’ll be my first actual solo album ever, so it’s gotta be just right.

Anything extra you would like to add?

Support real artists! The mixtape “I Am Not A Rapper” will be out for free download on PsykoSouth.com and a lot of our music is out there for free download, but just because something is given out for free doesn’t mean it should be taken for granted. Myself and our entire roster put our heart and souls into our music. If you download the mixtape for free and enjoy it, post a link to it on your twitter or facebook. Recommend it to a homie that you think would enjoy it also. Supporting can also come from buying merchandise through our web store. People don’t understand the power they
have as consumers. The ENTIRE industry is set up towards the consumer. People always come up to me after I perform at shows and tell me that I should have a record deal or why can’t emcees like myself who make good music and actually have skill get on the radio. I tell them it’s because the industry will gravitate towards whatever is the most marketable for the consumer demographic. That’s why rap music has become so trendy. One thing becomes popular and for the next 3-4 months your gonna hear that shit get regurgitated and tweaked until it dies and is no longer popular. If more underground artists got supported by the fans and consumers, you would see a shift in the type of artists getting signed and promoted through the mainstream media. So support what you like!

Also keep up with everything Vice Gripp related on Facebook and Twitter. PsykoSouth.com is the headquarters! Big thanks to Vick and Nick for always being in my corner, I fucks wit REUPSpot heavy! More tours and other real dope shit to come so stay tuned! No stop til the top.

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